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Low-velocity impact behaviour of green epoxy biocomposite laminates reinforced by sisal fibers


Due to its good mechanical characteristics, low cost and high availability in the current market, sisal fiber is one of the most used for the manufacturing of biocomposites in various industrial fields (automotive, marine, civil construction etc.). The particular sub-fibrillar structure of the sisal fiber (similar to aramid fibers) and the corresponding anisotropic behavior detected by recent research activities, suggest that such biocomposites should exhibit also high impact strength, in such a way to permit their advantageously use also for the manufacturing of crashworthy components (bumpers, helmets, protection systems etc.), that are at the same time also eco-friendly, lightweight and cheap. Through a low-velocity impact tests campaign, integrated by computer tomography (CT) and carried out on various “green epoxy”/sisal laminates, by varying the main influence parameters such as reinforcement distribution, fiber volume fraction and lay-up, it has been detected that angle-ply laminates exhibits specific impact performances superior to those of biocomposites reinforced by other natural fibers (flax, hemp, jute, etc.), and comparable with those of the best composites specially reported in literature, so that they can be actually used to substitute the synthetic materials for the manufacture of interesting eco-friendly energy absorbing devices, that are also lighter and cheaper.