Experimental evaluation of stiffness predictions of multiaxial flax fibre composites by classical laminate theory

Yosuke Ueki*, Hans Lilholt, Bo Madsen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Despite the good mechanical properties of natural fibre composites, their use in load-bearing components is still limited, which may be due to lack of knowledge and confidence in calculating the performance of the composites by mechanical models. The present study is providing an experimental evaluation of stiffness predictions of multiaxial flax fibre composite by classical laminate theory (CLT). The experimental base is (i) multiaxial flax fibre composites fabricated with two types of biaxial non-crimp fabrics, having a nominal yarn orientation of ±45°, and (ii) uniaxial flax fibre composites fabricated with the same flax yarn as used in the fabrics. The fabricated composites are characterised by volumetric composition, yarn orientation and tensile properties. A fast and easy operational Fast Fibre Orientation (FFO) method is developed to determine the actual yarn orientation in fabrics and composites. It is demonstrated that the FFO method is a robust method, giving repeatable results for yarn orientations, and it can be used both on fabrics and composites. CLT predictions of stiffness of the multiaxial flax fibre composites are shown to be in good agreement with the measured stiffnesses of the composites in three testing directions (0°, 45°, and 90°). The use of the actual yarn orientations measured by the FFO method, instead of the nominal yarn orientations of ±45°, is shown to result in improved CLT predictions of stiffness with a mean deviation between predictions and measurements on 0.2 GPa. Altogether, it is demonstrated that stiffness of multiaxial flax fibre composites can be accurately predicted by CLT, without any fitting constants, based on independently determined stiffness parameters of the related uniaxial flax fibre composite, and based on measured yarn orientations in the flax fibre fabric.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0234701
JournalPLOS ONE
Volume15
Issue number6
Number of pages16
ISSN1932-6203
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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