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Explorative Study on the Use of Curauá Reinforced Polypropylene Composites for the Automotive Industry

The automotive industry is under a growing volume of regulations regarding environmental impact and component recycling. Nowadays, glass fiber-based composites are commodities in the automotive industry, but show limitations when recycled. Thus, attention is being devoted to alternative reinforcements like natural fibers. Curauá (Curacao, Ananas erectifolius) is reported in the literature as a promising source of natural fiber prone to be used as composite reinforcement. Nonetheless, one important challenge is to obtain properly dispersed materials, especially when the percentages of reinforcements are higher than 30 wt %. In this work, composite materials with curauá fiber contents ranging from 20 wt % to 50 wt % showed a linear positive evolution of its tensile strength and Young’s modulus against reinforcement content. This is an indication of good reinforcement dispersion and of favorable stress transfer at the fiber-matrix interphase. A car door handle was used as a test case to assess the suitability of curauá-based composites to replace glass fiber-reinforced composites. The mechanical analysis and a preliminary lifecycle analysis are performed to prove such ability.

Publication date: 12/12/2019

Author: Delgado-Aguilar

Reference: doi: 10.3390/ma12244185

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: 2020-07-14