Enhancing mechanical performance of biodegradable automotive composites with EPO and graphene

May 15, 2024


Recent strides in composite manufacturing technology have sparked a widespread embrace of natural fiber composites in engineering applications, exemplified by flax fiber. The crux of this development centers on the creation of an environmentally friendly composite, utilizing alkali-treated flax fiber reinforcement and poly lactic acid (PLA) as the polymer matrix through a hot compression technique. The investigation into water absorption unveils that alkaline treatment augments the hydrophobic nature and enhances the crystallinity of flax fibers, resulting in improved adhesion between the reinforcement and polymer matrix. The introduction of 5% wt of epoxidized palm oil (EPO) as plasticizers not only counters brittleness but also elevates thermal stability. Further enhancements are achieved through the addition of 0.5 wt% of graphene nanoparticles as nano-fillers, culminating in superior mechanical properties. This research places a focal point on a thorough mechanical characterization of these green composites, encompassing tensile, flexural, and impact properties, along with an assessment of inter-laminar shear strength. A detailed analysis of dimensional stability is conducted, while morphological scrutiny is performed using scanning electron microscopy. This study marks a significant leap towards sustainable engineering, presenting innovative natural fiber green composites that exhibit heightened mechanical and environmental performance.


Jiyas, N., Sasidharan, I., & Kumar, K.B. (2024). Enhancing mechanical performance of biodegradable automotive composites with EPO and graphene. Discover Mechanical Engineering.