a b s t r a c tThis paper focuses on natural silk/epoxy composite square tubes energy absorption and failure response. The tested specimens were featured by a material combination of different lengths and same numbers of natural silk/epoxy composite layers in form of reinforced woven fabric in thermosetting epoxy resin. Tubes were compressed in INSTRON 5567 with a loading capacity of 30 kN. This research investigates the influence of the wall lengths on the compressive response and also failure mode of the tested tubes are analysed. The load-displacement behaviour of square tubes recorded during the test. Since natural woven silk has been used as textile in centuries but due to rare study of this fabric as reinforcement material for composites, the results of this paper can be considerable. Outcomes from this paper might be helpful to guide the design of crashworthy structures.
Recently, natural fibers become attractive to automotive industry as an alternative reinforcement for glass fiber reinforced thermoplastics. Additionally, natural fiber components in the automotive industry can provide numerous advantages compared to synthetic conventional such as reduction of weight and cost, recyclability, renewability and in addition to eco-efficiency. Thus, the use of natural fibers in the automotive industry has shown increasingly stringent environmental criteria. Furthermore, amongst grouped bast fibers such as flax, hemp, jute, ramie, and kenaf; kenaf fiber is seen as a potential natural fiber with robust mechanical properties. Kenaf fiber had been explored to enhance desired mechanical properties as automotive structural components. As usual, natural fibres have some issues and disadvantages when used as reinforcements for polymeric composites. Therefore, some modification performed on fibers such as chemical treatment was carried out. In addition, the use of a coupling agent and a plasticizer can also increase fiber-matrix adhesive bonding.
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