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Damping properties of flax/carbon hybrid epoxy/fibre-reinforced composites for automotive semi-structural applications.

Fairlie, George; Njuguna, James


George Fairlie


The ever-increasing demand for environmentally friendly biocomposites for use in various engineering applications requires a strong understanding of these materials properties, especially in automotive applications. This study focused on investigating how the stacking sequence and fibre orientation impacts the damping properties of hybrid flax/carbon fibre-reinforced composites. Different hybrid carbon fibre/flax fibre-reinforced composites using epoxy resin as the matrix were manufactured using vacuum-assisted resin infusion moulding technique. Each composite material was then tested for tensile properties using a universal testing machine, and the damping experiment was conducted using an impulse hammer and a Laser Doppler Vibrometer. The tensile study found out that adding a flax layer to the external layers of carbon fibre laminate reduced Young’s modulus by 28% for one layer and 45% for two layers. It was noted that when the fibre orientation of the internal layer of [C/F2/C]s was replaced with two ±45° layers, this had a very little effect on Young’s modulus but reduced the ultimate tensile strength by 61%. This experimental study also showed that the most important layer when it comes to damping properties is the external layers. By adding an external flax layer into an epoxy/carbon fibre-reinforced composite considerably enhanced its damping ratio by 53.6% and by adding two layers increased it by 94%. The results indicated a high potential for the automotive semi-structural applications to improve damping properties of the vehicle.


FAIRLIE, G. and NJUGUNA, J. 2020. Damping properties of flax/carbon hybrid epoxy/fibre-reinforced composites for automotive semi-structural applications. Fibers [online], 8(10), article ID 64. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 28, 2020
Online Publication Date Oct 8, 2020
Publication Date Oct 31, 2020
Deposit Date Oct 8, 2020
Publicly Available Date Oct 8, 2020
Journal Fibers
Electronic ISSN 2079-6439
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 10
Article Number 64
Keywords Flax fibre; Carbon fibre; Epoxy; Biocomposites; Hybrid composites; Epoxy/fibre-reinforced composites; Tensile properties; Damping properties; Automotive materials
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