Table of Contents
ISRN Polymer Science
Volume 2013, Article ID 936048, 8 pages
Research Article

Mechanical Properties and Failure Topography of Banana Fiber PF Macrocomposites Fabricated by RTM and CM Techniques

1Department of Chemistry, T.K.M.M. College, Nangiarkulangara, Kerala 690513, India
2Department of Polymer Science and Rubber Technology, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Cochin, Kerala 682 022, India
3School of Chemical Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Priyadarshini Hills, Kottayam, Kerala 686560, India
4Faculty of Applied Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA, 40450 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
5Center of Excellence for Polymer Materials and Technologies, Tehnoloski park 24, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Received 23 June 2013; Accepted 17 July 2013

Academic Editors: C. Bernal and J. I. Velasco

Copyright © 2013 K. N. Indira 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.


Banana fiber reinforced phenol formaldehyde composites with different fiber lengths and fiber loadings were prepared by compression molding (CM) and resin transfer molding (RTM) techniques. The mechanical properties such as tensile, flexural, and impact behavior were studied. RTM composites showed improved tensile and flexural properties as compared to CM composites. On the other hand, impact strength of RTM composites is slightly lower than that of CM composites. From the studies, it was found that mechanical properties increased with the increase in fiber loading, reached a plateau at 30–40 wt%, and then subsequently decreased with an increase in fiber loading in both techniques. At high fiber weight fractions, the strength decreased due to poor wetting and very poor stress transfer. The stress value increased up to 30 mm fiber lengths and then decreased. In order to examine the fracture surface morphology of the composites, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was performed on the composite samples. A good relationship between morphological and mechanical properties has been observed. Finally, tensile strength of the composites fabricated by RTM and CM was compared with theoretical predictions.