Table of Contents
Journal of Composites
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 358237, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/358237
Research Article

Effect of Curing on the Tensile and Flexural Performance of Fully Biodegradable Corn Starch/Areca Frond Composites

Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal University, Manipal 576104, India

Received 22 June 2015; Revised 6 August 2015; Accepted 9 August 2015

Academic Editor: Sandro C. Amico

Copyright © 2015 Srinivas Shenoy Heckadka 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

Composites have monopolized the automotive, construction, and packaging industry. Their high strength to weight ratio has made them an integral part of numerous engineering applications. In this study biodegradable matrix is combined with areca frond fibres for developing composites for low strength structural applications. Areca frond fibres were extracted and treated with sodium bicarbonate to improve the surface characteristics. Hand lay-up and compression moulding techniques were used to fabricate composites having unidirectional fibre orientation. The specimens prepared were exposed to varied environments, namely, sunlight, OTG oven, steam oven, and hot air oven, for curing and the results were analyzed to best suit the implicated requirements. Scanning electron microscopy was used to observe the changes in surface characteristics of the frond fibres after treatment. Tensile and flexural strength of starch based/areca frond reinforced composites were evaluated according to ASTM standards. Test results revealed that composites cured in a steam oven resulted in improved tensile and flexural strength compared to other curing environments.