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Mechanical Analysis and Fibre/Matrix Interface Optimization for Next Generation of Basalt-Plant Fibre Hybrid Composites

Abstract : Global awareness of environmental issues has resulted in the emergence of “green” composites, in which natural fibres are used to replace synthetic ones. However, in semi-or structural applications, it can be inconvenient to use composites based on natural fibres. A possible solution to this problem is the development of hybrid composite materials, combining together plies of natural and synthetic fibres. In this framework, the aim of this research project was to develop basalt-flax fibre hybrid composites with a view to obtaining more environmentally friendly composites for semi-structural applications. Hybrid composites were produced through vacuum infusion molding with epoxy matrix.For comparison purposes, 100% flax fibre composites and 100% basalt fibre composites were also manufactured. A quasi-static and dynamic mechanical characterization showed that the hybridization allows the production of a composite with intermediate mechanical performances compared to those possessed by flax and basalt composites. However, the damage analysis has revealed the need to optimize the fibre/matrix interface adhesion quality, in order to increase the mechanical properties of the resulting hybrid composites. For this reason, different surface modification treatments have been specifically designed and investigated for flax and basalt fibres. Flax and basalt fibres were treated by the physical process of Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition. Flax fibres were also subjected to two chemical treatments using enzymatic species and supercritical CO2. The effects of the surface modification treatments on the thermal stability, morphology and mechanical properties of flax and basalt fibres have been investigated. The degree and extent of fibre/matrix adhesion were analyzed by micromechanical fragmentation tests on monofilament composites. The adhesion quality between fibres and both epoxy and vinylester matrices has been assessed in terms of critical fragment length, debonding length and interfacial shear strength. High-resolution μ-CT has been used to support the analysis of the damage mechanisms during fragmentation tests. For both flax and basalt fibres, the best results were obtained after the plasma polymer deposition process. This process was able to produce a homogeneous tetravinylsilane coating on the surface of basalt and flax fibres, which resulted in a significant increase in the fibre/matrix adhesion, thus paving the way for the next generation of more environmentally friendly hybrid composites for semi-structural applications.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 9, 2020 - 8:57:07 AM
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Maria Carolina Seghini. Mechanical Analysis and Fibre/Matrix Interface Optimization for Next Generation of Basalt-Plant Fibre Hybrid Composites. Other. ISAE-ENSMA Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique et d'Aérotechique - Poitiers; Università degli studi La Sapienza (Rome), 2020. English. ⟨NNT : 2020ESMA0003⟩. ⟨tel-02861478⟩

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