Synergistic Enhancement of the Mechanical Properties of Epoxy-Based Coir Fiber Composites through Alkaline Treatment and Nanoclay Reinforcement

Puneethraj Hebbalu Puttaswamygowda, Sathyashankara Sharma, Achutha Kini Ullal, Manjunath Shettar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study explores the synergistic effects of incorporating coir fibers and nanoclay into epoxy resin composites. Coir, a renewable and cost-effective natural fiber, undergoes an alkaline treatment to influence its ability to form strong interfacial bonding with the epoxy matrix. To further enhance the mechanical properties of the composite, montmorillonite nanoclay, surface-modified with aminopropyltriethoxysilane and octadecyl amine, is introduced. The research investigates different combinations of coir fiber content (20, 30, and 40 wt%) and nanoclay loading (0, 2, and 4 wt%) with epoxy resin. The composites are fabricated through an open molding process, and the mechanical properties are evaluated using tensile and flexural tests according to the ASTM D638 and D7264 standards, respectively. The tensile and flexural strengths of the 40 wt% coir fiber-reinforced epoxy composite are found to be 77.99 MPa and 136.13 MPa, which are 44% and 23% greater than pure epoxy, respectively. Furthermore, the strengths displayed a 23% improvement in tensile strength with 4 wt% and a 31.4% improvement in flexural strength with 2 wt% nanoclay as additional reinforcement. Scanning electron microscopy is employed for fractographic analysis of the fractured specimens from the tensile test. The study underscores the importance of understanding the interplay between natural fibers, nanoclay, and epoxy resin for optimizing the composite’s performance in real-world applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number66
JournalJournal of Composites Science
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 02-2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)

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