Natural Fiber Composite

Vacuum-assisted resin infusion molding

Dr. Drelich co-authors a paper entitled: “Mechanical properties of Boehmeria nivea natural fabric reinforced epoxy matrix composite preparedby vacuum-assisted resin infusion molding” and published in open-access Polymers journal. This is the most recent result of his collaboration with the Military Institute of Engineering in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Natural lignocellulosic fibers and corresponding fabrics have been gaining notoriety in recent decades as reinforcement options for polymer matrices associated with industrially applied composites. These natural fibers and fabrics exhibit competitive properties when compared with some synthetics such as glass fiber. In particular, the use of fabrics made from natural fibers might be considered a more ecient alternative, since they provide multidirectional reinforcement and allow the introduction of a larger volume fraction of fibers in the composite. In this context, it is important to understand the mechanical performance of natural fabric composites as a basic condition to ensure ecient engineering applications. Therefore, it is also important to recognize that ramie fiber exhibiting superior strength can be woven into fabric, but is the least investigated as reinforcement in
strong, tough polymers to obtain tougher polymeric composites. Accordingly, this paper presents the preparation of epoxy composite containing 30 vol.% Boehmeria nivea fabric by vacuum-assisted resin infusion molding technique and mechanical behavior characterization of the prepared composite. Obtained results are explained based on the fractography studies of tested samples.

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