American Journal of Materials Science and Engineering. 2014, 2(4), 45-53DOI:
Abstract: The physical (density and water absorption) and mechanical (tensile, flexural, impact and hardness) properties of banana empty fruit bunch fiber -glass fiber- oil palm empty fruit bunch particles- reinforced polyester composite were investigated. The natural fibers were extracted and processed locally. Thereafter, the test specimens were prepared using polyester resin with different compositions and prepared in accordance with ASTM standards. The results showed that as the banana fiber content was increased, there was a corresponding decline in the flexural strength. However, increasing the glass fiber content resulted in a corresponding increase in flexural strength. Composite with OPEBF 5 wt % banana fiber 10wt% /glass fiber10 (wt%) produced high impact strength of 55.556J/m2 representing 1568.67% improvement over that of the virgin unsaturated polyester. It was discovered that banana fiber of 15wt% and glass fiber of 5wt% hybrid composite had the highest hardness (3.55HV) representing 136.67% improvement on the hardness of the polyester (1.5HV). It was observed that the hardness of the samples was influenced by increase in banana fiber content in the composite. Thus, banana fiber composite could be considered for applications in areas where high impact strength is a requirement such as in some parts of automobile vehicle.