Research Papers

Flexural Response of Inorganic Hybrid Composites With E-Glass and Carbon Fibers

[+] Author and Article Information
James W. Giancaspro1

Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, McArthur Engineering Building, Room 323, University of Miami, 1251 Memorial Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33146jwgiancaspro@miami.edu

Christos G. Papakonstantinou

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth, MA 02747

P. N. Balaguru

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ 08854


Corresponding author.

J. Eng. Mater. Technol 132(2), 021005 (Feb 17, 2010) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4000670 History: Received May 22, 2009; Revised August 13, 2009; Published February 17, 2010; Online February 17, 2010

By far, carbon and glass fibers are the most popular fiber reinforcements for composites. Traditional carbon composites are relatively expensive since the manufacturing process requires significant heat and pressure, while the carbon fibers themselves are inherently expensive to produce. In addition, they are often flammable and their use is restricted when fire is a critical design parameter. Glass fabrics are approximately one order of magnitude less expensive than similar carbon fabrics. However, they lack the stiffness and the durability needed for many high performance applications. By combining these two types of fibers, hybrid composites can be fabricated that are strong, yet relatively inexpensive to produce. The primary objective of this study was to experimentally investigate the effects of bonding high strength carbon fibers to E-glass composite cores using a high temperature, inorganic matrix known as geopolymer. Carbon fibers were bonded to E-glass cores (i) on only the tension face, (ii) on both the tension and compression faces, or (iii) dispersed throughout the core in alternating layers to obtain a strong, yet economical, hybrid composite laminate. For each response measured (flexural capacity, stiffness, and ductility), at least one hybrid configuration displayed mechanical properties comparable to all carbon composite laminates. The results indicate that hybrid composite plates manufactured using 3k unidirectional carbon tape exhibit increases in flexural capacity of approximately 700% over those manufactured using E-glass fibers alone. In general, as the relative amount of carbon fibers increased, the likelihood of precipitating a compression failure also increased. For 92% of the specimens tested, the threshold for obtaining a compression failure was utilizing 30% carbon fibers. The results presented herein can dictate future studies to optimize hybrid performance and to achieve economical configurations for a given set of design requirements.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Typical E-glass/carbon hybrid laminate coupons

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Figure 2

Flexural response of homogeneous (single fiber type) laminates

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Figure 3

Fiber undulation and proposed failure mechanism (3,6)

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Figure 4

Typical failure modes exhibited by inorganic hybrids at midpoint of specimen: (a) compressive buckling of carbon fibers, (b) tension failure, and (c) compression failure

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Figure 5

Load versus deflection for specimens reinforced with 3k uni C on tension (T) face

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Figure 6

Load versus deflection for specimens reinforced with two carbon plies tension face

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Figure 7

Load versus deflection for specimens containing alternating layers of E-glass/carbon

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Figure 8

Effect of carbon and glass fiber distribution on failure mode

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Figure 9

Comparison of flexural capacity for specimens with reinforcement on tension face

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Figure 10

Comparison of equivalent moduli for all laminate specimens



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