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A New Design of Recycled Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer Rubber Modified Epoxy Based Composites Reinforced with Alumina Fiber: Fracture Behavior and Damage Analyses

This study proposes a new design of lightweight and cost-efficient composite materials for the automotive industry using recycled fresh scrap rubbers (EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubbers), epoxy resin and alumina (Al2O3) fibers (AF). Three-point bending tests were conducted to investigate fundamental mechanical characteristics and then experimentally obtained moduli were compared with a modified Halpin–Tsai model. In addition, tests were carried out to study the fracture characteristics of the composites. Then, a practical numerical study was carried out to observe the evolution of the strain energy release rate along the crack front. Mechanical test results showed that the reinforcement with AF improved the fracture toughness of these novel composites for low rubber contents. Besides, increasing recycled EPDM rubber content degraded the mechanical resistance and strain at break of the composites. Moreover, numerical studies indicated that energy release rate showed some variations along the specimen thickness. Toughening mechanisms were evaluated by scanning electron microscope (SEM) fractography. Typical toughening mechanisms observed were fiber bridging and shear yielding. By considering the advantageous effects of AF on the novel composites and cost efficiency under favor of recycled rubbers, these composites are promising candidates to manufacture the various components in automotive industry.

Publication date: 26/08/2019

Author: Alaeddin Burak Irez

Reference: doi: 10.3390/ma12172729

MDPI (materials)

This project has been co-funded with the support of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union [LIFE17 ENV/ES/000438] Life programme

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Last update: 2019-05-09