Processing and mechanical property evaluation of maize fiber reinforced green composites
Advanced Composite Materials: The Official Journal of the Japan Society of Composite Materials
Mechanical Engineering Department, Tokyo Metropolitan University, 1-1 Minami Osawa, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-0397, Japan; Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Maiduguri, 1 Bama Road, P.M.B. 1069, Maiduguri, Nigeria; Advanced Composites Technical De
Green composites composed of long maize fibers and poly ε-caprolactone (PCL) biodegradable polyester matrix were manufactured by the thermo-mechanical processing termed as 'Sequential Molding and Forming Process' that was developed previously by the authors' research group. A variety of processing parameters such as fiber area fraction, molding temperature and forming pressure were systematically controlled and their influence on the tensile properties was investigated. It was revealed that both tensile strength and elastic modulus of the composites increase steadily depending on the increase in fiber area fraction, suggesting a general conformity to the rule of mixtures (ROM), particularly up to 55% fiber area fraction. The improvement in tensile properties was found to be closely related to the good interfacial adhesion between the fiber and polymer matrix, and was observed to be more pronounced under the optimum processing condition of 130°C molding temperature and 10 MPa forming pressure. However, processing out of the optimum condition results in a deterioration in properties, mostly fiber and/or matrix degradation together with their interfacial defect as a consequence of the thermal or mechanical damages. On the basis of microstructural observation, the cause of strength degradation and its countermeasure to provide a feasible composite design are discussed in relation to the optimized process conditions. © 2007 VSP.
Biodegradable polymers; Composite materials; Elastic moduli; Polyesters; Reinforcement; Tensile properties; Forming pressure; Forming Processes; Materials recycling; Molding temperature; Sequential Molding; Natural fibers; Natural Fibers; Polyesters; Reinforcement; Tensile Properties