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Comparative Study of Lightweight Glass Fiber and Basalt Fiber Sheet Molding Compound (SMC) Composites Containing Cellulose Nanocrystals

AMIR ASADI, FERDINAND BAAIJ, ROBERT J. MOON, KYRIAKI KALAITZIDOU

Abstract


Cellulose nanocrystals are used in lightweight sheet molding compound composites made with either glass fiber (GF)/epoxy or basalt fiber (BF)/epoxy. The chosen approach for making lightweight SMC composites is replacing portion of the heavier components, i.e. GF or BF, with a small amount of CNC with the constrain that there is no compromise on mechanical performance. The specific properties of the lightweight composites containing CNC are compared with those of corresponding composites with no CNC to investigate the effectiveness of using CNC for light weighting for each type of micro-size reinforcement, i.e. GF and BF. We report that incorporation of 1.4-2 wt% CNC in the epoxy matrix can allow for reduction of the GF from 60 wt% to 44-48 wt% resulting in ~11 % lighter composites with no penalty on specific tensile, flexural and impact properties. In contrast, for the case of BF, addition of CNC does not increase the properties of the light weighted composites to the level of BF/epoxy with 60 wt% fiber content.


DOI
10.12783/asc2017/15190

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