Flexural Strength of Banana Fibre Reinforced Epoxy Composites Produced through Vacuum Infusion and Hand Lay-Up Techniques - A Comparative Study
Natural fiber such as kenaf, sisal, pineapple leaf and banana are growing popular nowadays due to its favor over traditional glass fiber and inorganic material. It is a renewable resources and abundantly available in the market. The composites made of natural fiber are economical, lightweight and environmental friendly. This study works on producing a composite based on the Banana fiber reinforced epoxy resin by using the method of Vacuum Infusion and Hand Lay-up. Banana fiber will be treated with Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) and water solution for 1 hour and then dried in the oven for 24 hours at 100°C. The composite will be produce based on different fiber volume fraction of 20% and 40% as well as different fiber length of 127mm, and 63mm. In Vacuum Infusion process, a mold made of aluminium have been manufactured according to the size of specimens of 127mm x 12.7mm x 3.2mm in dimension will be used in the preparation of specimens. The specimens of different volume fraction and fiber length produced by vacuum infusion and hand lay-up method will be mechanically tested through flexural test. The highest flexural strength is the specimen made by vacuum infusion process with 40% volume fraction and 63mm fiber length, which is 136.27MPa while for the hand lay-up process, the highest flexural strength is 80.71 with 40% volume fraction and 63mm fiber length.
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