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Title: The Potential of Bast Natural Fibres as Reinforcement for Polymeric Composite Materials in Building Applications
Authors: Węcławski, Bartosz Tomasz
Advisors: Fan, M
Keywords: Tensile strength;Weathering;Long fibres;Filament winding;Compression moulding
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: Natural fibre composites (NFCs), which are polymers reinforced with cellulosic bast fibres, have the potential to be applied into a range of building products. They are seen as an alternative to glass fibre reinforced plastics (GFRP) in some applications, because of natural fibres (NF) relatively high strength and low density. Moreover, natural fibres have a set of beneficial traits, such as thermal insulation, thermal stability, biodegradability, and are inherently renewable. Those characteristics are of importance when NF are used as reinforcements in polymer composites, but developments in mechanical performance, reliability and economic viability are still required in order to be adopted fully by industry. The goal of this thesis was the development of a processing methodology for NFC laminate and subsequent material characterisation to assess the developed material suitability for building applications. Research objectives included materials selection, processing route development for laminates and tubes, manufacture of NFC laminates and analysis of mechanical properties in order to find an optimal composition. Hemp and flax fibres were selected as the reinforcement, because both have high mechanical properties and are important bast fibre crops in the European region with established cultivation and processing methods. As a matrix, fossil-fuel based and partially bio-derived thermoset resin systems were used. Handling and processing methodologies were developed for laminates and composite tubes based on filament winding and compression moulding techniques. The effects of the selected factors, namely material composition, volume fraction, processing parameters, reinforcement linear density, yarn twist, lamination sequence, yarn waviness and hybrid hemp-wool reinforcement were subsequently described in mechanical properties analysis of laminates. The influence of weathering conditions on the mechanical performance of the NFCs was examined. Furthermore, a study of NFC tubes under compression was performed. Results showed that the developed laminates reinforced with NF yarns have sufficient mechanical properties to be utilised in sandwich panels and/or tubes. However, a low resistance to moisture-related weathering restricts the developed NFCs for indoor applications.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Civil Engineering
Dept of Mechanical Aerospace and Civil Engineering Theses

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