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Natural fibre cross sectional area effects on the determination of fibre mechanical properties

Thomason, James and Gentles, Fiona and Brennan, A. (2012) Natural fibre cross sectional area effects on the determination of fibre mechanical properties. In: 15th European Conference on Composite Materials, 2012-06-24 - 2012-06-28.

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The cross section values obtained from fibre “diameter” measurements on a range of natural fibres were much greater than those obtained from actual observation of cross sections of the same individual fibres. This overestimation was found to be as much as 400% in some extreme cases. The overall conclusion is that fibre “diameter” measurement is not an attractive method for accurate estimation of cross sectional area of these natural fibres. This conclusion is significant for researchers engaged in micromechanical investigation of natural fibre composites since differences in fibre cross section translate directly into differences of the same magnitude in the values obtained for the fibre modulus and strength. The error in fibre cross section introduced by the “diameter” method scales with the average fibre “diameter” which may also result in erroneous observations of fibre modulus and strength scaling inversely with natural fibre “diameter”. A simple mathematical model based on an elliptical fibre cross section is shown to explain the observed trends and the magnitude of the fibre cross section area overestimation from the “diameter” method is shown to scale with the average eccentricity of the observed natural fibre cross sections.