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Analysis of the Parameters Affecting the Stiffness of Short Sisal Fiber Biocomposites Manufactured by Compression-Molding


The use of natural fiber-based composites is on the rise in many industries. Thanks to their eco-sustainability, these innovative materials make it possible to adapt the production of components, systems and machines to the increasingly stringent regulations on environmental protection, while at the same time reducing production costs, weight and operating costs. Optimizing the mechanical properties of biocomposites is an important goal of applied research. In this work, using a new numerical approach, the effects of the volume fraction, average length, distribution of orientation and curvature of fibers on the Young’s modulus of a biocomposite reinforced with short natural fibers were studied. Although the proposed approach could be applied to any biocomposite, sisal fibers and an eco-sustainable thermosetting matrix (green epoxy) were considered in both simulations and the associated experimental assessment. The results of the simulations showed the following effects of the aforementioned parameters on Young’s modulus: a linear growth with the volume fraction, nonlinear growth as the length of the fibers increased, a reduction as the average curvature increased and an increase in stiffness in the x-y plane as the distribution of fiber orientation in the z direction decreased.