Study on physico-mechanical behaviour of Acacia nilotica (gum tree) and glass fiber blend reinforced epoxy resin composite
The mechanical properties of Acacia nilotica were investigated by chemical modification of the fiber-reinforced composite. For this, the bast fiber was retted enzymatically, washed, dried, combed and alkali treated using a mixture of benzoyl peroxide and sodium hydroxide. This treatments on the composite material was undertaken in order to achieve improved modification of the interface between the matrix and fiber bond. A portion of the glass fiber was used for enhancing the mechanical properties of the hybrid composite. Epoxy resin and hardener were also used being 60:40 respectively in composition, to fabricate the composite. The results show an improvement in all the properties tested in relation to the alkali and the acid treatments of the Acacia nilotica/glass fiber blend composites. Tensile strength of the Acacia nilotica treated with the glass fiber by benzolation improved from (40 to 240 MPa) the flexural strength, of the Acacia nilotica treated by benzolation also significantly improved from 8 to 28 MPa strength value. FTIR analysis confirmed that the chemical modification of the fiber bond was carried out.
Keywords: Acacia nilotica, Composite, Epoxy, Glass fiber, Natural fiber