Micromechanical analysis of hybrid composites reinforced with unidirectional natural fibres, silica microparticles and maleic anhydride


Mat. Res.




The work describes the analytical and experimental characterisation of a class of polymeric composites made from epoxy matrix reinforced with unidirectional natural sisal and banana fibres with silica microparticles and maleic anhydride fabricated by manual moulding. The analytical models, ROM rule of mixtures and Halpin-Tsai approach, have been used in conjunction with a Design of Experiments (DOE) analysis from tensile tests carried out on 24 different composites architectures. The following experimental factors were analyzed in this work: type of fibres (sisal and banana fibres), volume fraction of fibres (30% and 50%) and modified matrix phase by adding silica microparticles (0%wt, 20%wt and 33%wt) and maleic anhydride (0%wt and 2%wt). The ROM approach has shown a general good agreement with the experimental data for composites manufactured with 30%vol of natural fibres, which can be attributed to the strong adhesion found between the phases. On the opposite, the semi empirical model proposed by Halpin and Tsai has shown greater fidelity with composites manufactured from 50%vol of natural fibres, which exhibit a weak interfacial bonding. The addition of microsilica and maleic anhydride in the system did not enhance the adhesion between the phases as expected.

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