The low velocity impact response of non-woven hemp fibre reinforced unsaturated polyester composites

Hom Dhakal, Zhongyi Zhang, Mel Richardson, O. Errajhi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Hemp fibre reinforced unsaturated polyester composites (HFRUPE) were subjected to low velocity impact tests in order to study the effects of non-woven hemp fibre reinforcement on their impact properties. HFRUPE composites specimens containing 0, 0.06, 0.10, 0.15, 0.21 and 0.26 fibre volume fractions (Vf) were prepared and their impact response compared with samples containing an equivalent fibre volume fraction of chopped strand mat E-glass fibre reinforcement. Post-impact damage was assessed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). A significant improvement in load bearing capability and impact energy absorption was found following the introduction hemp fibre as reinforcement. The results indicate a clear correlation between fibre volume fractions, stiffness of the composite laminate, impact load and total absorbed energy. Unreinforced unsaturated polyester control specimens exhibited brittle fracture behaviour with a lower peak load, lower impact energy and less time to fail than hemp reinforced unsaturated polyester composites. The impact test results show that the total energy absorbed by 0.21 fibre volume fraction (four layers) of hemp reinforced specimens is comparable to the energy absorbed by the equivalent fibre volume fraction of chopped strand mat E-glass fibre reinforced unsaturated polyester composite specimens.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)559-567
    Number of pages9
    JournalComposite Structures
    Volume81
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2006

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