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Chapter 1 Introduction

Composite

Particulate Fibrous

Randomly Preferred Single Multi Layer


Oriented Oriented Layer

Continuous Discontinuous Hybrid


and Long and Short Laminated Laminate
Fiber Fiber d

Figure 1.1: Classification of composites

1.1.1 Synthetic Composites


In a class of synthetic composites, numerous advantages occur such as high strength, high
stiffness, low thermal expansion coefficients, and high heat resistance. Glass, carbon,
graphite, and aramid synthetic fibers are generally used in the synthetic composite. These
synthetic fibers possess high stiffness and structural properties as low thermal expansion
coefficients, high heat resistance, and high stiffness. High-performance engineering
structures usually made of synthetic composites. Glass fiber is most commonly used fiber
having advantages including low cost, high chemical resistance, and high strength.

The advantages of graphite fiber include low coefficient of thermal expansion, high
fatigue strength, high specific strength, and modulus. Graphite fibers are commonly used
in high strength and high-modulus applications such as aircraft components.

2
Chapter 1 Introduction

Figure 1.3 Luffa cylindrica with and without outer peel

Luffa is a suitable natural fiber and has been successfully used in bio-sorption of heavy
metal from waste water. Sponge Guard is being used as a shock absorber, utensils
cleaning, packaging industry. Very limited information was available in literatures
regarding its structure and properties. The fruit of luffa cylindrica is also used for medical
purpose.

Properties of natural fibers are greatly influenced by the amount of chemical


composition presented, such as strength and stiffness varies based on cellulose present in
the fiber, the presence of hemicellulose controls moisture absorption and thermal
degradation while lignin influence the thermal stability. There are three different
mechanisms by which moisture absorption in natural composites can be happen, one is
diffusion in which water molecules diffuse through the micro-gaps in the polymer chain,
second is capillary transport due to the incomplete wettability and impregnation and last is
the capillary transport by micro cracks in the matrix formed during the compounding
process.

1.3 Fiber treatment


Despite of many advantages of natural fibers, their hydrophilic nature is one of the main
disadvantages. Natural fibers also show poor dimensional stability when it is exposed to
the environment, hence before using these natural composites in outdoor applications, it is
necessary to investigate their mechanical and physical behaviour under different
weathering conditions like saline water, sunlight, and humidity. These natural fibers
absorb moisture whenever they exposed to the humid environment, this moisture had an
adverse effect on composites reinforced with natural fibers and decrease their properties.
For example, moisture absorption by natural fiber reinforced in composite decreases its

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Chapter 4

Fabrication of Composite
Luffa fiber reinforced epoxy composite has been prepared by using hand lay-up technique.
Hand lay-up technique is one of the simplest and labor intensive techniques Fibers used in
this study was collected from Rourkela, Odisha, India and shown in Figure 4.1. Firstly the
outer surface of luffa cylindrica was removed as shown in Figure 4.2 after that luffa fibers
were cut carefully to separate inner core from the outer core.

Figure 4.1 Luffa cylindrica fruit

Figure 4.2 Luffa fiber fruit after removing outer peel

Luffa cylindrica has to be chemically treated before using because of their hydrophilic
nature. For this treatment purpose, alkaline treatment was used. Prior to treatment mats
were washed in purified tap water and then dried at room temperature to remove any
foreign impurities and dirt. In alkaline treatment, fiber mat was soaked in a 5% NaOH
solution for 4 hours, after that these mats were washed in tap water three to four times
followed by washing with distilled water. Than these fibers were dried under room

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Chapter 4 Fabrication of Composite

temperature for 24 hours and 3 hours under sun light. These fibers were chopped in size of
2-5 mm after all above mentioned processes and these chopped fibers were used for
making the composite plate.

Figure 4.3 Chopped luffa fibers

Alkaline treatment is one of the most widely used fiber treatment process in which
fibers were soaked in concentrated NaOH solution of specific concentration for a
particular time period. In this treatment certain amount of lignin, wax and oil covering to
the external surface of fiber cells are removed. The most important modification done by
alkaline treatment is the dispersion of hydrogen bonding present in the fiber structure,
thereby decreasing the hydrophilic nature of fibers. The addition of aqueous sodium
hydroxide (NaOH) to natural fiber promotes the ionization of the hydroxyl group to the
alkoxide.

Fiber −OH +NaOH → Fiber−O−Na +H2O


Material required for composite preparation are epoxy resin, hardener, and natural
fiber. The type of epoxy resin used in this study is L-12. The main advantages of epoxy is
that it produce low shrinkage during curing and can be partially cured and stored in that
state. Epoxy resin have high thermal and mechanical properties such as it has high glass
transition temperature, high thermal stability, and good moisture resistance. Epoxy resin
has density of 1.2 g/cm3 and viscosity of 11000-14000 MPs-s.

A composite plate of dimension 27cm x 27cm x 5mm is prepared shown in Figure 4.4
with a various weight ratio of fiber and epoxy. For composite preparation, a mold is
prepared as shown in Figure 4.5. A mold releasing sheet is placed on the surface of the
mold, and a mold releasing spray is also applied on the inner surface of the mold for the

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Chapter 4 Fabrication of Composite

easy removal of the composite plate. A corresponding hardener is also mixed in the epoxy
resin in a ratio of 1:10 by weight.

(a)
(b)

(c)
Figure 4.4 Prepared composite plate with different weight fraction (a) 3.2 % weight fraction, (b)
6.4 % weight fraction, and (c) 9.6 % weight fraction

Figure 4.5 Mould prepared for composite preparation

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Chapter 5

Results and Discussion


5.1 Evaluation of mechanical properties

Tensile testing of luffa fiber reinforced composite was conducted on a computerized


Universal Testing Machine (INSTRON) as shown in Figure 5.1. The specimens used was
prepared according to ASTM standards and shown in Figure 5.2. Testing for four different
weight fraction is done using three samples of each as shown in Figure 5.3. It is observed
that as the increase in weight fraction results increase in tensile modulus.

Figure 5.1 Tensile testing using UTM (INSTRON)

Fiber content and fiber strangth are the main contributers to the strength of composite.
It is observed that as the increase in weight fraction results increase in tensile modulus. It
is also seen that, there is a gradual increment in the tensile modulus of the luffa fiber
composite.

23
Chapter 5 Results and Discussion

Figure 5.2 Specimen prepared for tensile test

5 5.56
Tensile modulus

4.95
4.71
4
4.27
3

0
0 3.2 6.4 9.6
Weight fraction

Figure 5.3 variation of tensile modulus against weight fraction

5.2 Convergence and Validation Study

This section contains convergence and validation study of present developed model.
Results of the current model are compared with those available published results to
validate the present model. The material property and boundary condition are taken same
and results from (Reddy and Phan, 1985) are compared with current results as shown in
Table 5.1. For convergence study, the size of the element is varied and non-dimensional
fundamental frequency is computed. The convergence study of vibration behaviour is
presented in Figure 5.4 for all edges simply supported (SSSS) and Figure 5.5 for one edge

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Chapter 5 Results and Discussion

clamped and other edges free support (CFFF) conditions of an isotropic plate. In Figure
5.4 the non-dimensional fundamental frequency response is computed for plate having
(Wf= 9.6, and a/h =10) for different aspect ratio (a/b= 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5). The frequency
parameters are non-dimensionalized as


   a2
Eh2

where,  = 1000 kg/m3, and E = 109 Pa


Non-dimensional fundamental frequency

300 a/h= 10, SSSS, Wf=9.4


a/b=1 a/b=1.5
250 a/b=2 a/b=2.5

200

150

100

50
2 4 6 8 10 12
Mesh size

Figure 5.4 Convergence study of simply supported composite plate (Wf= 9.6, and a/h =10)

Similarly, study is done for (a/b= 1 and a/h =10) by varying weight fraction and shown
in Figure 5.5. It is observed from this study that (10×10) mesh size gives desired response
effectively for both the cases. Hence, (10×10) mesh size is used for all computational
study in this work.

25
Chapter 5 Results and Discussion

a/b=1, a/h=10, CFFF

Non-dimensional fundamental frequency


Wf = 0 Wf= 3.4
12.6 Wf= 6.5 Wf= 9.4
12.4
12.2
12.0
11.8
11.6
11.4
11.2
11.0
10.8
2 4 6 8 10 12
Mesh size

Figure 5.5 Convergence study of simply supported composite plate (a/b= 1 and a/h =10)

5.3 Effect of aspect ratio

The non-dimensional fundamental frequency response of isotropic plates is presented for


four different weight fraction (Wf =0, 3.2, 6.4, 9.6) and four different aspect ratio (a/b= 1,
1.5, 2, 2.5) in Figure 5.6 (a)-(d). The non-dimensional fundamental frequency behaviour is
plotted for four different boundary conditions CFCF, CCCC, CFFF, and SSSS in
Figureure 5.6 (a)-(d) respectively. From Figure 5.6 it is observed that in CFCF and CFFF
support condition the non-dimensional fundamental frequency decreases as aspect ratio
increases while for CCCC and SSSS support conditions non-dimensional fundamental
frequency increases as aspect ratio increases. This behaviour of frequency is because of
that fact, in CFCF and CFFF boundary conditions stiffness decreases and for CCCC and
SSSS boundary conditions stiffness increases as aspect ratio decreases or increases
respectively. It is also observed that as the weight fraction increases non-dimensional
fundamental frequency response also increases for all boundary conditions.

26
Chapter 5 Results and Discussion

Non-dimensional fundamental frequency


80

Non-dimensional fundamental frequency


a/h=10, CFCF
500 a/h=10, CCCC
78 Wf=0 Wf=3.2
Wf=0 Wf=3.2
Wf=6.4 Wf=9.6
76 Wf=6.4 Wf=9.6
400
74
300
72

70
200
68

66 100

1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5


Aspect ratio Aspect ratio

(a) CFCF (b) CCCC


Non-dimensional fundamental frequency

Non-dimensional fundamental frequency


13.0 a/h=10, CFFF
240 a/h=10, SSSS
Wf=0 Wf=3.2
Wf=0 Wf=3.2
12.5 Wf=6.4 Wf=9.6
200 Wf=6.4 Wf=9.6

12.0
160

11.5 120

11.0 80

10.5 40
1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5
Aspect ratio Aspect ratio

(c) CFFF (d) SSSS


Figure 5.6 Effect of aspect ratio on non-dimensional fundamental frequency for different boundary
conditions

5.4 Effect of thickness ratio

The variation of the non-dimensional fundamental frequency response of isotropic plates


for different thickness ratio by considering same material property and boundary
conditions is studied. The non-dimensional fundamental frequency response for varying
thickness ratio (a/h = 5, 10, 20, 40, 80) under four different support conditions CFCF,
CCCC, CFFF, SSSS is shown in Figure 5.7 (a)-(d) respectively for various weight
fractions. It is observed that as the thickness ratio increases non-dimensional fundamental
frequency also increases for all support conditions. It is also observed that as 9.6 weight
fraction shows the maximum non-dimensional fundamental frequency and pure epoxy
shows minimum non-dimensional fundamental frequency.

27
Chapter 5 Results and Discussion

Non-dimensional fundamental frequency


85

Non-dimensional fundamental frequency


130
80

120
75

70 110

65 a/b=1, CFCF 100


Wf=0 Wf=3.2 a/b=1, CCCC
Wf=0 Wf=3.2
60 Wf=6.4 Wf=9.6 90
Wf=6.4 Wf=9.6

55 80
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
Thickness ratio Thickness ratio

(a) CFCF (b) CCCC


Non-dimensional fundamental frequency

Non-dimensional fundamental frequency


12.5
72
70
12.0
68

11.5 66
64
11.0 62
60 a/b=1, SSSS
a/b=1, CFFF
10.5 Wf=0 Wf=3.2 58 Wf=0 Wf=3.2
Wf=6.4 Wf=9.6 56 Wf=6.4 Wf=9.6
10.0 54
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
Thickness ratio Thickness ratio

(c) CFFF (d) SSSS


Figure 5.7 Effect of thickness ratio on non-dimensional fundamental frequency for different
boundary conditions

5.5 Effect of boundary condition

The non-dimensional fundamental frequency response for isotropic plate under different
support conditions is studied in Figure 5.8 and 5.9. In Figure 5.8 the effect of support
condition is examined for four aspect ratios (a/b = 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5) under (Wf =9.6 and a/h
=10). It is observed from the Figure 5.8 that as the aspect ratio increases the non-
dimensional fundamental frequency also increases considerably for CCCC and SSSS
support conditions while the increment in non-dimensional fundamental frequency for
CFFF and CFCF support conditions is negligible. It is also observed, CCCC support
condition gives maximum non-dimensional fundamental frequency and CFFF gives
minimum non-dimensional fundamental frequency. This is because of the fact that, as
aspect ratio increases in CCCC boundary condition width (b) of plate decreases keeping

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Chapter 5 Results and Discussion

length (a) fixed for increasing aspect ratio the two opposite supports comes closer to each
other, this results in increasing the stiffness of the plate.

Non-dimensional fundamental frequency


a/h=10, Wf= 9.6
500 SSSS CFFF
CCCC CFCF
400

300

200

100

0
1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5
Aspect ratio

Figure 5.8 Effect of support conditions on non-dimensional fundamental frequency for varying
aspect ratio

In Figure 9, non-dimensional fundamental frequency for varying thickness ratio (a/h =


5, 10, 20, 40, 80) is plotted. It is concluded from the Figure that CCCC support condition
shows the maximum non-dimensional fundamental frequency and CFFF support condition
shows minimum non-dimensional fundamental frequency for increasing thickness ratio. It
is also observed from the Figure 5.9 that non-dimensional fundamental frequency for
CCCC, SSSS and CFCF support condition increases considerably while the non-
dimensional fundamental frequency for CFFF support condition remains approximately
constant as thickness ratio increases. This is due to the fact that, as the thickness ratio
increases the plate will become thinner and thinner hence this will decrease the stiffness of
the plate result in incresing the displacement and decreasing in the natural frequency but
due to non-dimensionalization of natural frequency responces are reversed and non-
dimensional fundamental frequency increases as thickness ratio increases.

29
Chapter 5 Results and Discussion

Non-dimensional fundamental frequency


140

120 a/b=1, Wf= 9.4


SSSS CFFF
100
CCCC CFCF

80

60

40

20

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
Thickness ratio

Figure 5.9 Effect of support conditions on non-dimensional fundamental frequency for varying
thickness ratio

5.6 Effect of weight fraction

In this section, the effect of weight fraction on non-dimensional fundamental frequency is


discussed as shown in Figure 5.10 and 5.11. In Figure 5.10 the effect of weight fraction on
non-dimensional fundamental frequency for different aspect ratio (a/b = 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5) and
two different support conditions CCCC and SSSS is shown. It is observed from the Figure
5.10 that non-dimensional fundamental frequency increases for both support conditions
and all aspect ratios as weight fraction increases. It is also observed that more the aspect
ratio more will be the non-dimensional fundamental frequency for both support
conditions. The non-dimensional fundamental frequency for CCCC support condition is
more as compared to SSSS support condition for same aspect ratio. The aspect ratio of 2.5
of CCCC boundary condition shows maximum non-dimensional fundamental frequency
and aspect ratio of 1 of SSSS boundary condition shows minimum non-dimensional
fundamental frequency.

30
Chapter 5 Results and Discussion

Non-dimensional fundamental frequency


500
a/h=10
CCCC SSSS
450
a/b= 1 a/b= 1.5 a/b= 1 a/b= 1.5
a/b= 2 a/b= 2.5 a/b= 2 a/b= 2.5
400

350

300

250

200

150

100

50
0 2 4 6 8 10

Weight fraction

Figure 5.10 Effect of weight fraction on non-dimensional fundamental frequency for varying
aspect ratio under CCCC and SSSS support conditions

Similarly, the effect of weight fraction on non-dimensional fundamental frequency for


different thickness ratio (a/h = 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5) and two different support conditions CCCC
and SSSS is shown in Figure 5.11. It is observed from the Figure 5.11 that non-
dimensional fundamental frequency increases for both support conditions and all thickness
ratios as weight fraction increases. The thickness ratio of 80 of CCCC boundary condition
shows maximum non-dimensional fundamental frequency and thickness ratio of 5 of
SSSS boundary condition shows minimum non-dimensional fundamental frequency. It is
also observed that more the thickness ratio more will be the non-dimensional fundamental
frequency for both support conditions. The non-dimensional fundamental frequency for
CCCC support condition is more as compared to SSSS support condition for same
thickness ratio.

31
Chapter 5 Results and Discussion

Non-dimensional fundamental frequency


a/b=1
CCCC SSSS
200 a/h=5 a/h=5
a/h=10 a/h=10
a/h=20 a/h=20
160 a/h=40 a/h=40
a/h=80 a/h=80
120

80

40
0 2 4 6 8 10
Weight fraction

Figure 5.11 Effect of weight fraction on non-dimensional fundamental frequency for varying
thickness ratio under CCCC and SSSS support conditions

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CHAPTER 6

Closure
6.1 Conclusion Remark
Free vibration behaviour of natural fiber composite is computed in this work including the
development of an environmental chamber to analyse the mechanical behaviour of
composites under different environmental conditions. A mathematical model base on first
order shear deformation theory is also developed taking into account the thermal and
moisture coefficients. Composite plate having different weight fractions are prepared
using natural fiber (Luffa cylindrica) and tensile test of specimens cutted from these plates
are also done.

The effect of various geometrical parameters such as aspect ratio, thickness ratio,
boundary conditions, and weight fraction of fiber is investigated using finite element
package ANSYS APDL 17.0.

The general and more detailed conclusion of results obtained from current study are as
follows:

 From above study it is concluded that for luffa fiber composite increases in aspect
ratio results in increase in non-dimensional fundamental frequency for CCCC and
SSSS support conditions because of the fact that, as thickness ratio increases
keeping length constant stiffness also increases, while non-dimensional
fundamental frequency decreases for CFFF and CFCF support conditions because
stiffness decreases.
 As thickness ratio increases fundamental frequency decreases for all support
conditions because plate become thinner results in decrease of stiffness, but due to
non-dimensional terms the effect of thickness ratio reversed and non-dimensional
fundamental frequency increases as thickness ratio increases.
 Increase in the constraint degree of freedome results in increases of natural
frequency of composit plate.

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