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Effect of Environmental Conditions on Flexural Strength and Fracture Toughness of Particulate Filled Glass-Epoxy Hybrid Composites

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DOI: 10.4236/msa.2016.711057    1,030 Downloads   1,608 Views


Multifunctional hybrid polymer composites were projected as novel solutions to meet the demands in various industrial applications ranging from automotive to aerospace. This investigation focuses on processing, flexural strength and fracture toughness characterization of the glass fabric reinforced epoxy (G-E) composites and graphite/fly ash cenosphere (FAC) modified interface between the epoxy matrix and glass fabric. Hand lay-up followed by compression moulding method was used to fabricate the laminates. Flexural and fracture toughness tests at room temperature, elevated temperature and cryogenic temperature were conducted to assess the flexural strength (FS) and mode-I plane-strain fracture toughness (KIC). The experimental and characterization efforts suggest that both graphite and FAC fillers improve bonding at the interface. The study showed that the graphite is more favorable for enhancing FS and KIC of G-E composites. Graphite filled G-E hybrid composites with significant FS and KIC to that of unfilled and FA filled G-E were successfully achieved by incorporating 10 wt% graphite. The incorporation of fillers resulted in improvement of FS, which increased by 43% and 37.7% for 10Gr+G-E and 10FAC+G-E hybrid composites respectively. All composites show a 26% improvement in KIC at cryogenic temperature and a decrease of 12.5% at elevated temperature. According to the SEM observations, fiber debonding from the matrix is suppressed due to the presence and uniform distribution of graphite. In addition, micro-pores, matrix shearing, active toughening mechanisms induced by graphite, such as crack deflection, layer breakage and delamination of graphite layers contributed to the enhanced KIC of hybrid G-E composites.

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Hulugappa, B. , Achutha, M. and Suresha, B. (2016) Effect of Environmental Conditions on Flexural Strength and Fracture Toughness of Particulate Filled Glass-Epoxy Hybrid Composites. Materials Sciences and Applications, 7, 710-729. doi: 10.4236/msa.2016.711057.

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