Green Materials in Hybrid Composites for Automotive Applications: Green Materials

Green Materials in Hybrid Composites for Automotive Applications: Green Materials

N. M. Norizan (Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia), A. Atiqah (Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Malaysia), M. N. M. Ansari (Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Malaysia) and M. Rahmah (Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1374-3.ch003
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The increasing trend of using bio-based fibre, also known as natural fibre, provides many benefits for long-term environmental preservation. In the biocomposites group, green composites are a specific class whereby the bio-based polymer is reinforced with natural fibre. The current review deals with the advance of green materials in hybrid composites for automotive applications. The variation of green materials such as natural fibres is developed to be used as hybrid green materials as reinforcing materials in composites. There are many works done by another researcher that showed the improvement of utilizing the green materials of composites. The application and challenges of having green materials in composites for automotive applications are also presented.
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One of the main reasons to be called green composite is the composites that consisted of bio fibre or natural fibre as fibre reinforcing in the material composite. There is a different type of fibres used in composite materials such as particle, continuous, and discontinuous fibre reinforcement. The role of reinforcing fibre in the composite is to carry the applied load and stress and conveys enhanced the mechanical performance, as well as the stiffness and strength to the composites. Moreover, the essential of green materials in the composites is the biodegradable polymer that acts as a continuous phase or well knows as a matrix in distinguishing the demanding properties of the green composites. The benefits of having biodegradable polymers are can reduce the emissions of synthetic polymer in landfill that leads to preserving the composite against environmental and chemical attack. Besides, this biodegradable polymer can hold and binds the biofibre together and transfer the load. (Karim & Afrin, 2017; Thakur, Thakur, & Gupta, 2014). In another definition by Koronis et al. (2013), composite materials are classified as green composites is mainly due to their renewable and natural-based resources, degradable, and sustainable. These green material composites can be easily disposed of without harming the environment. While, the definition of natural-based material is a product made from renewable agriculture and forest products, including crops and crop by products and its residues. The general scheme of green composites comprising natural fibre reinforcement with bio-derived resin will produce green composites or biocomposites, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1.

The general rule of green composites; adapted from (Saba, Jawaid, Sultan, & Alothman, 2017)


The application of green material composites is the replacement of synthetic fibre-glass and steel in automotive parts. The primary market identified that those green materials installed in automotive are the trim parts in-cabin linings, parcel shelves, seat cushions, door panels, and dashboards. For instance, the conventional of asbestos fibres are replaced with using flax fibre in car disk brakes, and the use of hybrid kenaf, i.e., glass-reinforced epoxy composites, as car bumper beams (Bismarck, Baltazar-Y-Jimenez, & Sarikakis, 2006; Davoodi et al., 2010). Further market penetration of green composites will only occur only when their products can be rendered cost-effectiveness and competitive to the present molded parts used on many vehicles. According to Ahmad et al. (2015), the variation of natural fibre causes the difference in the mechanical properties of the fibre itself. This could affect the design, and quality aspect of the bio fibre reinforced composites. Thus, the lacking of the properties limits the potential application of flax fibre is often employed for poor composite implementation.


Green Materials Composites For Automotive Applications

It is essential to select green material to develop environment-friendly from renewable resources and reduce the dependence of petroleum-based chemicals. Currently, lignocellulose fibres are another option for the most widely utilized in composites materials. The potential of using natural fibres such as kenaf, sisal, sugar palm, flax, banana, etc. in the industry mainly in automotive application is due to the lower cost and high stiffness per weight than glass fibre. Moreover, the long term effect of using this natural fibre preserve the environment since it gives less thermally cycled rather than use synthetic fibre materials. Table 1 and Table 2 shows the green hybrid material for automotive applications and the automotive part that using natural fibre.

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