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Natural Fibre-Reinforced Polymer Composites and Nanocomposites for Automotive Applications

  • James NjugunaEmail author
  • Paul Wambua
  • Krzysztof Pielichowski
  • Kambiz Kayvantash
Chapter

Abstract

Natural fibre-reinforced composites have recently received much attention because of their attractive properties such as lightweight, non-abrasive, combustible, non-toxic, low cost and biodegradable. This chapter examines the applications of natural fibre-reinforced composites and nanocomposites in automotive structural applications. Various applied and promising natural fibre-reinforced composites and nanocomposites including flax, hemp, kenaf, wood, pineapple, banana and sisal are presented. Key determinants to performance-specific properties of natural fibre-reinforced composites are discussed in detail. These include fibre–matrix adhesion, fibre mechanical properties, moisture, impact and fatigue, thermal stability and preparation of fibre-reinforced composites. The chapter further looks into lightweight component manufacturing techniques including their potentials and limitations. Examples of current applications are given, and future trends are outlined while addressing the main drawbacks faced by these composites to lightweight components or vehicle manufacturing.

Keywords

Automotive applications Autoparts manufacturing Mechanical properties Nanocomposites Natural fibres 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Njuguna
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paul Wambua
  • Krzysztof Pielichowski
  • Kambiz Kayvantash
  1. 1.Department of Sustainable SystemsCranfield UniversityCranfieldUK

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