Paper number 319


J. George, J. Ivens and I. Verpoest

Department MTM, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
De Croylaan 2, B-3001 Heverlee, Leuven, Belgium
Fax: 0032 16 32 1990

Summary Natural fibre-nonwoven -mats made of jute, hemp and flax were used for the study. Composite plates of jute/epoxy, hemp/epoxy and flax/epoxy at different volume fractions were prepared by autoclave moulding technique. In jute/epoxy composites, it was found that the impact strength decreases with increasing fibre volume fraction. There was an increase of about 60% in strength on increasing the fibre volume fraction from 0.15 to 0.22 in hemp/epoxy composites. But in the case of flax composites the increase was marginal. Flax fibres were subjected to different chemical treatments such as alkali, isocyanate and silane. In order to improve the technical fibre strength, the fibre is impregnated with the matrix resin. To reduce the surface cracking and to improve the impact strength, latex modification on the fibres was tried. Fibre surfaces were characterised by SEM and FTIR. Impact fracture surfaces were examined using scanning electron microscopy. Morphological studies indicated that a coating is developed on the fibre after treatment and as a result surface roughness is increased.
Keywords impact properties, coupling agent, characterisation, interface
modification, natural fibre, flax, jute, hemp.

Theme : Natural Composites ; Others

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