Natural fibers have been gaining attention in the recent times due to their economical cost and their positive effect on conservation of the environment. This research is geared towards incorporating agriculturally grown fibers to construct lightweight composite panels which will reflect higher mechanical strength and ease of use towards large number of applications.
Currently the composite material market is dominated by synthetic fibers and wood based material. Use of agriculturally grown natural fibers not only offsets the consumption of wood, but also leads to reduction of synthetic fibers which are costly and derived from petro based products. After studying various configuration of natural fibers, resins and core materials, jute fiber fabric, commonly known as burlap was used to fabricate a sandwich composite with foam core. After reviewing the available manufacturing processes for fabrication, a low energy consuming and highly adaptable process called vacuum assisted resin transfer molding was employed for fabrication of the sandwich composite. The sandwich composite fabricated showed significant savings in weight compared to commercially available composites. The composite foam panel reinforced with jute fiber was machined to specimens according to ASTM (American Society for Testing And Materials) standards. The sandwich composite was subjected to testing for flexural strength, edgewise compressive strength and tensile strength according to the specified standards of ASTM. The results reflect higher tensile strength and better edgewise compressive strength compared to popular composited widely used in the market. Physical properties established from ASTM testing were used to define the solid models and finite element analysis was carried out to understand the behavior of the sandwich composite under tension, compression and bending. The results obtained from the testing and analysis yielded structural properties of the sandwich composite that exceeded conventional composite used in the market in many physical parameters.
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 50/04M, Masters Abstracts International|
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