Mechanical Properties of Flax Tape-Reinforced Thermoset Composites.
Three thermoset resin systems-bio-epoxy, epoxy, and polyester-with 30 v% flax fiber reinforcement have been studied to identify the optimal fiber-resin combination in a typical composite structure. Tensile, interface and interlaminar shear strength together with flexural and impact damage tolerance were compared in this study. The results revealed that mechanical and interfacial properties were not significantly affected by the different resin systems. Microscopy studies reveal that epoxy laminates predominantly fail by fibre linear breakage, polyester laminates by fiber pull-out, and bio-epoxy laminates by a combination of the two. The higher failure strains and pull-out mechanism may explain the better impact damage tolerance of polyester composites. Flow experiments were also conducted, revealing faster impregnation and lower void content with polyester resin, followed by bio-epoxy, due to their lower viscosities. Overall, bio-epoxy resin demonstrates comparable performance to epoxy and polyester resins for use in (semi-)structural bio-composites.