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Mercerized Milletia sp Fiber – Epoxy Composites: Fiber Loading, Aspect Ratio and Mechanical Properties

Uzondu Francis Nnamuzie, Onukwuli Dominic Okechukwu, Azeez Taofik Oladimeji, Osoka C. Emmanuel, Obibuenyi John Ifeanyi

Abstract


The fiber loading capacity and poor adhesion between fibers and matrix remains an area of concern in fiber polymer composites. The fiber loading capacity and aspect ratio of mercerized milletia sp fiber on mechanical properties (tensile strength, tensile modulus, tensile toughness, elongation, flexural and impact strength) of Milletia sp fiber epoxy composites was investigated. Milletia sp fiber was extracted using water retting approach. The extracted fiber was mercerized at optimum treatment conditions of 5.84 wt% NaOH and 42.58mins. The epoxy composite samples were prepared using hand layup method for epoxy 103 and amine hardner in a ratio 2: 1 and commingled with untreated and treated fiber, respectively, at optimum treatment conditions. The fiber loading of 10 – 50 wt% and aspect ratio of 42.68 – 213.38 mm/mm were used. The mechanical properties of mercerized milletia sp fiber epoxy composite were determined and optimized using RSM of MATLAB statistical tool box. The tensile strength, tensile modulus, toughness, elongation, flexural strength and impact strength for epoxy resin was 44.2 MPa, 1.9716 GPa, 0.8177 MPa, 3.1%, 85.4 MPa and 360 Kj/m2, respectively. At optimum aspect ratio and fiber loading, the mercerized milletia sp fiber increased the tensile strength, tensile modulus, toughness, elongation, flexural strength and impact strength of the epoxy resin by 46.38, 77.75, 97.99, 18.81, 125.06 and 217.78%, respectively. Thus, mercerized Milletia sp fiber enhanced the mechanical properties of epoxy composites.


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