A Comparative Study on the Axial Impact Performance of Jute and Glass Fiber-Based Composite Tubes 2013-01-1178
This paper focuses on the energy absorbing characteristics and progressive deformation behavior of woven jute-polyester composite cylindrical tubes subjected to an axial impact load. In this study, the impact energy absorption characteristics and crushing mechanisms of composite tubes of different thicknesses and number of plies are investigated. To start with, coupon specimens are made from laminates of jute and glass fiber-based polyester composites. These are then tested in a UTM for mechanical characterization of the composites under tensile and compressive loading conditions. Experiments are then conducted in a drop-weight impact testing device to investigate crash performance characteristics such as mean crush load, absorbed energy and specific energy absorption (SEA) of woven jute-polyester composite cylindrical tubes. Resulting progressive failure modes and crush characteristics of the jute-polyester composite tubes are presented and compared with woven roving mat (WRM) glass fiber polyester composite tubes. It is observed that jute-polyester composite tubes can be of comparable structural performance as glass fiber-polyester composite tubes. The progressive failure mode of jute fiber mat tubes is, however, quite different than the splitting of plies observed for WRM glass fiber tubes. In addition to studying cylindrical tubes, 4-ply jute-polyester tubes of square cross-section are also considered and compared with 4-ply jute-polyester tubes of circular cross-section. The aim of the current research is to demonstrate the potential of natural fibers as replacement for synthetic fibers for more environmentally friendly energy-absorption countermeasures for vehicles.