Tailoring the performance of bamboo filler reinforced epoxy composite: insights into fracture properties and fracture mechanism
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Due to the graded micro-structure and high specific strength-stiffness, bamboo micro fillers are systematically utilized in reinforcing different thermoset and thermoplastic polymers as replacement of conventional glass and carbon fillers. In this work, micro-size bamboo particle fillers are reinforced in ‘specific grade’ thermoset epoxy matrix and its fracture properties has been evaluated by following linear elastic fracture mechanics. To enhance its compatibility with the polymer matrix and to reduce the hydrophilicity, the bamboo micro fillers are surface modified through alkaline treatment. The extent of surface modification and removal of lower weight polymers from filler surface are examined and established by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction analysis and thermogravimetric analysis. The fracture properties of bamboo-epoxy composite material are observed to be increasing with the addition of bamboo fillers and the maximum value of fracture toughness is 0.678 MPa.m0.5 which is 32% higher than the same for neat epoxy samples. In addition, the mechanisms of notch initiated fracture propagation have also been explained for the understanding of stress singularity present at the preexisted crack tip.
KeywordsBamboo Particle filler Epoxy matrix Fracture toughness Binary phase
The authors would like to acknowledge SAIF-IIT Bombay and SAIC-Gauhati University for providing necessary technical assistances for FTIR and XRD. The authors also would like to thank Machine element laboratory and Material testing laboratory, MED, NIT Silchar for giving essential research facilities. The first author gratefully acknowledges the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), GOI for fellowship during his PhD work.
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Conflict of interest
The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
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