Processing and Mechanical Characterization of Short Banana-Jute Hybrid Fiber-Reinforced Polyester Composites
Natural fibers such as jute, cotton, kenaf, flax, banana, oil palm, sisal, and pineapple leaf fibers have been in considerable demand in recent years due to its eco-friendly and renewable nature. In the present work, the mechanical characteristics of short randomly oriented banana-jute hybrid fiber-reinforced polyester composites were studied as a function of the overall fiber loading (0, 10, 20, 30, and 40 wt.%) and different weight ratios of banana and jute fibers (1:1, 1:3, and 3:1). The hybrid composites are fabricated using a hand lay-up technique and experimental tests are carried out as per ASTM standards to find out the tensile modulus and strength, flexural modulus and strength, impact energy and micro-hardness properties. The incorporation of both natural fibers into polyester matrix resulted in an increase in mechanical properties up to 30 wt.% of fiber loading. The tensile strength of neat polyester composites increases 78by 125%, 171%, and 106% with the addition of 30 wt.% of fiber loading with a weight ratio of banana and jute as 1:1, 1:3, and 3:1 respectively. Similarly, the increase in flexural strength about 83%, 98%, and 67% was observed as the fiber loading in polyester increased from 0 to 30 wt.% with a weight ratio of banana and jute as 1:1, 1:3, and 3:1, respectively. The energy absorbed by the hybrid composite due to impact load is 3.17, 3.03 and 3.39 times of pure polyester resin for hybrid composites with the weight ratio of banana and jute 1:1, 1:3, and 3:1, respectively at 40 wt.% of fiber loading. With the addition of 40 wt.% of fiber loading, the micro-hardness polyester composites improve to 113%, 123% and 97% with corresponding weight ratios of banana and jute as 1:1, 1:3, and 3:1, respectively. The interfacial analysis was also carried out with the help of a scanning electron microscope to study the microstructural behavior of the tested specimen. The experimental investigation reveals that the mechanical properties show their maximum values with weight ratio banana and jute as 1:3.