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Flax Fibre Based Composite Profiles For Construction Industries

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:   No Citation available.
Authors:   B S Panigrahy, J Fung, S Panigrahi, A Tripathy, B Rajakumar, A Kamal
Keywords:   Natural and glass fibre composite, flax fibre, Resin Transfer Moulding, RTM, Thermoset plastics, construction profile

The potential use of agricultural fibre in reinforced plastics composite materials is latest to construction industry. The advantages of bast fibre based composite materials are lightweight and low stiffness compares to conventional material such as lumber, aluminium and synthetic fibre composite construction profiles. It is also environmental friendly and economically practicable. Engineering fibres such as flax and hemp are available in North America and sustainable, biodegradable and renewable in nature. In this research, we investigate the probable replacement of synthetic fibre with Saskatchewan oilseed flax to make a cost effective alternative and compliments to existing profiles such as aluminium profiles, lumber and synthetic fibre based profiles used in housing industries. These bast fibre based profiles are made out of thermoset plastics (i.e. Epoxy and Polyester) as matrix and Saskatchewan grown flax fibre as reinforced material through Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) process. In ambient temperature, flax fibre contains about 10% moisture and it causes dimensional instability in the profiles due to moisture release in dry condition. To avoid this problem we use economically viable microwave drying system by incorporating halogen lamp microwave combination oven in our experimental design to reduce the moisture of bast fibre before incorporating in polymer matrix. We investigated the mechanical properties, water absorption, and weather resistance properties of these profiles and found it can be used as a construction material for housing industries in North America.

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