In-Plane Damage Analysis of Hybrid Kevlar/Flax/Epoxy Composites
Natural fibers have recently seen a rise in popularity due to their low cost, biodegradability and relatively comparable properties to traditional (i.e. synthetic) fibers. While they are limited in their usage in today’s industry because of some disadvantages such as their high water absorption rate, and incompatibility with hydrophobic matrices, hybridization can be utilized to improve their properties, while maintaining low cost and environmental impact. This study aims at analyzing and characterizing the damaged response of flax fibers combined with Kevlar weaved fibers in a sandwich structure. To investigate the stiffness and inelasticity evolution, test specimens were subjected to multiple load-unload sequences at progressively increasing maximum loads until failure. The test results show that damage evolution is not always proportional to loading or inelastic strain accumulation. Reported data show that hybridization offers significant reductions in damage and inelasticity accumulation, and can be further implemented into the industry for general engineering applications.
Keywords- Kevlar/Flax, Hybrid, Damage, Stiffness