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Characterisation of the mechanical performance of natural fibres for lightweight automotive applications

Rudeiros Fernandez, Jose Luis and Thomason, James (2012) Characterisation of the mechanical performance of natural fibres for lightweight automotive applications. In: 15th European Conference on Composite Materials, 2012-06-24 - 2012-06-28.

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Abstract

It is well recognized that light weighting of automotive parts leads to reduced carbon emissions over vehicle lifetime. Mineral fibres and fillers have a relatively high weight and can require very high levels of energy in their production, resulting in a large carbon footprint. Natural fibres could be a potential candidate to substitute mineral fillers in automotive application of thermoplastic matrix composites. Results will be presented from single fibre testing for characterization of fibre modulus and strength. One of the unique aspects of natural fibres is their variable, non-circular cross-section which usually has larger dimensions than mineral fibres and fillers. This paper will further discuss the need for accurate determination of fibre cross-section in order to properly characterize the mechanical performance.