Effect of hybridization on the mode II fracture toughness properties of flax/vinyl ester composites

F.A. Almansour, Hom Nath Dhakal, Zhong Zhang, H. Ghasemnejad

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In this study, flax fiber reinforced and flax/basalt hybridized vinyl ester composites were produced and their interlaminar fracture toughness (mode II) behavior was investigated using the three-point bend end-notched flexural (3ENF) testing. From the results, the average of the maximum values for each group of specimen obtained for critical strain energy release rate GIIC and stress intensity factor KII for flax/vinyl ester specimens were 1940 J/m2 and 134 kPam0.5. Similarly, GIIC and KII values recorded for hybridized specimens were 2173 J/m2 and 178 kPam0.5 respectively. The results for the flax/basalt hybridized composites exhibited an improved fracture toughness behavior compared to flax/vinyl ester composites without hybridization. The cohesive zone modelling (CZM) was also used to predict the delamination crack propagation in mode-II in laminated composite structures. After the experimental study, the 3ENF specimens were modelled and simulated using ANSYS. The CZM/FEA results were in reasonable agreement with the experimental results.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPolymer Composites
Publication statusEarly online - 10 Aug 2015


  • Flax fibers
  • Hybrid composites
  • Mode II
  • Interlaminar fracture toughness


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