Rubber Wood, Coconut Shells and Fabrics Tested for Use in Hybrid Composites

june 11 2012

Opening a way to a new hybrid composite, Mohd Iqbal Misnon and collaborators of UiTM Shah Alam, Malaysia tested hybrid composites made of rubberwood, coconut shell and textile fabrics (woven cotton and polyester fabrics).

Cotton fabric reinforced hybrid composite (CtRHC) and Polyester fabric reinforced hybrid composite (PeHC), was reinforced with two, three and four layers cotton or polyester. The control samples were the composite without any textile fabric reinforcement.

Flexural strength, impact strength, water absorption and thickness swelling tests were conducted to determine the mechanical and physical properties of the fabricated hybrid composites respectively.

On the other hand, the composite materials have good properties if the substances are strongly bonded with each other. Nevertheless, the polyester fabric does not adhere well with rubberwood and coconut shell mixture. This makes this material system relatively not strong. The delimitation also indicated that the compression load was not effectively transferred from rubberwood and coconut mixture to the polyester fabrics. It is believed that the PeHC sample could have a better flexural strength than CtHC, if the PeHC sample performed good adhesion in their system.

Overall, the cotton and polyester hybrids recorded a higher impact energy than the control sample. The impact load had distributed effectively due to good adhesion between the cotton fabric with the rubberwood and coconut shell particles.

The samples also exhibited better impact damage tolerance. Fibre failure turned smaller as the number of fabric layers increased, indicating that a higher PeHC system can absorb the impact energy.

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