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Basalt Fiber Hybridization Effects on High-Performance Sisal-Reinforced Biocomposites

  • Autori: Zuccarello, Bernardo; Bongiorno, Francesco; Militello, Carmelo
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2022
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
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The increasing attention given to environmental protection, largely through specific regulations on environmental impact and the recycling of materials, has led to a considerable interest of researchers in biocomposites, materials consisting of bio-based or green polymer matrixes reinforced by natural fibers. Among the various reinforcing natural fibers, sisal fibers are particularly promising for their good mechanical properties, low specific weight and wide availability on the current market. As proven in literature by various authors, the hybridization of biocomposites by synthetical fibers or different natural fibers can lead to an interesting improvement of the mechanical properties or, in turn, of the strength against environmental agents. Consequently, this can lead to a significant enlargement of their practical applications, in particular from quite common non-structural applications (dashboards, fillings, soundproofing, etc.) towards semi-structural (panels, etc.) and structural applications (structural elements of civil construction and/or machine components). Hybridizations with natural fibers or with ecofriendly basalt fibers are the most interesting ones, since they permit the improvement of the biocomposite’s performance without an appreciable increment on environmental impact, as occurs instead for synthetic fiber hybridizations that are also widely proposed in the literature. In order to further increase the mechanical performance and, above all, to reduce the aging effects on high-performance sisal-reinforced biocomposites due to environmental agents, the hybridization of such biocomposites with basalt fibers are studied with tensile, compression and delamination tests performed by varying the exposition to environmental agents. In brief, the experimental analysis has shown that hybridization can lead to further enhancements of mechanical performance (strength and stiffness) that increase with basalt volume fraction and can lead to appreciable reductions in the aging effects on mechanical performance by simple hybridization of the surface laminae. Therefore, such a hybridization can be advantageously used in all practical outdoor applications in which high-performance sisal biocomposites can be exposed to significant environmental agents (temperature, humidity, UV).