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Development and Evaluation of Physical and Mechanical Properties on Talc Filled Sisal/Polyester Composites

Ntobeko C. Sibanda, Lloyd N. Ndlovu, Sizo R. Ncube, Notabo Hlabano


In recent years, research focusing on the use of natural fiber-reinforced composites has been increased and has opened up further industrial possibilities due to advantages of low density, low cost, biodegradability, abundance and renewability proffered by natural fibers. In this research, randomly oriented sisal fiber and talc filler were used to reinforce polyester matrix to produce composites of 3 mm thickness. The composites were fabricated by hand laying technique. Composite panels of 20, 35 and 50 % wt. of sisal and talc content were fabricated and tested for their tensile strength, flexural strength and compressive strength as per ASTM Standards. From the experimental results the highest tensile strength was observed with a tensile strength of 13 MPa for a composite with 15 % sisal and 5% talc content. Tensile strength was further found to be decreasing with an increase in sisal and talc content. In the case of flexural strength, it increased with an increase in sisal fiber content up to 40% sisal and 10% talc, however with further increase in talc content, the value decreased gradually. The maximum flexural strength of 115 MPa was obtained. The compressive strength on the other hand increased with increase in talc content. The maximum compressive strength value of 6.75 MPa was obtained for composites with 5% sisal and 15% talc content. In overall, the use of sisal fibers in this research was shown to better composite performance, while the use of talc lowers the composite costs and increase its recyclability.


Keywords  Sisal fiber, talc filled composites, polyester matrix

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