Experimental Study of the Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Epoxy-Reinforced Composites

D. A. Ekpechi *

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria.

O. O. Obiukwu

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria.

E. I. Nwankwo

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Uli, Nigeria.

V. C. Okpalaku-Nath

Department of Civil Engineering, Cyprus International University, Nicosia, Northern Cyprus.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

The menace from the lingering global warming and climate change, has been traced toward municipal solid waste (MSW), synthetic, and flame byproduct wastes as one leading cause of the carbon deposits at the ozone layer, which has spiked researchers toward converting wastes into useful material. Five samples [E, S1, S2, S3and S4] of composite material on the different percentage of composition was developed using coconut shell fiber municipal solid waste (MSW), silicon carbide (SiC), aluminum oxide (Al2O3), and epoxy, developed by hand-layup and compression molding manufacturing process. The developed specimens were subjected to mechanical, thermal, and water absorption tests using suitable apparatus. From the result obtained, specimen S1 which polymer material (epoxy) was reinforced with coconut shell fiber, showcased the impact of natural waste fiber on improving the polymer material’s thermal and mechanical strength. 50.45MPa, 32.33, and 0.25W/mK values of tensile, hardness, and thermal conductivity strength respectively, were observed on the resulting test on sample S1, which is satisfactory compared to the value results from sample E, having only polymer material. Although sample E possesses the highest impact strength (15.2 J/m2) and water absorption values, due to the absence reinforce fiber. Natural synthetic fibers incorporation in the specimens had a huge impact on thermal and mechanical strength, such as seen from specimen S2 - S4 having a thermal conductivity of 0.45W/mK, hardness value of 44.52, and tensile strength of 140.44Mpa. The test has proven some application on solid systems, which invariable convert coconut shell municipal waste materials to wealth-creating commodities, thereby promoting the application of local content in material production.

Keywords: Municipal solid wastes, fiber, epoxy, coconut shell, natural-synthetic, hybridization


How to Cite

Ekpechi, D. A., Obiukwu, O. O., Nwankwo, E. I., & Okpalaku-Nath, V. C. (2023). Experimental Study of the Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Epoxy-Reinforced Composites. Journal of Applied Physical Science International, 15(1), 6–16. https://doi.org/10.56557/japsi/2023/v15i18192

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