Manthey, N. W. and Cardona, F. and Aravinthan, T. and Wang, H. and Cooney, T. (2011) Natural fibre composites with QLD based fibres and vegetable oils. In: ACMSM 21: Incorporating Sustainable Practice in Mechanics of Structures and Materials, 7-10 Dec 2010, Melbourne, Australia.
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Natural fibre composites were manufactured with epoxidized hemp oil (EHO) and epoxidized linseed oil (ELO) blended with a commercial epoxy resin. Randomly orientated short hemp fibres were used as the reinforcing fibres. The effects of EHO/ELO addition, fibre weight fraction and alkali treatment of the hemp fibre were analysed through flexural tests, dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and microscopic analysis. A systematic decrease in flexural stress/modulus with an increase in EHO/ELO content was observed due to the plasticising effect of epoxidized vegetable oil (EVO). Improvements in material performance were realized through the use of alkali treatment of the fibres due to enhanced fibre-matrix adhesion. In terms of cost, biodegradability and specific material properties, natural fibre composites represent an alternative to traditional synthetic fibre composites in specific applications. This study has confirmed that natural fibres and plant-oil based resins are feasible resources from which to manufacture fibre composites.
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