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Rajesh Ghosh et al.

/ (IJAEST) INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVANCED ENGINEERING SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGIES


Vol No. 4, Issue No. 1, 089 - 091

Effect of fibre volume fraction on the tensile strength


of Banana fibre reinforced vinyl ester resin
composites
Rajesh Ghosh*

Assistant Professor,
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Gitam University,Visakhapatnam, India
rajesh_ghosh@yahoo.com

G. Reena

System Analyst, Onsite ETL Coordinator,


Mahindra Satyam, Singapore.
g.reena0001@gmail.com

Bh.Lakshmipathi Raju

Professor,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Andhra University, India.
ramakrishna_a@yahoo.com

Thermoset resin commonly used in engineering


applications is epoxy. Epoxy has better mechanical properties
but it is costly. The thermoplastics offer recycling possibilities
whereas the thermosets achieve improved mechanical
properties [6]. Polyester resins are low cost materials, but have
inferior mechanical properties. Vinyl ester resins make a
compromise between the above two limits. They have
properties comparable with epoxy, but are available at low
cost. Plant fiber polymer composites are used in interior parts
of automobiles [7, 8].

IJ
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AbstractNatural fibre reinforced polymer composites are being


worked upon for various engineering applications. Various
natural fibres such as jute, sisal, palm, coir and banana are used
as reinforcements. In this paper, banana fibres have been used as
reinforcement in Vinyl ester resin matrix. The influence of
different volume fraction of the fibres in the composite is studied.
It is seen that with the increase in the fibre fraction, the tensile
strength have increased after an initial dip. At 35% of fibre
volume fraction, an increase of 38.6% in tensile strength is noted.
The specific tensile strength increased by 65%. With increase in
mechanical properties it can be deduced that banana fibre can be
reliably reinforced with vinyl ester resin which may be used in
engineering utilities.

Assistant Professor,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Gitam University, India.
bhlpr19@rediffmail.com

Dr. A. Rama Krishna

Keywords- fibre volume; banana; vinyl ester; composites;


mechanical properties;

I.

INTRODUCTION

Much work is done in the application of natural fibre as


reinforcement in polymer composites. In India, banana is
abundantly cultivated. Banana fiber can be obtained easily
from the plants which are rendered as waste after the fruits
have ripened. So banana fiber can be explored as a potential
reinforcement. Jute fiber composite have better strength than
wood composites as reported by Gowda et al [1]. Laly et al [2]
have reported the optimum content in banana fiber in polyester
composite to be 40%. Sreekumar et al [3] have investigated
effect of fiber content in polyester composites and have
reported 40% volume fraction to show maximum tensile
strength. Henequen, palm and sisal fibre all have nearly the
same kind of tensile, chemical and physical properties as
reported by Belmares et al [4]. Pothan et al [5] researched on
reinforced polyester composites with short banana fiber. It is
shown that 30 mm fiber length gave maximum tensile strength
and 40mm fiber length shows maximum impact strength.

ISSN: 2230-7818

Researchers have reported that the mechanical properties


can be improved by appropriate surface treatments [9, 10].
With the increase in surface area, the cellulose micro fibrils get
exposed, which in turn improves the wettability and
impregnation [11].
In the present work, the fibres were treated with NaOH to
increase the wettability. Banana fibres are used as
reinforcement in vinyl ester resin and the effect of fibre volume
fraction in the composite is studied.
II.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

A. Chemical treatment of fibers


Banana fibers as shown in fig1, were procured from
TamilNadu India. The fibers were then treated with 5%
NaOH solution for 4
hours. The fibers are then
washed thoroughly with
distilled water. Fibers are
then put in a oven for 24
hours at 80 oC to remove
any traces of moisture.

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Fig1. Untreated banana fiber.

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Rajesh Ghosh et al. / (IJAEST) INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVANCED ENGINEERING SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGIES
Vol No. 4, Issue No. 1, 089 - 091

4
3
2
1
0
0

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

IJ
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There is a decrease in the density of the composite with the


increase in the fiber volume fraction. This can be attributed to
the fact that the density of fiber is lower than the resin. Fig3
shows the variation of mean tensile strength with the increase
in percentage of fiber volume fraction. There is a dip in the
mean tensile strength during the initial stages of fiber loading.
This shows that the load is not properly transmitted to the
fibers. The sole purpose of reinforcement is not properly served
at lower volume fractions. But as the fiber volume percentage
increases from 10%, the mean tensile strength also increases.
At 35 % of fiber volume, the tensile strength is increased by
38.6%. This should be because of the increased bonding
between the fiber and the matrix. The load sharing is easily
transmitted to the fibers. Fig4 shows the tensile modulus of the

20

30

40

50

Fig.4 Effect of fibre volume fraction on tensile modulus


modulus with 65% increase at 35% fiber volume fraction. The
graphs of specific tensile strength (fig.5) and specific tensile
modulus (fig.6) plotted against fiber volume fraction show an
increasing trend in accordance with the tensile strength and
tensile modulus.
0.16
0.14

100

80

60

40

0.1

0.08
0.06
0.04

10

20

30

40

50

% fiber volume fraction

Fig.5 Effect of fibre volume fraction on specific tensile


strength.

0.007
0.006

Specific tensile modulus


(GN-m/kg)

120

0.12

0.02

140

Tensile strength (MPa)

10

% fiber volume fraction

Specific tensile strength


(MN-m/kg)

III.

ES

D. Tensile test
Tensile test is done according to ASTM D638 with a
gauge length of 50 mm. Tests are carried out in Hounsfield
tensometer model H20 KW. The cross head speed is 1
mm/min.

C. Preparation of the composite


The composites are made by hand lay-up technique. As
shown in fig2. The mould used for the composite is made of
mild steel with plywood sheet placed in the inner surface. A
debonding agent is applied on the plywood sheet and the
composite specimen is casted in the mould. The inner cavity
dimension of the mould is 200 mm x 200 mm x 10 mm. The
upper plate is bolted to the
mould and the setup is left
to cure for 24 hours at
room temperature. The
composite plate so formed
is then oven cured for 24
hours at 80 oC. Specimens
are cut for testing as per
ASTM standards.
Fig2. The mould.

composite plotted against percentage fiber volume fraction.


The graph shows a near linear increase in the tensile

Tensile modulus (GPa)

B. Matrix
Vinyl ester resin is obtained from Ecmas India pvt ltd
under the trade name of Ecmalon 9911. It appears as a clear
yellow color liquid with viscosity of 400 cps and specific
gravity of 1.05. The cast resin has a tensile strength of 70 MPa
and tensile modulus of 3200 MPa.

0.005
0.004
0.003
0.002
0.001

20

0
0

10

20

30

40

50

0
0

10

20

30

40

% fiber volume fraction

50

% fiber volume fraction

Fig.3 Effect of fibre volume fraction on tensile strength

ISSN: 2230-7818

Fig.6: Effect of fibre volume fraction on specific tensile


modulus

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Page 90

Rajesh Ghosh et al. / (IJAEST) INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVANCED ENGINEERING SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGIES
Vol No. 4, Issue No. 1, 089 - 091

CONCLUSION

There is an improvement in the tensile properties of the


banana fiber vinyl ester resin composites.
At 35% of fiber volume fraction, the tensile strength is
increased by 38.6% and 65% increases in tensile modulus.
At lower volume fractions of banana fiber, the strength of
the composite specimen is reduced when compared with the
virgin resin.
Banana fiber having high specific strength makes a
lightweight composite material and can be used to make light
weight automobile interior parts.

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[1]

[2]

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IV.

ISSN: 2230-7818

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