Plant fibre composites contain typically a relatively large amount of porosity which influences their performance. A model, based on a modified rule of mixtures, is presented to include the influence of porosity on the composite stiffness. The model integrates the volumetric composition of the composites with their mechanical properties. The fibre weight fraction is used as an independent parameter to calculate the complete volumetric composition. A maximum obtainable stiffness of the composites is calculated at a certain transition fibre weight fraction, which is characterised by a best possible combination of high fibre volume fraction and low porosity. The model is validated with experimental data from the literature on several types of composites. A stiffness diagram is presented to demonstrate that the calculations can be used for tailoring and design of composites with a given profile of properties. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Materials research
- Light strong materials for wind turbines and for transportation