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EFFECT OF STACKING SEQUENCES ON

MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF HYBRID


COMPOSITES

A PROJECT REPORT

Submitted by

G.PRASHANT-21107114066,

L.TEJESHWAR-21107114103.

In partial fulfillment for the award of the degree


of
BACHELOR OF ENGINEERING

In

MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

RAJALAKSHMI ENGINEERING COLLEGE

ANNA UNIVERSITY:: CHENNAI-600 025

APRIL-2011

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BONAFIDE CERTIFICATE

Certified that this project report “EFFECT OF STACKING SEQUENCES ON


MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF HYBRID COMPOSITES” is the bonafide
work of “PRASHANT.G (21107114066), TEJESHWAR.L (21107114103)” who
carried out the project work under my supervision.

SIGNATURE SIGNATURE
Dr. S. N. MURUGESAN Mr. E.MURALI
HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT SUPERVISOR
Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor
Rajalakshmi Engineering College Mechanical Engineering
Rajalakshmi nagar, Thandalam, Rajalakshmi Engineering College
Chennai-602 105 Rajalakshmi Nagar, Thandalam
Chennai-602 105

INTERNAL EXAMINER EXTERNAL EXAMINER

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

We thank our Chairman Mr.S.Meganathan, Chairperson Dr. Thangam Meganathan


and our Principal Dr.S.Renganarayanan, who have given us the opportunity to pursue our
Mechanical Engineering in Rajalakshmi Engineering College and for which this project work
has been submitted in partial fulfillment for the award of the degree.
We are thankful to our Head of the Department, Dr. S. N. Murugesan, for all his
encouragement and support which have made this project successful.
We are thankful to Mr. N. Venkateshwaran, Engineering Design, Anna University, for
his extended support throughout the project.
We are highly esteemed in expressing our gratitude to, Mr. E.MURALI, Assistant
Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, our project guide, for his continuous
encouragement and ideas which have made this project complete and comprehensive.
We express our gratitude to Omega labs, Guindy for helping us in performing our
experimentation work in their lab and giving us various suggestions.

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Abstract

Polymers are used in large number of application due to light weight. Use of biodegradable

fiber in the polymer matrix has been under research in recent years. In this project work effect

of stacking sequence on the mechanical properties of hybrid composite is investigated. Fibers

used in this work are banana fabric and glass fabric. Both fibers are arranged at different

stacking sequence. Effect of this sequence on the mechanical properties like tensile strength,

flexural strength, impact strength, hardness and water absorption properties are investigated.

Resin used in this work is Epoxy LY556.Composite specimen are prepared by hand lay-up

techniques. Tests were performed for the same weight fraction with different hybrid sequences.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER TITLE PAGE NO.

NO.

ABSTRACT iv
LIST OF TABLES vii
LIST OF FIGURES vii

1 INTRODUCTION
1.1 Introduction to Composites 1

1.2 Types of Composites 2

1.3 Introduction to Natural fiber composites 6

1.4 Classification of Natural fiber composites 6

1.5 Application of Natural Fiber Composites 7

1.6 Properties of Natural fiber Composites 8

1.7 Resin 10

1.7.1 Properties of resin 10


1.7.2 Function of a resin 15
1.7.3 Types of resin 15
1.7.4 Epoxy and hardener 17

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2 LITERATURE SURVEY 18

3 METHODOLOGY 25

3.1 Glass fiber and its types 25


3.2 Extraction of banana fiber 26
3.3 Characteristics of banana fiber 29
3.4 Pattern arrangement 30
3.5 Preparation of specimen 32
3.6 TEST SPECIMEN 33
3.6.1 Tensile Test Specimen as Per ASTM 33
3.6.2 Flexural test Specimen as Per ASTM 34
3.6.3 Impact test Specimen as Per ASTM 35

4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS 36

4.1 Tensile Test 37

4.2 Flexural Test 43


4.3 Impact Test 49

5 CONCULSION 50

5.1 Future Scope 50

6 REFERENCES 51

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LIST OF TABLES

S.No. TABLE No. PAGE No.

1 1.1 Availability of natural fiber in India and its applications 7


in building materials
2 1.2 Properties of some vegetable fibers used in India for 8

composites

3 3.1 Properties of Banana fiber 28

LIST OF FIGURES

S.No. FIGURE No. PAGE No.

1 1.1 Examples for particle-reinforced composites 3

2 1.2 Fiber orientation in fiber reinforced composites 4

3 3.1 Extracted Banana Fiber 26

4 3.2 GBG Pattern Arrangement 30

5 3.3 BGB Pattern Arrangement 31

6 3.4 Banana Fiber 31

7 3.5 BGB Plate 32

8 3.6 GBG Plate 32

9 3.7 All Plates 33

10 3.8 Tensile Test Specimen 33

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11 3.9 Flexural Test Specimen 34

12 3.10 Impact Test Specimen 35

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Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION

Introduction to Composites

Composites are combinations of two materials in which one of the materials, called
the reinforcing phase, is in the form of fibers, sheets, or particles, and are
embedded in the other materials called the matrix phase. The reinforcing material
and the matrix material can be metal, ceramic, or polymer. Composites are used
because overall properties of the composites are superior to those of the individual
components. For example: polymer/ceramic composites have a greater modulus
than the polymer component, but aren't as brittle as ceramics. The following are
some of the reasons why composites are selected for certain applications:

• High strength to weight ratio (low density high tensile strength)


• High creep resistance
• High tensile strength at elevated temperatures
• High toughness

Typically, reinforcing materials are strong with low densities while the matrix is
usually a ductile, or tough, material. If the composite is designed and fabricated
correctly, it combines the strength of the reinforcement with the toughness of the
matrix to achieve a combination of desirable properties not available in any single
conventional material. The downside is that such composites are often more
expensive than conventional materials. Examples of some current application of
composites include the diesel piston, brake-shoes and pads, tires and the
Beechcraft aircraft in which 100% of the structural components are composites.

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The strength of the composite depends primarily on the amount, arrangement and
type of fiber (or particle) reinforcement in the resin. Typically, the higher the
reinforcement content, the greater the strength. In some cases, glass fibers are
combined with other fibers, such as carbon or aramid (Kevlar29 and Kevlar49), to
create a "hybrid" composite that combines the properties of more than one
reinforcing material. In addition, the composite is often formulated with fillers and
additives that change processing or performance parameters.

Types of Composites

• Particle-reinforced composites

• Fiber-reinforced composites

• Structural composites

o Particle Reinforced Composites:

Particles used for reinforcing include ceramics and glasses such as small mineral
particles, metal particles such as aluminum, and amorphous materials, including
polymers and carbon black. Particles are used to increase the modulus of the
matrix, to decrease the permeability of the matrix, to decrease the ductility of the
matrix. Particles are also used to produce inexpensive composites. Rein forcers and
matrices can be common, inexpensive materials and are easily processed. An
example of particle reinforced composites is an automobile tire which has carbon
black particles in a matrix of polyisobutylene elastomeric polymer. Another
example is spheroidized steel where cementite is transformed into a spherical

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shape which improves the machinability of the material. Another example for
particle-reinforced composite is concrete where the aggregates ( sand and gravel)
are the particles and cement is the matrix. Particle reinforced composites support
higher tensile, compressive and shear stresses.

Figure 1.1 Examples for particle-reinforced composites. (Spheroidized steel and


automobile tire)

o Fiber-reinforced Composites:

Reinforcing fibers can be made of metals, ceramics, glasses, or polymers that have
been turned into graphite and known as carbon fibers. Fibers increase the modulus
of the matrix material. The strong covalent bond along the fiber’s length gives
them a very high modulus in this direction because to break or extend the fiber the
bonds must also be broken or moved. Fibers are difficult to process into
composites which makes fiber-reinforced composites relatively expensive. Fiber-
reinforced composites are used in some of the most advanced, and therefore most
expensive, sports equipment, such as a time-trial racing bicycle frame which
consists of carbon fibers in a thermoset polymer matrix. Body parts of race cars

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and some automobiles are composites made of glass fibers (or fiberglass) in a
thermoset matrix.
The arrangement or orientation of the fibers relative to one another, the fiber
concentration, and the distribution all have a significant influence on the strength
and other properties of fiber-reinforced composites. Applications involving totally
multidirectional applied stresses normally use discontinuous fibers, which are
randomly oriented in the matrix material. Consideration of orientation and fiber
length for a particular composite depends on the level and nature of the applied
stress as well as fabrication cost.

Figure 1.2 Fiber orientation in fiber reinforced composites.

Modulus of Fiber-Reinforced Composites:


Fibers have a very high modulus along their axis, but have a low modulus
perpendicular to their axis. If the fibers are all parallel, the modulus of a fiber
reinforced composite depends upon which direction you're measuring. The
modulus of the entire composite, matrix plus reinforcer, is governed by the rule of
mixtures when measuring along the length of the fiber:

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Ec = EfVf + EmVm
Ec is the modulus of the entire composite along the length of the fiber.
Ef is the modulus of the fiber along the length of the fiber.
Vf is the volume percent occupied by the fibers.
Em is the modulus of the matrix (usually not dependent upon direction)
Vm is the volume percent occupied by the matrix (equal to (1-Vf)).

o Structural Composites:

The properties of structural composites depend on:


• Constituents

• Geometrical design

Common structural composite types are:


• Laminar:

Is composed of two-dimensional sheets or panels that have a preferred high


strength direction such as is found in wood and continuous and aligned fiber-
reinforced plastics. The layers are stacked and cemented together such that the
orientation of the high-strength direction varies with each successive layer. One
example of a relatively complex structure is modern ski and another example is
plywood.
• Sandwich Panels:

Consist of two strong outer sheets which are called face sheets and may be made
of aluminum alloys, fiber reinforced plastics, titanium alloys, steel. Face sheets

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carry most of the loading and stresses. Core may be a honeycomb structure which
has less density than the face sheets and resists perpendicular stresses and provides
shear rigidity. Sandwich panels can be used in variety of applications which
include roofs, floors, walls of buildings and in aircraft, for wings, fuselage and tail
plane skins.

Introduction to natural fiber composites

From centuries, mankind has used the natural fibre for various types of application
including building materials. In most of the countries, users have explored the
possibilities of using the natural fibre from different plants, which includes
bagasse, cereal straw, corn stalk, cotton stalk, kenaf, rice husk/rice straw etc. Most
of the fibres were used mainly for the production of hard board and particle board.
Emergence of polymers in the beginning of the 19th century has provided the
researcher the new dimensions to use the natural fibre in more diversified fields. At
the same time the necessity has also increased the interest in synthetic fibre like
glass fibre which due to its superior dimensional and other properties seems to be
gaining popularity and slowly replacing the natural fibre in different applications.
As a result of this change in the raw material and production process of synthetic
fibre based composites, energy consumption has increased The environmental loss
suffered by the society due to the pollution generation during the production &
recycling of these synthetic based materials has once again drawn the attention for
the use of natural fibre. The renewed interest resulted in the new ways of natural
fibre modifications/use and brought it to be at par/superior to synthetic fibres. Now
it is in use from making rope to spacecraft applications and the building industry
has also come out as one of its main beneficiaries.
Classification of Natural fiber composites

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Natural fibre composites are classified into two types

• Natural

• Synthetic

Natural
Alpaca · Angora · Bison down · Byssus · Camel hair · Cashmere ·
Animal Catgut · Chiengora · Guanaco · Llama · Mohair · Pashmina · Qiviut ·
Rabbit · Silk · Sinew · Spider silk · Wool · Vicuña · Yak

Vegetabl Abacá · Bamboo · Coir · Cotton · Flax (Linen) · Hemp · Jute · Kapok ·
e Kenaf · Piña · Raffia palm · Ramie · Sisal · Wood

Mineral Asbestos

Synthetic
Cellulos
Acetate · Art silk · Bamboo · Lyocell (Tencel) · Modal · Rayon
e

Mineral Glass · Carbon (Tenax) · Basalt · Metallic

Acrylic · Aramid (Twaron · Kevlar · Technora · Nomex) · Derclon ·


Polymer Microfiber · Modacrylic · Nylon · Olefin · Polyester · Polyethylene
(Dyneema · Spectra) · Spandex · Vinalon · Zylon

Table 1.1 Availability of natural fibre in India and its applications in building materials
Item Source
Rice Husk Rice mills

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Item Source
Banana leaves/stalk Banana plants
Coconut husk Coir fibre industry
Groundnut shell Groundnut oil mills
Jute fibre Jute Industry
Rice/wheat straw Agricultural farm
Saw mill waste Saw mills/wood
Sisal fibres Sisal plantation
Cotton stalk Cotton plantation

Table 1.2 Properties of some vegetable fibres used in India for composites

Fibre Cellulose Lignin Dia (um) UTS Elongation Elastic


content (%)content (%) (MN/m2) Max. (%) Modulus
Banana 64 5 50-250 700-780 3.7 27-32
Sisal 70 12 50-200 530-630 5.1 17-22
Pineapple 85 12 20-80 360-749 2.8 24-35
Coir 37 42 100-450 106-175 47 3-6
Talipot 68 28 80-800 143-263 5.1 10-13
Polymer 40-50 42 70-1300 180-250 2.8 4-6

Coir composites
Since coconut is available in India in abundance, the second highest in the world
after Philippines, the coir fibre has been investigated most extensively. Most
importantly, coir fibre has been recognised as highly durable fibre in all types of
matrices viz., polymer, bitumen, cement, gypsum, flyash-lime, mud, etc.
Jute-coir composites
Jute-coir composite provides an economic alternative to wood for the construction
industry. It involves the production of coir-ply boards with oriented jute as face
veneer and coir plus waste rubber wood inside. The coir fibre contains about 46%
lignin as against 39% in teak wood. Therefore, it is more resistant than teak wood

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against rotting under wet and dry conditions and has better tensile strength. The
composite board namely, coir-ply boards (jute+rubber wood+coir) as plywood
substitute and natural fibre reinforced boards (jute+coir) as MDF substitute can be
used in place of wood or MDF boards for partitioning, false ceiling, surface
paneling, roofing, furniture, cupboards, wardrobes etc. This composite is mainly
produced commercially in India by ‘Natural Fibretech Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore.
National Institute of Research on Jute and Applied Fibre Technology (NIRJAFT),
Kolkata has also come out with a number of technologies, which help to a great
extent for the commercialization of jute/coir based composites.
Bamboo and its application
Bamboo is a very well-known and popular construction material throughout the
tropics, particularly in bamboo rich regions. Bamboo is the fastest growing plant
and possesses excellent physical and mechanical properties – weight by weight it is
stronger than steel. IPIRTI, Bangalore in association with BMTPC has successfully
developed and transferred the technologies for manufacturing Bamboo Mat Board
(BMB), Bamboo Mat Veneer Composites (BMVC) and Bamboo Mat Corrugated
Sheets (BMCS). One commercial plant has been set up in Meghalaya for
manufacturing BMCS, an excellent eco-friendly roofing product, having
manufacturing capacity of 3000 sheets per month.
Sisal fibre and its applications
Sisal fibre obtained from the leaf of sisal plant has been proved to be very suitable
reinforcement in various polymeric matrices. The Central Building Research
Institute, Roorkee and Regional Research Laboratory, Bhopal have investigated
several techniques for sisal fibre surface modification for its use in the production
of roofing sheets.
RESIN

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Epoxy or poly-epoxide is a thermosetting polymer formed from reaction of an
epoxide "resin" with polyamine "hardener". Epoxy has a wide range of
applications, including fiber-reinforced plastic materials and general purpose
adhesives.

Properties of Resin

The choice of a resin system for use in any component depends on a number of its
characteristics, with the following probably being the most important for most
composite structures:

1. Adhesive Properties

2. Mechanical Properties

3. Micro-Cracking resistance

4. Fatigue Resistance

5. Degradation from Water Ingress

Adhesive Properties

It must be understood that the adhesive properties of a resin system is important in


achieving the full mechanical properties of a composite. The adhesion of the resin
matrix to the fibre reinforcement or to a core material in a sandwich construction is
important. Of the three resin types discussed in the article (polyester, vinyl ester
and epoxy resin) polyester resins generally have the lowest adhesive properties of
the three systems. Vinyl ester resin shows improved adhesive properties over
polyester but epoxy systems offer the best performance of all, and are therefore

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frequently found in many high-strength adhesives. This is due to their chemical
composition and the presence of polar hydroxyl and ether groups. As epoxies cure
with low shrinkage the various surface contacts set up between the liquid resin and
the adherents are not disturbed during the cure. The adhesive properties of epoxy
are especially useful in the construction of honeycomb-cored laminates where the
small bonding surface area means that maximum adhesion is required. The
strength of the bond between resin and fibre is not solely dependent on the
adhesive properties of the resin system but is also affected by the surface coating
on the reinforcement fibres.

Mechanical Properties:

Two important mechanical properties of any resin system are its tensile strength
and stiffness. After a cure period of seven days at room temperature it can be seen
that a typical epoxy will have higher properties than a typical polyester and vinyl
ester for both strength and stiffness. The beneficial effect of a post cure at 80°C for
five hours can also be seen.

Also of importance to the composite designer and builder is the amount of


shrinkage that occurs in a resin during and following its cure period. Shrinkage is
due to the resin molecules rearranging and re-orientating themselves in the liquid
and semi-gelled phase. Polyester and vinyl esters require considerable molecular
rearrangement to reach their cured state and can show shrinkage of up to 8%. The
different nature of the epoxy reaction, however, leads to very little rearrangement
and with no volatile by-products being evolved, typical shrinkage of an epoxy is
reduced to around 2%. The absence of shrinkage is, in part, responsible for the
improved mechanical properties of epoxies over polyester, as shrinkage is
associated with built-in stresses that can weaken the material. Furthermore,

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shrinkage through the thickness of a laminate leads to ‘print-through’ of the pattern
of the reinforcing fibres, a cosmetic defect that is difficult and expensive to
eliminate.

Micro-Cracking

The strength of a laminate is usually thought of in terms of how much load it can
withstand before it suffers complete failure. This ultimate or breaking strength is
the point at which the resin exhibits catastrophic breakdown and the fibre
reinforcements break. However, before this ultimate strength is achieved, the
laminate will reach a stress level where the resin will begin to crack away from
those fibre reinforcements not aligned with the applied load, and these cracks will
spread through the resin matrix. This is known as ‘transverse micro-cracking’ and,
although the laminate has not completely failed at this point, the breakdown
process has commenced. Consequently, engineers who want a long-lasting
structure must ensure that their laminates do not exceed this point under regular
service loads. The strain that a laminate can reach before micro cracking depends
strongly on the toughness and adhesive properties of the resin system. For brittle
resin systems, such as most polyesters, this point occurs a long way before
laminate failure, and so severely limits the strains to which such laminates can be
subjected. As an example, recent tests have shown that for a polyester/glass woven
roving laminate, micro-cracking typically occurs at about 0.2% strain with ultimate
failure not occurring until 2.0% strain. This equates to a usable strength of only
10% of the ultimate strength. As the ultimate strength of a laminate in tension is
governed by the strength of the fibres, these resin micro-cracks do not immediately
reduce the ultimate properties of the laminate. However, in an environment such as
water or moist air, the micro-cracked laminate will absorb considerably more water
than an uncracked laminate. This will then lead to an increase in weight, moisture

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attack on the resin and fibre sizing agents, loss of stiffness and, with time, an
eventual drop in ultimate properties. Increased resin/fibre adhesion is generally
derived from both the resin’s chemistry and its compatibility with the chemical
surface treatments applied to fibres. Here the well-known adhesive properties of
epoxy help laminates achieve higher micro cracking strains. As has been
mentioned previously, resin toughness can be hard to measure, but is broadly
indicated by its ultimate strain to failure.

Fatigue Resistance

Generally composites show excellent fatigue resistance when compared with most
metals. However, since fatigue failure tends to result from the gradual
accumulation of small amounts of damage, the fatigue behaviour of any composite
will be influenced by the toughness of the resin, its resistance to micro cracking,
and the quantity of voids and other defects, which occur during manufacture. As a
result, epoxy based laminates tend to show very good fatigue resistance when
compared with both polyester and vinyl ester, this being one of the main reasons
for their use in aircraft structures.

Degradation from Water Ingress

An important property of any resin, particularly in a marine environment, is its


ability to withstand degradation from water ingress. All resins will absorb some
moisture, adding to a laminate’s weight, but what is more significant is how the
absorbed water affects the resin and resin/fibre bond in a laminate, leading to a
gradual and long term loss in mechanical properties. Both polyester and vinyl ester
resins are prone to water degradation due to the presence of hydrolysable ester
groups in their molecular structures. As a result, a thin polyester laminate can be

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expected to retain only 65% of its inter-laminar shear strength after immersion in
water for a period of one year, whereas an epoxy laminate immersed for the same
period will retain around 90%.

Osmosis

All laminates in a marine environment will permit very low quantities of water to
pass through them in vapour form. As this water passes through, it reacts with any
hydrolysable components inside the laminate to form tiny cells of concentrated
solution. Under the osmotic cycle, more water is then drawn through the semi-
permeable membrane of the laminate to attempt to dilute this solution. This water
increases the fluid pressure in the cell to as much as 700psi. Eventually the
pressure distorts or bursts the laminate or gel coat, and can lead to a characteristic
‘chicken-pox’ surface. Hydrolysable components in a laminate can include dirt and
debris that have become trapped during fabrication, but can also include the ester
linkages in a cured polyester, and to a lesser extent, vinyl ester. Use of resin rich
layers next to the gel coat are essential with polyester resins to minimise this type
of degradation, but often the only cure once the process has started is the
replacement of the affected material. To prevent the onset of osmosis from the
start, it is necessary to use a resin, which has both a low water transmission rate
and a high resistance to attack by water. When used with reinforcements with
similarly resistant surface treatment and laminated to a very high standard,
blistering can then be virtually eliminated. A polymer chain having an epoxy
backbone is substantially better than many other resin systems at resisting the
effects of water. Such systems have been shown to confer excellent chemical and
water resistance, low water transmission rate and very good mechanical properties
to the polymer.

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Functions of Epoxy Resins

The curing process is a chemical reaction in which the epoxide groups in epoxy
resin reacts with a curing agent (hardener) to form a highly crosslinked, three-
dimensional network. In order to convert epoxy resins into a hard, infusible, and
rigid material, it is necessary to cure the resin with hardener. Epoxy resins cure
quickly and easily at practically any temperature from 5-150oC depending on the
choice of curing agent.

Types of Epoxy Resins:

There are two main categories of epoxy resins, namely the glycidyl epoxy, and
non-glycidyl epoxy resins. The glycidyl epoxies are further classified as glycidyl-
ether, glycidyl-ester and glycidyl-amine. The non-glycidyl epoxies are either
aliphatic or cycloaliphatic epoxy resins. Glycidyl epoxies are prepared via a
condensation reaction of appropriate dihydroxy compound, dibasic acid or a
diamine and epichlorohydrin. While, non-glycidyl epoxies are formed by
peroxidation of olefinic double bond.

Glycidyl-ether epoxies such as, diglycidyl ether of bisphenol-A (DGEBA) and


novolac epoxy resins are most commonly used epoxies.

Diglycidyl Ether of Bisphenol-A (DGEBA):

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Diglycidyl ether of bisphenol-A (DGEBA) is a typical commercial epoxy resin and
is synthesised by reacting bisphenol-A with epichlorohydrin in presence of a basic
catalyst.

Structure of DGEBA

The properties of the DGEBA resins depend on the value of n, which is the number
of repeating units commonly known as degree of polymerisation The number of
repeating units depend on the stoichiometry of synthesis reaction. Typically, n
ranges from 0 to 25 in many commercial products.

Novolac Epoxy Resins:

Novolac epoxy resins are glycidyl ethers of phenolic novolac resins. Phenols are
reacted in excess, with formaldehyde in presence of acidic catalyst to produce
phenolic novolac resin. Novolac epoxy resins are synthesised by reacting phenolic
novolac resin with epichlorohydrin in presence of sodium hydroxide as a catalyst.

Structure of novolac epoxy resin

Novolac epoxy resins generally contain multiple epoxide groups. The number of
epoxide groups per molecule depends upon the number of phenolic hydroxyl
groups in the starting phenolic novolac resin, the extent to which they reacted and

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the degree of low molecular species being polymerised during synthesis. The
multiple epoxide groups allow these resins to achieve high cross-link density
resulting in excellent temperature, chemical and solvent resistance. Novolac epoxy
resins are widely used to formulate the moulding compounds for microelectronics
packaging because of their superior performance at elevated temperature, excellent
mouldability, and mechanical properties, superior electrical properties, and heat
and humidity resistance.

Epoxy and hardener

A wide variety of curing agent for epoxy resins is available depending on the
process and properties required. The commonly used curing agents for epoxies
include amines, polyamides, phenolic resins, anhydrides, isocyanates and
polymercaptans. The cure kinetics and the Tg of cured system are dependent on the
molecular structure of the hardener. The choice of resin and hardeners depends on
the application, the process selected, and the properties desired. The stoichiometry
of the epoxy-hardener system also affects the properties of the cured material.
Employing different types and amounts of hardener which, tend to control cross-
link density vary the structure.

The amine and phenolic resin based curing agents, described below, and are widely
used for curing of epoxy resins.

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o Amine based curing agents:

Amines are the most commonly used curing agents for epoxy cure. Primary and
secondary amines are highly reactive with epoxy. Tertiary amines are generally
used as catalysts, commonly known as accelerators for cure reactions. Use of
excessive amount of catalyst achieves faster curing, but usually at the expense of
working life, and thermal stability. The catalytic activity of the catalysts affects the
physical properties of the final cured polymer.

o Phenolic novolac resins:

Epoxy resins when cured with phenolic hardener, gives excellent adhesion,
strength, chemical and flame resistance. Phenolic novolac-cured epoxy systems are
mainly used for encapsulation because of their low water absorption, excellent heat
and electrical resistance. An accelerator is necessary for the complete cure to
occur.

CHAPTER 2. LITERATURE SURVEY

Agriculture or biodegradable materials have played major role in human


life. This can be dated back in the primitive age where these agricultural
resources such as wood is used to make shelter, cook food, construct tools, and
make weapons. The advantage of using such resources is that, they are widely
distributed in all zones of world, its multifunctionality, strength and also
biodegradable. But with the incoming of plastic, especially the leading material
in the 21st century that provide comfort and other uses in modern day life, which
are derived from irreplaceable fossil fuels and other mineral ore from the earth

26
crust [22]. Due to these plastics, high performance metals, ceramics, and other
synthetic materials, the use of biodegradable materials lost its place. When
environmental degradation stated to set in, where landfills are filling up. The
resources are being used up, and our plants being polluted, rivers and ponds are
forming due to waste, the impact on the green house gases and carbon in
atmosphere. This level of waste made government spend millions of dollars to
land fill sites, and that was reason there was renewed effect in technology, which
is aimed at using environmental – friendly, renewable, recyclable and above all
biodegradable materials for production [17].

It is known that the plastics we use today are derived from petroleum
product, which has contributed to several million of pounds of plastics waste,
and are discarded each year , most end up in land fill. Resources such as plants,
animals and microbes through biochemical reaction offer good remedy to the
plastic waste [22]. The use of materials from renewable resources to attaining
great importance because of every organization tends to shift from petroleum
based to composite derived from natural materials [12].

Kalaprasad et al. [8] had done theoretical modeling of tensile properties of


sisal fiber reinforced low density polyethylene composites, The experimentally
observed tensile properties (tensile strength and modulus) of short sisal fiber-
reinforced LDPE with different fiber loading have been compared with the
existing theories of reinforcement.

The variation of tensile strength of unsaturated polyester based sisal–glass


hybrid composites with fiber loading has been studied. The tensile strength of

27
these hybrid composites has been found to be higher than that of the matrix at K.
John et al. [7]. The variations of impact strength and compressive strength of
unsaturated polyester based sisal/glass hybrid composites with fiber loading
have been studied. The impact strength of these hybrid composites has been
found to be higher than that of the matrix, the effects of NaOH treatment and
trimethoxy silane treatment on the impact and compressive properties of these
sisal/glass hybrid composites have also been observed by K. John et al. [6]

Jamal mirbagheri et al.[5] presented a Hybrid composites of wood


flour/Kenaf fiber and polypropylene were prepared at a fixed fiber to plastic
ratio of 40 : 60 and variable ratios of the two reinforcements namely 40 : 0, 30 :
10, 20 : 20, 10 : 30, and 0 : 40 by weight. The hybrid effect on the elastic
modulus of the composites was also investigated using the rule of hybrid
mixtures and Halpin–Tsai equations. The relationship between experimental and
predicted values was evaluated and accuracy estimation of the models was
performed. The results indicated that while non hybrid composites of Kenaf
fiber and wood flour exhibited the highest and lowest modulus values
respectively, the moduli of hybrid composites were closely related to the fiber to
particle ratio of the reinforcements. Rule of hybrid mixtures equation was able to
predict the elastic modulus of the composites better than Halpin–Tsai equation.

S.M. Sapuan et al. [20] Investigated the tensile and flexural (three-point
bending) properties of woven natural fiber composite (Banana/Epoxy). Three
samples were prepared from woven banana fiber composites of different
geometries were used. Statistical analysis using ANOVA-one way has showed
that the differences of results obtained from those three samples are not
significant, which confirm a very stable mechanical behavior of the composites

28
under different tests This shows the importance of this product and allows many
researchers to develop an adequate system for producing a good quality of
woven banana fiber composite which may be used for household utilities.

S. Padma Priya et al. [16] has developed Waste silk fabric-reinforced


epoxy laminates by varying content of silk fabric. The mechanical properties
like tensile strength and flexural strength of the composites were determined.
These properties were found to increase with silk fabric content. These
composites also showed good chemical resistance to some acids, alkalies, and
solvents. The interfacial bonding between the reinforcement and the matrix was
examined using SEM technique.

Dabade B. M. et al. [3] has developed Short sun hemp and Palmyra fiber
reinforced polyester composites by varied fiber lengths and weight ratio. The
variation of tensile load at break with varied fiber length and varied weight
ratios has been studied. The optimum length of fiber and optimum weight ratios
of respective fibers are found in this experimental study.

Anshida Haneefa et al. [1] investigated the influence of fiber content,


fiber loading, and hybrid effect on the mechanical properties such as tensile
strength, Young’s modulus, elongation at break, and flexural properties of the
composites, was evaluated. The volume fraction of glass fiber based on total
fiber content increases all the mechanical properties, except elongation at break.
The tensile and flexural properties of composites are observed to have improved
as the fiber loading (volume %) increases. On the other hand, lack of good
interfacial adhesion and poor resistance to moisture absorption make the use of
natural fiber-reinforced composites less attractive.

29
Saiful A. et al. [18] investigate the influence of the volume fraction of
pseudo-stem banana fiber (woven fabric form) on the properties of epoxy
composite. The banana woven fabric was prepared from waste banana stem or
trunk, and hand lay-up technique was used to prepare the reinforced epoxy
composite specimens. Tensile, flexural, and impact tests were conducted to
investigate the mechanical behavior of pseudo-stem banana fiber into epoxy
resin. After carrying out the experimental work, a great potential of using
pseudo-stem banana fiber to reinforce in to epoxy matrix was observed. The
experimental results showed the improved tensile, flexural and impact
characteristics of epoxy resin in presence of banana fiber. The tensile properties
increased with increasing the volume fraction of pseudo-stem banana fiber in the
epoxy matrix.

Siva I., et al. [21] has developed natural fibers like straw, sisal and hybrid
glass fiber composites. The tensile, flexural and compression strength of the
fabricated composites were tested using Universal Testing Machine (UTM).
From the load Vs Displacement graph obtained from UTM, the effect of fibers
and its combinations on the Ultimate stress and the displacement on loading
were analyzed. The impact strength of the composites was analyzed using un-
notched Izod Impact tester. The wear resistances of the fabricated composites
were also tested against the rotating abrasive wheel. From the experimentations
it was concluded that the straw-sisal-glass hybrid composites exhibit better
tensile and flexural strength. Same combination also proved its suitability in the
impact loading conditions. The compression strength is found to be enhanced in
Sisal-glass fiber composites. And the sisal fiber reinforced composite exhibits

30
more wear resistance. In general, the hybridization of composites enhances the
mechanical properties.

Kasama Jarukumjorn, et al. [9] investigates the effect of glass fiber


hybridization on the physical properties of sisal polypropylene composites.
Polypropylene grafted with maleic anhydride (PP-g-MA) was used as a
compatibilizer to enhance the compatibility between the fibers and
polypropylene. Incorporating glass fiber into the sisal–polypropylene composites
enhanced tensile, flexural, and impact strength without having significant effect
on tensile and flexural moduli. In addition, adding glass fiber improved thermal
properties and water resistance of the composites.

Mishra S., et al. [11] The degree of mechanical reinforcement that could
be obtained by the introduction of glass fibers in biofiber (pineapple leaf fiber/
sisal fiber) reinforced polyester composites has been assessed experimentally.
Addition of relatively small amount of glass fiber to the pineapple leaf fiber and
sisal fiber-reinforced polyester matrix enhanced the mechanical properties of the
resulting hybrid composites. Different chemically modified sisal fibers have
been used in addition to glass fibers as reinforcements in polyester matrix to
enhance the mechanical properties of the resulting hybrid composites. The
surface modification of sisal fibers such as alkali treatment produced optimum
tensile and impact strengths, while cyanoethylation resulted in the maximum
increase in flexural strength of the hybrid composites. It has been observed that
water uptakes of hybrid composites are less than that of unhybridized
composites. Scanning electron microscopic studies have been carried out to
study the fiber-matrix adhesion.

31
Murali Mohan Rao, K. et al [14] studied with an aim of introducing new
natural fibers used as fillers in a polymeric matrix enabling production of
economical and lightweight composites for load carrying structures. An
investigation of the extraction procedures of vakka (Roystonea regia), date and
bamboo fibers has been undertaken. The cross-sectional shape, the density and
tensile properties of these fibers, along with established fibers like sisal, banana,
coconut and palm, are determined experimentally under similar conditions and
compared. The fibers introduced in the present study could be used as an
effective reinforcement for making composites, which have an added advantage
of being lightweight.

Murali Mohan Rao, K et al [15] studied the tensile, flexural and dielectric
properties of composites made by reinforcing vakka as a new natural fiber into a
polyester resin matrix. The fibers extracted by manual processes have been used
to fabricate the composites. These composites are tested for tensile, flexural and
dielectric properties and compared with those of established composites like
sisal, bamboo and banana made under same conditions.

Samrat Mukhopadhyay, et al [19] studied the variability of mechanical


properties of banana fibers with respect to diameter, testing speed and gauge
length. We report interesting findings on banana fibers. Tenacity of the fibers
significantly improved for the fibers with lower linear density. An increase in
speed resulted in improvement of fiber properties to a certain degree. Higher
gauge lengths resulted in poor properties due to an increase in flaws in the
structure. The banana fibers showed very high variability in linear density and
mechanical properties.

32
From the literature review it is found that the woven composite has better
mechanical than the randomly oriented fiber composite. Further, the composite
made of hybrid fiber (two or more fiber combination) has better mechanical
properties than single fiber composite. Hence, in this work two fibers (Banana-
Glass) are reinforced with Epoxy matrix to form composite is prepared. Also the
effects various sequence of arrangement of these woven fibers in the composite
preparation with reference to mechanical properties are investigated.

CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY

Glass fiber and its types

Glass fibers are made of silicon oxide with addition of small amounts of other
oxides. Glass fibers are characteristic for their high strength, good temperature and
corrosion resistance, and low price.

There are two main types of glass fibers: E-glass and S-glass.
The first type is the most used, and takes its name from its good electrical
properties. The second type is very strong (S-glass), stiff, and temperature
resistant.

Used as reinforcing materials in many sectors, e.g. automotive and naval


industries, sports equipments, etc.

33
They are produced by a spinning process, in which they are pulled out through a
nozzle from molten glass (thousands of meter/min).

Extraction of banana fiber

Banana Fiber processing and preparation

Banana plant not only gives the delicious fruit but it also provides textile
fiber, Banana fiber
It grows easily as it sets out young shoots and is most commonly found in hot
tropical climates. All varieties of banana plants have fibers in abundance. These
fibers are obtained after the fruit is harvested and fall in the group of bast fibers.
This plant has long been a good source for high quality textiles in many parts of
the world.

Figure 3.1 Extracted Banana Fiber


The extraction of the natural fiber from the plant required certain care to
avoid damage. In the present experiments, initially the banana plant sections

34
were cut from the main stem of the plant and then rolled lightly to remove the
excess moisture. Impurities in the rolled fibers such as pigments, broken fibers,
coating of cellulose etc. were removed manually by means of a comb, and then
the fibers were cleaned and dried. This mechanical and manual extraction of
banana fibers was tedious, time consuming, and caused damage to the fiber.
Consequently, this type of technique cannot be recommended for industrial
application.
A special machine was designed and developed for the extraction of
banana fibers in a mechanically automated manner. It consisted mainly of two
horizontal beams whereby a carriage with an attached and specially designed
comb, could move back and forth. The fiber extraction using this technique
could be performed simply by placing a cleaned part of the banana stem on the
fixed platform of the machine, and clamped at the ends by jaws . This eliminated
elative movement of the stem and avoided premature breakage of the fibers.
This was followed by cleaning and drying of the fibers in a chamber at 20˚C for
three hours. The fibers were then labeled and ready for lamination process.
The mechanical properties of these fibers were also tested and found
to be greatly influenced by the condition of the fiber, whether the fiber was fresh
or dried, and upon the part of the plant from which the fiber had been removed.
The fibers were employed in a dry condition due to the knowledge that fiber
wetness would directly influence the bonding between the fibers and the resin,
resulting in weak adhesion.
An outstanding property has been used as the matrix material.
a. Excellent adhesion to different materials.
b. High resistance to chemical and atmospheric attack.
c. High dimensional stability.
d. Free from internal stresses.

35
e. Excellent mechanical and electrical properties.
f. Odorless, tasteless and completely nontoxic.
g. Negligible shrinkage.
Fresh banana fibers were collected after they were crushed by using a hand
crushing machine. These fibers were then spread on a water proof sheet to
reduce the moisture content. After approximately two weeks, the long banana
fibers were shortened into a length of 5mm, 10mm, 15mm respectively. Small
size fibers were selected in order to design a composite with consistent
properties. Due to the low moisture content of the banana fiber samples, no
fungi grew during the storage. The banana fiber samples were then cleaned via
pressurized water for about half an hour. This procedure removes fine dust
particles in the banana fiber and organic materials from the samples. Then the
fibers were dried with compressed air.

Table 3.1 Properties of Banana fiber

Properties Banana Fiber


Cellulose % 63–64
Hemicellulose % 19
Lignin % 5
Moisture content % 10-11
Density (kg/m3) 1350
Flexural modulus (GPa) 2-5
Microfibrillar angle 11
Lumen size (mm) 5
Tensile strength (MPa) 54
Young’s modulus (GPa) 3.4878

Characteristics of Banana Fiber

36
Banana fiber is a natural bast fiber. It has its own physical
and chemical characteristics and many other properties that make it a fine quality
fiber.

• Appearance of banana fiber is similar to that of bamboo fiber and ramie


fiber, but its fineness and spin ability is better than the two.
• The chemical composition of banana fiber is cellulose, hemicellulose, and
lignin.
• It is highly strong fiber.
• It has smaller elongation.
• It has somewhat shiny appearance depending upon the extraction & spinning
process.
• It is light weight.
• It has strong moisture absorption quality. It absorbs as well as releases
moisture very fast.
• It is bio- degradable and has no negative effect on environment and thus can
be categorized as eco-friendly fiber.
• Its average fineness is 2400Nm.
• It can be spun through almost all the methods of spinning including ring
spinning, open-end spinning, bast fiber spinning, and semi-worsted spinning
among others.

Applications of Banana Fiber


In the recent past, banana fiber had a very limited application and was primarily
used for making items like ropes, mats, and some other composite materials. With
the increasing environmental awareness and growing importance of eco-friendly
fabrics, banana fiber has also been recognized for all its good qualities and now its

37
application is increasing in other fields too such as apparel garments and home
furnishings. However, in Japan, it is being used for making traditional dresses like
kimono, and kamishimo since the Edo period (1600-1868). Due to its being
lightweight and comfortable to wear, it is still preferred by people there as summer
wear. Banana fiber is also used to make fine cushion covers,Necties, bags, table
cloths, curtains etc. Rugs made from banana silk yarn fibers are also very popular
world over.

PATTERN ARRANGEMENT

Glass Fiber Banana Fiber Glass Fiber (GBG)

Fig.3.2 GBG Pattern Arrangement

38
Banana Fiber Glass Fiber Banana Fiber (BGB)

Fig.3.3 BGB Pattern Arrangement


Banana Fiber

Fig.3.4 Banana Fiber

39
STACKING SEQUENCES
BGB

Fig.3.5 BGB Plate


GBG

Fig.3.6 GBG Plate


All Plates

40
Fig.3.7 All Plates
TEST SPECIMEN
ASTM STANDARD TEST SPECIMENS
Tensile Test Specimen
For Reinforced Composites [1] – the test specimen for reinforced composites,
including highly orthotropic laminates, shall conform to the dimensions of the
Type I specimen shown in fig 3.2. as per ASTM D638 -07 [2] Wo
W

L
R
LO

Figure 3.8 Tensile Test Specimen


W - Width of narrow section = 13mm

41
L - Length of narrow section = 37mm
Wo - Width of overall= 19mm
Lo -Length overall= 100mm
G -Gauge length= 25mm
D -Distance between grips= 75mm
R -Radius =36mm
Flexure Test Specimen
The test specimen for reinforced composites, including highly orthotropic
laminates, is as shown in figure 3.4 as per ASTM D790-07[2].

W
L/2 L/2

Figure 3.9: Flexural test specimen


W – Width of the specimen = 13mm
L – Distance between two rollers support = 4 X W =52 mm
T – Thickness of specimen = 3mm

42
Impact Test Specimen

The impact test specimen for the composites should conform to ASTM D256-06
[2] as shown in figure 3.4.

Figure 3.10 Impact test specimen

A – 10.2mm, B – 31.8mm, C – 65.5mm, D -0 .3mm, E – 12.7mm, T – 3.2mm

43
CHAPTER 4: RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS

44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
Flexural Strength
Flexural strength, considered as the strength under normal stresses, was determined by
applying the following equation known from the strength of materials:

where σf is the flexural strength; P is the maximum load recorded; l is the span length; and
b and h are, respectively, the width and the height of the prismatic specimens.

Banana Fiber: Flexural Strength = 3*200 * .05 / (2*.0145*.0043^2)


= 55.948 MPa

GBG : Flexural Strength = 3*550*.05 / (2*.0147*.0043^2)


= 151.764 MPa

BGB : Flexural Strength = 3*400*.05 / (2*.0151*.0078^2)


= 32.655 MPa

57
CONCLUSION

The natural fiber/epoxy approach has been made use of in order to make cost
effective composites. The variation of mechanical properties of banana fiber when
reinforced with glass fiber has been studied. It is observed that the sequence where
the banana fiber is in between the glass fibers has the maximum tensile and
flexural strength. The sequence with glass fiber in the middle has the highest
impact values. Banana fiber has the lowest tensile strength and impact values. It is
proved that there is an increase in mechanical properties of banana fiber when it is
reinforced with glass fiber.
The highest tensile strength is found in the sequence GBG which is equal to
84.51 Mpa.
The highest flexural strength is found in the sequence GBG which is equal to
151.764 Mpa.
The highest impact values is found in the sequence BGB which is equal to
36 Joules.

FUTURE SCOPE
In this project glass fiber has been used to reinforce the natural fiber to
form a hybrid composite. In future, other synthetic fibres like carbon, polyester,
etc. and natural fibers like jute, sisal, hemp, etc. can be used to reinforce the
banana fiber.

58
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