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Experimental investigation of fracture toughness for treated sisal epoxy composite

School of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Addis Ababa University, AAiT King George VI Street-385, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The aim of this work is to show the fracture toughness behavior of sisal reinforced epoxy composite using fracture toughness testing method by including most important fracture mechanics parameters which is called stress intensity factor K.
The fracture toughness tests of chopped sisal fiber reinforced epoxy composite materials were carried out using test samples which were prepared according to the ASTM standard. The samples have been fabricated by using the epoxy resin (AY-105) as a matrix and the hardener (HY-951) and the chopped sisal fiber as a reinforcement material with the 15%, 25%, 30%, 35% and 40% fiber weight fraction, random oriented chopped fibers by using hand layup fabrication technique.
The experimental results justify that the 30/70 composition of fiber and matrix has superior fracture characteristics with KIC of 5.54 MPa·m1/2 and critical strain energy release rate (GIC) of 13.72 MPa·mm and results of this study indicate that using chopped sisal fibers as reinforcement in polymer matrix could successfully develop a composite material in terms of high strength and rigidity for light weight material.
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