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Shah et al (1981) evaluated the mechanical properties of unidirectional E and glass fibers singly
and in combination as a hybrid reinforced in polyester and epoxy resins. Their results showed
that the E-reinforced polyester laminates have much better properties than the resins alone; but
the properties are inferior to those of glass-reinforced plastics.

Pavithran et al (1987) determined the work of fracture of natural fiber composites. They showed
that, E fiber composites have the maximum toughness followed by pineapple, banana and coir
fiber composites. Vinyl este fiber-unsaturated polyester, BFRPusp (0.68 fiber volume fraction)
and vinyl este fiber-epoxy BFRPepoxy (0.63 fiber volume fraction) composites have been
developed and their tensile, flexural and impact properties were evaluated and compared by
Seema et al (1992, 1993). They found that BFRPusp composites have marginally lower
properties than BFRPepoxy composites.

Jayamol et al (1995) evaluated the influence of fiber length, fiber loading, and orientation on the
mechanical properties of short pineapple-leaf-fiber-(PALF)-reinforced low-density polyethylene
(LDPE) composites under optimum conditions. The mechanical properties were found to be
enhanced and elongation at break reduced with increasing fiber loading. Longitudinally oriented
composites showed better properties than randomly and transversely oriented composites.

Devi et al (1997) analyzed the influence of fiber length, fiber loading and coupling agents on
tensile, flexural and impact properties of pineapple leaf fiber (PALF) reinforced polyester
composites. Fiber length was increased from 5 mm to 10, 20, 30 and 40 mm maintaining the total
fiber content 30 wt%. They found that the mechanical properties increase with the increase in
fiber length upto 30 mm. Similarly fiber content was varied from 0 wt% to 10, 20, 30 and 40
wt%, maintaining the fiber length as 30 mm. They found that the tensile and flexural properties
are maximum for fiber content of40 wt% and 30 wt% respectively.Mechanical properties of
untreated woven E fabric reinforced in general purpose polyester resin have been evaluated by
Gowda et al (1999).
Sapuan et al (2006) evaluated the tensile and flexural properties of wovenbanana fiber reinforced
epoxy composites. They found the maximumvalues of tensile stress, tensile modulus, bending
stress andbending modulus in X-direction and Y-directions. Arib et al (2006)investigated the
tensile and flexural behavior of pineapple reinforcedpolypropylene composites as a function of
fiber volume fraction.

Bisanda et al (1991) studied the effect of mercerization and silanetreatment on mechanical and
physical properties of E-epoxy composites with different fiber volume fractions. The authors
concluded that mercerization of E fibers leads to improved wet ability and reduction in water
absorption of the E-epoxy composites. Mercerization and silanetreatment improve the
compressive strength without significant effect on flexural properties of E epoxy composites.

The process ability characteristics and mechanical properties of coir fiber-reinforced natural
rubber composites have been investigated as function of fiber length and surface treatment
(Geethamma et al 1995). The optimum fiber length of coir fiber was found to be 10 mm in order
to achievegood reinforcement in natural rubber composites. From the mechanical properties, it
was observed that coir fibers should be immersed in 5 % sodium hydroxide solution for 48 h for
maximum tensile properties. The effects of different fiber treatments such as alkali, isocyanate,
permanganate and peroxide on tensile properties of E fiber-reinforced LDPE (low density
polyethylene) composites were investigated by Kuruvilla (1996). Alkali treated fiber showed
better tensile properties than untreated composites due toothier rough surface topography and
increase aspect ratio.

Gassan and Bledzki (1999) found that, at alkali treatment under isometric condition (20 minutes
at 20oC in 25% NaOH solution), the tensile and flexural properties of unidirectional E/epoxy
composites are considerably improved (upto 60% with 0.40 fiber volume fraction). The Young’s
modulus of untreated E/epoxy composites is 50% lower than glass fiber-epoxy composites,
whereas for alkali treated E fiber-epoxy composites, it is 30% lower.

Mohanty et al (2000) investigated the effect of surface modifications like dewaxing, alkali
treatment, and cyanoethylation of E fabric on properties. Their results indicated that alkali
treated E fabric composite has the highest tensile, bending and impact properties compared to
properties of composites treated with other processes.
Razera and Frollini(2004) prepared composites based on phenolic resin with both untreated
antalkali and ionized air-treated E fibers with different fiber lengths and fiber content. E fiber
treatment with a solution of 5% NaOH exhibited the highest tensile strength. The composite
reinforced with 5% NaOH treated fiber showed the highest impact strength when it was
combined with ionized air (30% of fiber)

Mohan et al (1983), Mohan and Kishore (1985) reported that E provides a reasonable core
material in E-glass hybrid laminates. They evaluated compressive properties (1983) and flexural
properties (1985) of the E-glass fiber reinforced epoxy laminates fabricated by filament winding
technique using flat mandrel. They found substantial increase in flexural and compressive
properties with hybridization.

Clark and Ansell (1986) conducted tensile test, fracture toughness test, environmental test and
fractography studies on E-glass composites with various stacking sequences using E in the form
of randomly oriented chopped strand mat and glass in the form of plain and twill weave fabric.
They concluded that five ply laminate PJPJP (P-plain weave glass, J-E)with glass with its
protective outer glass plies has a most balanced set of properties compared on cost basis with
other arrangement

. Pavithran et al(1991) determined the work of fracture by impact testing on E–glass hybrid
composites with two arrangements, one with E shell and glass core and the other with glass shell
and E core. They showed that the E shell laminate has the higher work of fracture compared with
glass shell hybrid laminates of equivalent volume fraction of E and glass fibers. The mechanical
properties of coir-glass hybrid composites containing varying amount of glass fiber have been
evaluated by Pavithranet al (1991) and compared with those of glass reinforced composites
(GRP)containing equivalent volume fraction of glass. Sandwich laminates with GRPin the shell
and coir or coir-glass intermingled hybrid composite at the core were prepared

Thwe and Liao (2002, 2003) studied the effects of fiber length, vinyl ester to glass fiber ratio and
coupling agent MAPP (maleic anhydride polypropylene) on the mechanical properties. By
incorporating 20 %( bypass) glass fiber in a total fiber content of 30% (by mass), the tensile and
flexural modulus of BGRP were increased by 12.5% and 10% respectively; and the tensileand
flexural strength were increased by 7% and 25%respectively compared to those of BFRP. The
tensile properties were further improved by using MAPP compatibilizer.

Mishra et al (2003) studied the effect of glass fiber addition on tensile, flexural and izod impact
strength of E fiber reinforced polyester composites and pineapple fiber reinforced composites
and found significant improvement in the properties by incorporation of glass fiber.

John and Naidu (2004) have studied the unsaturated polyester-based E-glass composites with 5%
and 8% total fiber volume fraction and found a considerable enhancement in impact,
compression,flexural and tensile properties. For 50:50 E-glass hybrid composite, the increase in
the impact strength for 5 and 8 vol% total fiber content over that of the matrix were found to be
120 and 301% respectively.

Butthe compressive strength of the reinforced samples was decreased by 6.5 and23

19.5% for 5 and 8 vol% total fiber content, respectively from that of

unreinforced matrix. The tensile and impact properties of oil palm fiber-glass

fiber hybrid bilayer laminated composites were studied by Abu Bakar et al

(2005). Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch (OPEFB) in mat form and E-glass strand

mat fibers were used as reinforcement in epoxy resin. The authors found that

hybridization of glass fiber results in significant improvement in the tensile

and impact properties of oil palm fiber composite.


Surface Modified Natural Fibers in Hybrid Composites

Most of the researchers used surface modified natural fibers along

with glass fiber as reinforcement.

Prasad et al (1983) soaked approximately 30 g of retted coir fibers

in 700 ml of NaOH (5 wt %) for various periods of immersion. Composites

were prepared with coir fibers (treated and untreated) chopped to a length of

approximately 10 mm using polyester resin. They reported that alkali

treatment of coir fibers for 72 to 96 h results in 10 to 15% increase in tensile

strength, 40% increase in tensile modulus, flexural and charpy impact strength

when compared to composites with untreated coir fibers of same volume

fraction. Varma et al (1985) investigated the effect of alkali and silane

treatment to bristle coir fibers on tensile, flexural and interlaminar shear

properties of coir-glass hybrid composites. They showed considerable

improvement in the properties of hybrid laminates in comparison to neat

polyester resin. Laminates fabricated from alkali treated coir fibers showed

better mechanical properties than those fabricated from the untreated fibers.

Varma et al (1989) evaluated the mechanical properties like tensile,

flexural and ILSS, of unsaturated polyester hybrid composites with

reinforcement of glass and E fabric that is modified by silane, titanate, and

TDI treatment. From their study, it was concluded that the titanate treatment

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of E fabric results in improvement in mechanical properties and

performance characteristics of hybrid composites. They suggested that the

compatibility of silane and TDI treated E fabric can be assessed with resin

systems other than USP, such as epoxy, vinyl-ester and phenyl-formaldehyde.

Rout et al (2001) determined tensile, flexural and impact strength of

coir-glass polyester hybrid composites reinforced with surface modified coir

fiber. Hybrid composites were prepared with untreated, 5% alkali treated,

10% AN-grafted and bleached (65

C) coir fiber (13 wt%) in combination with

glass fiber (7 wt%) in polyester resin. In comparison to alkali treated (5%)

and bleached (65

C) coir hybrid composites, 10% AN-grafted coir hybrid

composites showed better tensile, flexural as well as impact strength. Also

water absorption tendency of the composite was decreased by surface

modification of fibers as well as hybridization with glass fibers.

Mishra et al (2003) studied the effect of 5% and 10% alkali

treatment, acetylation and cyanoethylation of E fibers on tension, flexural

and impact strength of E-glass composites with 24.3 E wt% and 5.7

glass wt% (optimum fiber contents) are studied. Among different chemical

treatments of E fibers, 5% alkali treatment produced optimum tensile and

impact strength, while cyanoethylation resulted in the maximum increase in

flexural strength in the hybrid composites. John and Naidu (2004) found that

for 50:50 E-glass hybrid composite, the effect of alkali treatment and silane

treatment does not showed any significant improvement in the impact

strength. However, a significant improvement in the compressive strength of

50:50 E-glass hybrid composite has been obtained from alkali and silane


Abdull-AL-Kafi et al (2006) investigated the mechanical properties

of E fiber-glass fiber reinforced unsaturated polyester hybrid composites

with and without the effect of surface modification to fibers by ultraviolet

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(UV) radiation. Their results revealed that best mechanical properties were

obtained when both E and glass fibers were UV pre-treated at optimum

intensities (UV intensities of 200 passes for bleached E surface and

intensities of 100 passes for glass surface) reinforced at optimum ratios (E

to glass of 1:3) in unsaturated polyester matrix. This gives 60% increase in

tensile strength, 33% increase in tensile modulus, 40% increase in bending

strength and 43% increase in bending modulus relative to untreated E/glass

hybrid composites. Also, optimum UV-treated E-glass based hybrid

composites at 1:3 weight ratio, showed the best charpy impact strength which
is 41% higher than untreated E-glass hybrid composites.




Numerous studies have been carried out to determine the changes in

the properties and performance of both natural and synthetic fiber reinforced

composites when they are exposed to moisture/or to elevated temperature.

Alfred and Springer (1979, 1980) investigated the moisture

absorption behavior of graphite-epoxy and E-glass-polyester composites

when immersed in liquids and in humid air. Rao et al (1981) investigated the

moisture absorption characteristics of E fiber composites based on polyester

and epoxy resin systems, under constant humidity (ø) and ambient

temperature (T) conditions. They found that the composite diffusivity is

increased with increased fiber volume fraction, whereas the time needed to

reach the equilibrium moisture absorption value showed a reversed trend.

This behavior is opposite to that observed in case of composites with

impermeable fibers like e.g., glass, graphite etc, in the same resin matrices.

Bonnian and Bunsell (1981) used single phase and two phase

diffusion models which are based on Fick’s law to study water diffusion
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behavior on glass-epoxy composites using three different hardener materials.

They showed that the first hardener material (diamine) followed single phase

diffusion, the second (dicyandiamide) followed two phase diffusion and the

third (anhydride) was found to degrade in the presence of water. The moisture

absorption by the laminates and its effect on flexural properties were studied

by Mohan and Kishore (1983, 1985) by immersing the flexural test specimens

in water for 145 h, after which the specimens were tested. The reduction in

strength is found to vary from 11.1% for E reinforced plastic to 2.7 % for

hybrid with higher glass volume fraction indicating that the hybrid possesses

superior resistance to moisture penetration.

The diffusion process in an epoxy composite containing dissimilar

forms (chopped and woven) of same reinforcement (glass) has been studied

by Singh et al (1991) Specimens were prepared by arranging the chopped mat

(CSM) and woven roving (WR) of glass in different sequences within the

laminate. They found that the laminate containing the alternative layers of

CSM and WR with woven roving as the top layer has the lowest diffusion co-

efficient. They also studied the effect of water absorption on short beam shear

strength of the composites for different periods of immersion and for different

fiber volume fractions. They reported that, higher the volume fraction in the
specimens, greater is degradation on exposure to wet environments.

The influence of water uptake on the mechanical properties, impact

properties and dimensional stability of E fiber-reinforced polypropylene

composites have been evaluated by Karmaker et al (1994) and Karmaker

(1996). E fibers being hydrophilic absorb a high amount of water causing

swelling of fibers. They suggested that swelling of E fibers in a composite

material can have positive effects on mechanical properties.

Bank (1995) reviewed the literature related to determining accelerated test

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methods for the prediction of long-term performance of FRP composite

materials for highway structural applications.

Thwe and Liao (2002, 2003) studied the effects of

environmental aging (at 25oC and accelerated conditions) on the mechanical

properties of vinyl este fiber composites (BFRP) and vinyl este-glass fiber hybrid

composites (BGRP). BFRP, after aging, showed greater reduction in tensile

and flexural properties than BGRP. The retention in these mechanical

properties was enhanced by using MAPP-PP matrix.

Danjaji et al (2002) have studied the degradation and moisture

uptake of sago-starch filled linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE)

composites. Degradation studies were conducted on samples exposed to

natural weathering, soil burial and enzymatic hydrolysis. They found

significant drop in the mechanical properties for all the three cases of

exposure. Imielinska et al (2004) studied the effect of water immersion aging

on low-velocity impact behavior of woven aramid-glass fiber-epoxy


Water absorption properties of aluminized E-glass fiber reinforced

unsaturated polyester composites have been investigated by Errajhi et al

(2005). They concluded that, at room temperature aluminized E-glass fiber

reinforced polyester composites exhibit significantly reduced water

absorption compared to unmetallised E-glass reinforced polyester composites.

Pothan and Thomas (2004) conducted studies on effect of hybridization of

glass fiber and chemical modification to banana fiber on water absorption

behavior of banana fiber-reinforced polyester composites.

Pothan et al (2005) analyzed the effect of fiber volume fraction,

layering pattern, and the weaving architecture on static and dynamic

properties of banana and glass fiber woven fabric reinforced polyester

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composites. The fabric was obtained using banana yarns in warp direction,
with alternate bundles of banana and glass yarns in fill direction. Huang et al

(2006) investigated the effect of water immersion on tensile and flexural

properties of glass-polyester composites. The three layered laminate were

fabricated by VARI (Vacuum Assisted Resin Injection) method. The tension

and flexural tests were conducted on samples immersed in water for 7, 14 and

21 days. The tension test results indicated that the tensile stress decreases with

increasing water immersion time. However, the bending resistance showed an

increasing trend with increasing water immersion time. They concluded that,

higher uptake of water in thin panels, and filling of voids and cracks with

water which acts as plasticizer favour the bending strength.

Yang et al (2006) determined the thickness swelling, water

absorption behavior and mechanical properties (tensile and izod impact

strength) of lignocelllosic filler (rice husk flour) - polyolefin bio-composites.

They reported that the thickness swelling and water absorption of the

bio-composites slightly increased as the filler loading increased. Sharma et al

(2006) presented the experimental results on weathering behavior in terms of

water absorption, thickness swelling and changes in physical properties of

glass-coir fiber reinforced polypropylene (PP) composites. Different sets of

experiments, namely, short duration soaking, long duration soaking, soaking

in boiling water, and UV were conducted.


A fiber reinforced composite may be quasi-isotropic, anisotropic or

orthotropic material depending on whether the fibers are randomly oriented,

oriented in one or more directions, or oriented in mainly two directions

perpendicular to each other. For fiber reinforced composite materials, the

relations between engineering constants are more complex. Numerous studies,

constituting mathematical modelling, development of algorithms,

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experimental techniques etc., have been undertaken to determine the elastic

properties of various kinds of composites (short fiber, unidirectional, plain

weave, satin weave, knitted fabric etc) in 2D and 3D conditions.

Ishikawa and Chou (1982) proposed three analytical models viz.,

mosaic model, fiber undulation model and bridging model for stiffness and

strength investigation of plain and satin weave composites. They applied the

mosaic model to hybrid satin weaves. Naughton et al (1985) experimentally

determined the elastic properties of 450 g/m

chopped strand glass mat (CSM)

and 800 g/m2 woven glass roving (WR) reinforced polyester laminae, using
tensile and rail shear tests. Also the elastic properties of both types of laminae

were predicted from resin and fiber properties and the fiber volume fraction

using the mechanics of materials approach. A comparison between the

experimental and predicted values has been made. They found that for CSM

laminate, the agreement between predicted and measured value of Young’s

modulus in longitudinal direction (EL) is reasonable, where as for transverse

direction (ET), a large deviation (15%) was noticed. Similar observation was

made with regard to the measured and predicted Poisson’s ratios. For woven

roving, the agreement in EL is excellent, while the measured value of ET is

about 15% lower than that predicted.

Hine et al (1993) evaluated three models for prediction of elastic

constants of short carbon fiber reinforced epoxy composites. The elastic

properties predicted by these models were compared with those obtained by

finite element technique. Excellent agreement was obtained for longitudinal

modulus. Transverse modulus indicated a deviation up to 17.9% between

modified Brody/Ward and finite element model. Transverse shear modulus

indicated a deviation of 25% between modified Brody/Ward and finite

element model and 34.7% between modified Brody/Ward and Wilczynski

model. Wilczynski and Lewinski et al (1995) presented an algorithm for

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obtaining numerical values of elastic constants of unidirectional fibrous

composites with both isotropic reinforcement, such as glass fibers and

monotropic reinforcement such as polyethylene.

Gommer et al (1996) investigated the elastic properties of knitted

fabric reinforced composites. Tensile and shear tests were performed as per

ASTM standards to determine the in-plane Young’s modulus, Poisson’s ratio

and shear modulus of different types of glass-epoxy warp-knitted fabric

composites. Young’s modulus predicted by Krenchel was up to 40% of the

test results and Poisson’s ratio predicted by Voigt and Reuss was not

significantly related to experimental values.

Chati et al (1998) determined the elastic constants of unidirectional

composites using boundary element method. Scida et al (1999) proposed an

analytical model called MESOTEX (Mechanical Simulation of Textile) for

predicting 3D elastic and failure properties of woven fiber composite

materials. The proposed model is a point-wise lamination approach which

uses the classical thin-laminate theory. Experimentally, Young’s modulii Ex,

Ey and Poisson’s ratio υxy were determined by tension test and shear modulus

Gxy was determined by shear test, using biaxial strain gauge instrumented on

the samples. The elastic properties predicted by the model were compared
with experimentally measured values for materials like E-glass-vinylester

plain weave composite, E-glass eight-harness satin weave/epoxy, 2/2 twill

E-glass woven fabric/epoxy, 2/2 twill carbon woven fabric/epoxy and 2/2

twill carbon/aramid woven fabric/epoxy hybrid composites. Their results

indicated reasonably good agreement between the measured and predicted


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Most of the engineering structures contain discontinuities like holes

or cracks which develop stress concentration at the vicinity of the

discontinuity, as a result of which the load carrying ability of the material will

significantly reduce. Linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM) is not

generally applicable to composite laminates for analyzing the fracture

behavior since the crack growth in these materials is not self similar. Hence

extensive research has been carried out to analyze the fracture behavior in

composite laminates with holes and cracks.

Whitney and Nuismer (1974) proposed the Point Stress Criterion

(PSC) and Average Stress Criterion (ASC) based on the normal stress
distribution adjacent to the notch edge. These criteria involve the parameters;

unnotched strength and a characteristic dimension. They assume that the

characteristic dimension is a material constant and is independent of the notch

size. Pipes et al (1979) consider that the characteristic dimension of PSC

model is not material constant and proposed a modified PSC model which

assumes an exponential relationship between the characteristic dimension and

the size of the discontinuity. Awerbuch et al (1985) presented a

comprehensive review of various fracture models for predicting notched

strength of the laminates. Notch sensitivity of graphite-epoxy fabric laminates

was experimentally investigated by Lagace (1986) by conducting tension test

on specimens made from woven fabric Prepregs and those of similar

construction made from unidirectional tape Prepregs. They showed that the

notch sensitivity of fabric laminates under tension is generally the same as

tape laminates of similar configuration.

Erikkson and Aronsson (1990) developed a new criterion called

Damage Zone Criterion (DZC) based on the assumption that a damage zone

is present in the maximum stress region of the laminate, when

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the tensile strength of the notched laminate reaches the tensile strength of the
unnotched laminate. Taking into account the stress redistribution by damage

development, an analytical expression was derived to predict the notched

strength on the basis of fundamental parameters unnotched strength, σ0 and

critical damage zone size, d0

*. They used the criterion for predicting the

notched strength of Graphite-epoxy laminates with holes and cracks and

showed that it provides an improved accuracy when compared with PSC.

Naik et al (1990) addressed the effect of the stacking sequence on the notch

sensitivity of unbalanced E-glass-epoxy fabric laminates. Kim and Kim

(1995) reported the effects of hole size and specimen width on the fracture

behavior of woven glass and woven carbon fabric composites.

Khatibi et al (1996, 1997) developed a new Effective Crack Growth

Model (ECGM) to evaluate the tensile residual strength of composite

laminates with a circular hole, based on stress redistribution and damage

growth. Soriano et al (1999) evaluated notch sensitivity of carbon-epoxy

fabric laminates with circular holes. They studied the effect of ± 45


on the notch sensitivity by testing six different lay ups with increasing number

of ± 45

layers ranging from (0)5 to (45)5. Belmonte et al (2001) conducted

studies on damage growth and fracture at circular holes in quasi-isotropic

laminates made from woven glass fabric in epoxy resin. In addition to Point

Stress Criteria (PSC) and Average Stress Criteria (ASC) models, they

predicted the notched strength by using Critical Damage Growth model

(CDG), which is developed based on the observation that an intense damage

zone near the notch edge propagates stably initially and then catastrophically

to failure. Fracture toughness Kc and unnotched laminate strength required for

prediction of notched strength by CDG were evaluated. The predicted notched

strength by PSC, ASC and CDG models were found to agree well with the

experimental observations.

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Characterization of fiber-reinforced composites for various loading

and geometric configurations has become a primary concern to the designers.

These composites may encounter impact loading either accidentally or in an

anticipated hostile service environment (Zhou 1998). The damage caused by

impact is a serious problem as it may severely reduce the integrity of the

structure (Leif et al 2001) which may lead to a significant strength reduction

in post-damage performance. Numerous studies have been carried to analyze

the response of the composite laminates to impact loading, damage resistance

and damage tolerance capability of the materials.

Cantwell et al (1990) examined the residual tensile properties of a

number of carbon fiber-epoxy laminates subjected to both low and high

velocity impact loading. By treating the zone of damage fibers as a sharp

crack of equivalent transverse length, a fracture mechanics type analysis was

applied to predict the post-impact tensile strength of the coupons.

Jang et al (1992) conducted study on impact and impact fatigue

behavior of graphite, Kevlar and glass-epoxy composites. The damage

tolerance of these materials was evaluated based on three parameters, viz. Ec,

b and Nc. Ec is the critical incident energy above which significant damage in

the form of delamination crack will occur to the composite in response to a

single impact. The parameter ‘b’ is the slope of (log Pm

N/ log Pm

o) versus

(log N) curve, where Pm

is the maximum load under repeated impact (N

impact), Pm

o is the maximum load under first impact and N is the number of

cycles. Smaller the value of ‘b’ means more damage resistant material. The

parameter ‘Nc’ is that value of number of cycles, at which the maximum load

and the curve slope begin to drop as N is increased further, indicating an

appreciable level of damage in the material. From the values of Ec, b and Nc,

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they concluded that glass-fiber composite possess the greatest damage

tolerance followed by Kevlar and then graphite-fiber composites.

Zhou (1995, 1996) performed investigation on two types of thick

glass fiber reinforced laminates viz. E-glass-polyester and S-glass-phenolic

resin laminates. The planar delamination and fiber breakage were found to be

the dominant damage mechanisms. They concluded that, using impact

response to predict the threshold values for damage initiation does not require

the examination of impacted specimens, and is significantly faster and

cheaper. Davis et al (1996) conducted low velocity impact test on woven

fabric glass-polyester laminates. The impacted laminates were tested statically

in compression to determine residual strength for the assessment of damage

tolerance. They found that, the impact response and energy absorption are
dependent on laminate geometries, and the initiation of damage can be

identified by using impact force without examining impacted specimens.

Soutis and Curtis (1996) predicted post-impact compressive strength

of CFRP laminated composites using fracture toughness model and compared

with the experimental results. They found good agreement between predicted

and experimental values with less than 10% error. Low velocity impact test

on woven carbon fiber-epoxy laminates, conducted by Siow and Shim (1998)

showed that the delamination and fiber breakage are the predominant failure

mechanisms in these composites.

Hirani et al (1998) studied the effect of fiber surface treatment and

temperature effect on impact response of woven glass-fabric

reinforced vinylester composites. In their first paper(effect of surface

treatment), fiber surface was treated with five different combinations of

silane coupling agents viz., 0.01, 0.4 and 1.0 wt% γ-MPS (γ-

methacryloxypropyltrimethoxy silane), methanol washed 0.4 wt% γ-MPS and

0.4 wt% γ-GPS (glycidoxypropyltrimethoxy silane). They concluded

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that, an increase in the γ – MPS silane concentration improves the damage

resistance and damage tolerance of the laminates in terms of incipient energy,

threshold energy and threshold damage width. In their second paper (effect of

temperature), the same laminates were tested at temperature ranging from -

65oC to 100oC, covering the extremes of the thermal performance range of

glass- fiber composite laminates for practical application. Temperature

control was achieved in an air-circulated environmental chamber. They

concluded that the damage area increases with increasing temperature,

indicating reduced damage resistance and damage tolerance of the laminates

at elevated temperature.

Sutherland and Soarcs (1999) investigated the effects of specimen

thickness, impactor kinetic energy and impact velocity on low velocity impact

damage in woven roving E-glass-polyester laminates made with 5 and 10

plies. From the maximum deflection versus incident energy plot, they found

that 10-ply specimens are stiffer than 5 ply. They concluded that through

simple assumption of a circular delamination area where the interlaminar

shear strength of the material is just exceeded at the circumference, a very

accurate estimate of the ILSS was made for the 5-ply tests. However, for 10-

ply specimens, the same method gave a value half this value since the

assumption of circular delamination did not hold for these tests.

Impact behavior and post impact compressive characteristics of

glass-carbon epoxy hybrid composites with alternate stacking sequence have

been investigated by Naik et al (2001). They observed that hybrid composites

are less notch sensitive and more damage tolerant than only carbon or only

glass composites. Sugun and Rao (2004) conducted low velocity impact tests

on glass, Kevlar and carbon fiber composites, under repeated drops. They

concluded that the repeated drop weight impact tests provide a very good

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understanding of the impact damage tolerance of the polymer composites.

Khondker et al (2004) proposed two methods to predict the compression-

after-impact (CAI) strength of glass knitted textile composites. In the first

method, linear regression analysis was used to establish a linear relationship

between damage width and CAI strength. The second method involved

idealizing the damage zone as a circular hole, and using point stress failure

criterion, the CAI was predicted. The predicted results were compared with

the measured CAI strengths and good agreement (less than 5% error) was


Hosur et al (2005) carried out experimental investigation on low-

velocity impact response of carbon-glass fabric epoxy hybrid composites. For

comparison purpose, carbon-epoxy and glass-epoxy laminates were also

fabricated and tested. From their study, they found that, hybrid composites

exhibited stiffness that was greater than that of glass-epoxy and less than that
of carbon-epoxy laminates. By providing glass fabric on the back surface,

impact response of hybrid laminates can be enhanced as glass fibers have

higher strain to failure. They concluded that the damage tolerance of the

structure can be greatly enhanced by hybridization.

Sutherland and Soarcs (2005) investigated the impact response of

rectangular low fiber volume hand laminated woven roving E-glass polyester

composite plates of different thickness. Both orthothalic and isophthalic resins

and different weights of woven roving with different degrees of fiber crimp

were considered. Impact, compression-after-impact and tensile stiffness

properties of Kevlar-carbon fiber sandwich composites were investigated

by Gustin et al (2005). Sandwich composite plates were constructed

with different combinations of Kevlar-carbon fiber and hybrid-carbon

fiber impact-side face sheets, with foam filled honeycomb core.

They concluded that addition of Kevlar and hybrid to the face sheet

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improved the maximum energy of 1K-4K (K-Kevlar) samples, by 10% and

5% respectively, when compared to composites with CF (carbon fiber) at the

face sheet.


• Most of the research work on natural fiber composites is

concerned with the use of natural fibers in short lengths,

chopped mat, or unidirectional form. Use of woven E fabric in

isothalic polyester resin has not been noticed in the literature.

• No single group of the researchers has completely characterized

the natural fiber or natural-synthetic fiber hybrid composites.

• Literature on natural-synthetic fiber hybrid composite is scanty.

• Most of the literature available on natural fiber-based

composites deals with only mechanical properties. Other

mechanical issues such as elastic properties, notch sensitivity,

impact behavior, damage characterization, fatigue behavior,

vibration characteristics, joining of composite, etc are discussed

only for synthetic fiber composites despite the recent increased

use of natural fibers in various automotive and other structural


• Marginal improvement in the mechanical properties with

surface modification as shown by most of the researchers may

not be a feasible attempt when the cost, time and effort involved

in surface modification of fibers by chemical treatment is taken

into consideration.
• Most of the models proposed in the past for prediction of elastic

properties have been mathematically very rigorous. Further, the

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literature in hand reveals that, neither the CLT nor the models

were applied to predict the elastic properties of E and E-

glass hybrid composites till date.

• Modelling of natural fiber or natural-glass fiber hybrid

composite by finite element technique has not been noticed in

the literature, mainly due to lack of input quantities such as

elastic constants.

• Applicability of the theories and correlations developed for

synthetic fiber composites, such as classical lamination theory,

fracture models for notch sensitivity prediction etc, has not been

investigated for natural or natural-synthetic fiber composites till