The concept of hybridization of natural fibre composites with synthetic fibres is attracting increasing scientific attention. The present study addresses the flexural properties of hybrid flax/glass/epoxy composites to demonstrate the potential benefits of hybridization. The study covers both experimental and theoretical assessments. Composite laminates with different hybrid fibre mixing ratios and different layer configurations were manufactured, and their volumetric composition and flexural properties were measured. The relationship between volume fractions in the composites is shown to be well predicted as a function of the hybrid fibre mixing ratio. The flexural modulus of the composites is theoretically assessed by using micromechanical models and laminate theory. The model predictions are compared with the experimentally determined flexural properties. Both approaches show that the flexural modulus of the composites is consistently increased when the flax fibre fabrics are replaced by glass fibre fabrics from the inner layers to the outer layers. The observed deviations between the experimental and theoretical values are explained by the simplifying model assumptions applied for the configuration of the composites, in particular the flax fibre composites. This needs to be addressed in further work.
Acta Mechanica, 2014, Vol 225, Issue 10, p. 2775-2782
Main Research Area:
3rd Asian Conference on Mechanics of Functional Materials and Structures (ACMFMS 2012)