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Mechanical Properties and Durability of Jute Reinforced Thermosetting Composites

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Jute fibers are used as reinforcement in various polymer matrices for the development of environmental friendly composite materials. It can be used as short fibers, slivers and in the form of woven fabrics. This agro-based fiber has favorable physico-mechanical properties which makes it suitable for reinforcement. This work aims at investigating its suitability as reinforcement for different thermosetting polymers and to study the durability and mechanical performance of the composites obtained. In the present investigation, composites were prepared from modified (bleached and alkali treated) and natural (unmodified) jute fabrics and thermosetting resins (epoxy and unsaturated polyester) using a hand lay-up technique. Their properties were evaluated and compared. The effect of chemical modification on the properties (mechanical, hygrothermal and water absorption) and surface morphology were studied. The compatibility of jute with epoxy matrix was found to be better than that with the polyester matrix. It was observed that optimum tensile strength (62.2 MPa) and tensile modulus (7.1 GPa) were achieved in the case of natural jute-epoxy composites. Bleached jute-epoxy composites had the maximum flexural strength 113.2 MPa and flexural modulus 5.8 GPa. The alkali treatment of the jute fabrics resulted in increased impact performance of the composites in both resin systems. Chemical treatment of jute fabrics improved the mechanical, hygrothermal and water absorption properties of resulting composites, irrespective of resin matrix. A good correlation between surface morphology and mechanical properties of the composites was observed through scanning electron microscopy of their fracture surfaces.
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Keywords: EPOXY; HYGROTHERMAL; JUTE; POLYESTER; THERMOSETTING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2007

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  • The goal of the creation of a biobased economy is challenging to agriculture, forestry, academia, government and industry. The extractable resources of the Earth are finite, regardless of the quibble over when they will be depleted. The economic, political and social demands for biobased chemicals, materials and energy are expected to radically transform the materials industries, particularly the plastics industry as well as the biofuel industry. These changes will be based on the principles of sustainability, eco-efficiency, industrial ecology, and green chemistry and engineering. In keeping with the growth of knowledge in this field, there is a strong need for a forum to share original research related to biobased materials and bioenergy. The Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy (JBMB) has been created as an international peer-reviewed periodical to fulfill the need for communication in these research areas. This journal will encompass related research activities in all fields of science, engineering and the life sciences.
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