Experimental Investigation on Mechanical Properties and Vibration Damping Frequency Factor of Kenaf Fibers Reinforced Epoxy Composite 2019-28-0167
Kenaf fiber regarded as industrial crop for different applications. It is one of the most important plants cultivated for natural fibers globally. Natural fibers such as Kenaf fibers are getting attention of researchers and industries to utilize it in different composites due to its biodegradable nature. In this present investigation mechanical properties, vibration damping frequency factor and thermogravimetric analysis of Kenaf fiber reinforced epoxy composite (KFREC) have been evaluated and reported. The tests were conducted with different weight categories of Kenaf fiber such as 20%, 25%, 30% and 35%. The effects of fiber content on tensile, flexural, impact strengths, hardness and thermal decomposition properties of the composite were determined. The failure mechanism and damage features of the KFREC were categorized using Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). The results indicate that the increase in the fiber content decreases the damping vibration factor (ζ) correspondingly. The lowest value of the damping vibration factor was recorded as 0.033 for 35% weight content of Kenaf fiber in the composite. The maximum value of hardness, tensile, flexural, and impact strengths were noted as 447 BHN, 45.62 MPa, 124 kN and 13.2 J and the effective thermal decomposition range was 326 to 768 °C for 35% of Kenaf weight content KFREC. From the results it is identified that the Kenaf fiber at 35% weight content reinforced with epoxy resin will be suitable for structural application in automobiles such as bumper beams, door panels and front modules. In addition to that the light weight nature of the Kenaf fiber will help in achieving fuel economy in automobiles.