Mechanical properties of denim fabric reinforced poly(lactic acid)
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- Lee, J.T., Kim, M.W., Song, Y.S. et al. Fibers Polym (2010) 11: 60. doi:10.1007/s12221-010-0060-6
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Denim, a twilled cotton fabric, was used to enhance the mechanical and thermal properties of poly(lactic acid) (PLA). The denim fabric reinforced composites with different numbers of denim layers were fabricated by using a hand layup method. The impact, tensile, and dynamic mechanical properties of the composites were observed with increasing denim layers to examine the reinforcing effect of denim fabrics. Numerical analysis was carried out to model the elastic modulus of the composite by using a commercial software. Three-dimensional geometry of the denim fabric reinforced PLA composite was generated through a CAD program, and the elastic modulus was calculated by applying uniform deformation on one surface. The impact strength, tensile strength, and thermal properties of the composites were improved by piling denim fabrics. The denim fabric reinforced composites exhibited outstanding impact strength due to the retarded crack propagation as well as large energy dissipation. The 3 layer denim reinforced composite showed best results among all specimens, and its impact strength, tensile strength, and tensile modulus were measured to be 82 J/m, 75.76 MPa, and 4.65 GPa, respectively. The PLA/denim composites have good mechanical properties and can substitute traditional composites such as glass fiber or carbon fiber reinforced composites.