Experimental Investigation on Impact Resistance Behavior of Woven Sisal Fiber Reinforced Polyester Composite

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Addis Ababa University


Natural fiber reinforced polymer composites (NFRPC) has been used in many applications. These natural fiber reinforced polymer are capable of absorbing impact energy and dissipating it by different failure modes when they are subjected to low velocity impacts. The impact load on NFRPC materials can create internal damage, which significantly reduces their structural strength, and this phenomenon remains a major concern for structural components. Woven natural fiber reinforced plastic composites have better tensile, flexural, compressive strength because of the interlacing of fiber bundles than the mechanical properties of unidirectional and short randomly oriented NFRPC. However, the characterization of impact behavior with different fiber orientation such as 30 woven sisal fiber reinforced polyester composite was not studied vigorously. Thus, this paper concerns about development and characterization of the impact resistance behavior of woven sisal fiber reinforced polyester composite materials experimentally for semi-structural part (such as automotive interior body panels, automotive back seats and automotive interior door panels) by using Izod impact testing setup. Sisal fibers purchased from local market was extracted using manual decortication and water retting process. The 30 0 0 0 0 0 /-60 , 0/90 0 , 30 0 /-45 and 45 /-45 woven sisal fiber was prepared using nailed wooden frame as a wrap and weft guider. On this guide, the fiber orientation both for wrap and weft was marked and nailed according to the orientations. Then the interlacing of wrap and weft threads was made. The woven sisal fiber was impregnated in order to make woven sisal fiber dimensionally stable. After that using 10:1 polyester/ MEKP mixing ratio and 40% by weight of fiber, the composite was developed using hand layup process. A weight fraction of 40% by weight fiber was used because previous studies has showed that it is best fiber-matrix combination. After the laminate was cured, the specimens were cut according to ASTM standard in Natty Metals manufacturing enterprise. The morphology and crosssectional elemental detection was carried out using SEM assessment in LDI. Finally, impact tests were carried out using Izod impact testing set up in ASTU. The average impact strength of a 40 wt. % fiber 45 0 0 0 0 0 0 /60 , 30 0 /-45 0 , 0 /90 and 45 /-45 0 0 WSFRUPC test specimen with consecutive wrap and weft tow spacing 2mm was 342.67 J/m and was greater energy compared to the other orientations. But the average impact strength of a 40wt. % fiber 30 /-45 WSFRUPC of test specimen with consecutive wrap and weft tow spacing 2mm was 241.33J/m and was less energy compared to the other orientations. The SEM micrograph analysis result showed a good fiber matrix adhesion. However, porosity and crack were shown in the wet area.



woven sisal fiber, unsaturated polyester resin, Izod impact, impact strength, SEM analysis, hand layup, v-notch, alkaline treatment, Orientation