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International Journal of Polymer Science
Volume 2015, Article ID 840823, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/840823
Research Article

Improving Mechanical Properties of Thermoset Biocomposites by Fiber Coating or Organic Oil Addition

1Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, University of San Diego, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110, USA
2Department of Mechanical Engineering, Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, University of San Diego, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110, USA
3Research Support Instruments, 4325-B Forbes Boulevard, Lanham, MD 20706, USA

Received 22 February 2015; Revised 21 April 2015; Accepted 21 April 2015

Academic Editor: Cornelia Vasile

Copyright © 2015 Truc T. Ngo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Two different thermoset biocomposite systems are experimented in this study with the hope to improve their mechanical properties. Fiberglass and hemp, in form of fabrics, are used to reinforce the thermoset polymer matrix, which includes a traditional epoxy resin and a linseed oil-based bioresin (UVL). The fiber/polymer matrix interface is modified using two different approaches: adding a plant-based oil (pine or linseed) to the polymer matrix or coating the fibers with 3-(aminopropyl)triethoxysilane (APTES) prior to integrating them into the polymer matrix. Epoxy resin is cured using an amine-based initiator, whereas UVL resin is cured under ultraviolet light. Results show that hemp fibers with APTES prime coat used in either epoxy or UVL matrix exhibit some potential improvements in the composite’s mechanical properties including tensile strength, modulus of elasticity, and ductility. It is also found that adding oil to the epoxy matrix reinforced with fiberglass mostly improves the material’s modulus of elasticity while maintaining its tensile strength and ductility. However, adding oil to the epoxy matrix reinforced with hemp doubles the material’s ductility while slightly reducing its tensile strength and modulus of elasticity.