Developing a novel manufacturing technique for manufacturing natural fibre reinforced thermoplastics

Kazmi, S, Das, R, Bickerton, S and Jayaraman, K 2012, 'Developing a novel manufacturing technique for manufacturing natural fibre reinforced thermoplastics', in P. A. Kelly, S. Bickerton, P. Lescher, Q. Govignon (ed.) Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Flow Processing in Composite Materials (FPCM-11), Auckland, New Zealand, 9-12 July 2012, pp. 478-486.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title Developing a novel manufacturing technique for manufacturing natural fibre reinforced thermoplastics
Author(s) Kazmi, S
Das, R
Bickerton, S
Jayaraman, K
Year 2012
Conference name FPCM-11
Conference location Auckland, New Zealand
Conference dates 9-12 July 2012
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Flow Processing in Composite Materials (FPCM-11)
Editor(s) P. A. Kelly, S. Bickerton, P. Lescher, Q. Govignon
Publisher Plymouth University
Place of publication United Kingdom
Start page 478
End page 486
Total pages 9
Abstract Natural fiber reinforced thermoplastics have gained importance because of their light weight, good mechanical properties and sustainability. Many techniques to manufacture these composites use matched moulds and presses, requiring high setup cost. The focus of this study is to develop a novel manufacturing technique for fibre reinforced thermoplastics, which involves consolidation of laminates under a flexible vacuum bag inside an oven. With a comparatively lesser capital expenditure, this technique is expected to be cost effective in producing complex shaped parts. It would be too expensive to invest on matched moulds for parts that are not produced at a large scale (e.g. one-off production). An experimental study is presented on flax fibre reinforcement, consolidated with PP (PP). Thickness, pressure and temperature of laminates along with the applied temperature and pressure were monitored during the experiment. Thicknesses of manufactured laminates were measured with a micrometer to calculate the achieved fiber volume fraction. The crosssections of laminates were examined under an optimal microscope to examine the quality of consolidation. Two variations in the manufacturing technique were explored, where vacuum was applied to the mould differently with respect to time and quantity. The results showed that this manufacturing technique can produce parts at the highest possible fibre volume fraction. There was no significant difference in achieved thickness/fibre volume fraction for the two variations/methods studied. One of the two methods was recommended because of its convenience. Moreover, the importance of flax and PP sheet layup was found during this study. This work will contribute to developing a practical method to produce natural fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites with double curved surfaces and desired mechanical properties.
Subjects Composite and Hybrid Materials
Keyword(s) Sheet consolidation
vacuum compaction
natural fibre
thermoplastics
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