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Mechanical testing of natural fibre reinforced polyester resin composites and Mode 1 fracture toughness testing of resin blocks

David-West, Opukuro S. and Symington, Mark C. and Pethrick, Richard A. and Banks, William M. and Thomason, J.L. (2008) Mechanical testing of natural fibre reinforced polyester resin composites and Mode 1 fracture toughness testing of resin blocks. In: 13th European Conference on Composite Materials (EECM 13), 2008-06-02 - 2008-06-05.

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Abstract

Recent European Parliament directive requires companies to achieve materials recycling greater than 80% in particular in the automotive sector [1]. The research on natural fibre based composite materials fits well into this ecological image. The advantages of natural fibres over synthetic materials include, low density, relative cheapness, availability and biodegradability. In this paper we explore the fabrication and mechanical testing of natural fibre composites and this is part of an on going study at Strathclyde University and describes the fabrication of composites using natural fibre and styrene polyester resin. The properties of the synthetic resin can be varied by changing the catalysts concentration and flexural (three point bending) and single-edged notched bending (SENB) properties are reported at different concentrations of the catalyst.