Civil Engineering

Fabrication and Testing of Fiber Reinforced Polyester Composite Material

Many of the engineers and researchers have done research on composite materials and they found that the composite which is made from two different materials with different chemical and physical property when combined produce a material with characteristics different from individual components. In this project, you are going to fabricate a composite material using Epoxy and Polyester as matrix phase and bamboo as fiber.

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There are many processes to fabricate a composite material but Hand layup method is easy and cost-effective. You will use this process to fabricate this composite material. After fabricating the sample, you need to perform the Tensile test and Compressive test by making standard specimens of your sample in Universal Testing Machine.

Project Description:

  1. Composite Material: Materials like Iron, Steel are better in tension but poor in compression, similarly Wood, Cast Iron is better in compression but poor in tension. To gain the benefit of having more such properties in one material we combine two or more materials in some arrangement. These types of materials are called composite materials.
  2. Fiber Reinforced polyester Composites: Fiber reinforced composites have been widely successful in hundreds of applications where there was a need for high strength materials. There are thousands of custom formulations which offer FRP a wide variety of tensile and flexural strengths. When compared with traditional materials such as metals, the combination of high strength and lower weight has made FRC an extremely popular choice for improving a product’s design and performance.
  3. Bamboo: Bamboo fiber is a regenerated cellulosic fiber produced from bamboo. The starchy pulp is produced from bamboo stems and leaves through a process of alkaline hydrolysis and multi-phase bleaching. Further chemical processes produce bamboo fiber.
  4. Polyester: On the other hand different waste plastics can be used like Plastic bottles (Polyethylene Terephthalate), Plastic bags(Polyethylene), Toys or Pipes(Polyvinyl Chloride), Straws or Medicine bottles(Polypropylene), Egg cartons or cups or bowls(Polystyrene) etc.

Project Implementation:

  • To fabricate the composite first, you have to collect bamboo from your locality. Then you have to wash it thoroughly so that no impurities will be there.
  • After completing the above process, you have to dry the Bamboo nearly a day to remove any moisture present in it. Then you have to perform alkali solution treatment to kill bacteria present in it.
  • Then you have to cut alkali treated Bamboo into small fibers using the cutter.

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  • Then on the other side, you have to collect polyester and you have to melt it in a furnace. Maintain the temperature so that it will remain in liquid form.
  • Make a square box with one side open, using wood or Cast iron with dimension 100*100*20mm. This box will be used as a mold for fabricating your composite.
  • Now, pour a layer of melted plastic into the mold and after that add one layer of chopped bamboo fibers upon it.
  • Then pour another layer of molten polyester upon the Bagasse fiber layer giving it a sandwich structure.
  • After this apply equal pressure throughout the mold so that both the material mixes together to form an effective composite material.
  • Then wait for few hours so that the mixture in the mold dries down and your composite is ready for tasting purpose.
  • Then make a few sample specimens for performing the various test. At least Make 3 standard specimen for each test.
  • Perform a tensile test using an ATM machine to find ultimate tensile strength, breaking strength, maximum elongation, and reduction in area. From these measurements, you can determine Young's modulus, Poisson's ratio, yield strength, and strain-hardening characteristics.
  • Then perform the compressive test in the same machine to find out ultimate compressive strength, breaking strength etc.
  • Compare both ultimate tensile test and compressive test of your composite with the strength of parent materials.

Project Brief: After successful completion of the project, you can observe that your composite will possess more strength in both compression and tension from the raw material which are used to fabricate.

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Software requirements:

Minitab: You can use this software for plotting and comparing your result data.

Kit required to develop Fabrication and Testing of Fiber Reinforced Polyester Composite Material:
Technologies you will learn by working on Fabrication and Testing of Fiber Reinforced Polyester Composite Material:
Fabrication and Testing of Fiber Reinforced Polyester Composite Material
Skyfi Labs Last Updated: 2022-05-19

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