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Research Papers: Micro-Nano Tribology

Tribological Properties of Nanoclay-Infused Banana Fiber Reinforced Epoxy Composites

[+] Author and Article Information
T. P. Mohan

Composite Research Group,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Durban University of Technology,
Durban, South Africa
e-mail: Mohanp@dut.ac.za

K. Kanny

Composite Research Group,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Durban University of Technology,
Durban, South Africa
e-mail: kannyk@dut.ac.za

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Tribology Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Tribology. Manuscript received February 26, 2018; final manuscript received February 12, 2019; published online March 11, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Satish V. Kailas.

J. Tribol 141(5), 052003 (Mar 11, 2019) (9 pages) Paper No: TRIB-18-1091; doi: 10.1115/1.4042873 History: Received February 26, 2018; Accepted February 12, 2019

The objective of this work is to study the tribological properties of natural fiber based composites using nanotechnology. The naturally available banana plant fibers were treated with nanoclay particles, and these treated fibers were then reinforced in an epoxy polymer to form composites. The friction and wear properties of nanoclay-treated banana fiber (NC-BF) reinforced composites were compared with untreated banana fiber (UT-BF) reinforced composites. Short NC-BF- and UT-BF-reinforced composites with fiber concentration ranging from 20 wt % to 60 wt % were prepared by the vacuum resin infusion processing method. The result indicates that the NC-BF-reinforced composites have shown improved friction and wear properties. Microscopy examination revealed that NC-BF-reinforced composites were able to form a transfer layer between the wear test specimen wear surface and counter face, resulting in improved wear properties. The nanoclay particles also induce increased hardness and friction to the composites and improve braking properties.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic representation of the experimental setup for the determination of static coefficient of friction (µs)

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Fig. 2

Schematic representation of the experimental setup for the determination of angle of repose (Φ), (a) specimen at horizontal resting position and (b) specimen when about to slide

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Fig. 3

Photograph of the in-house built pin-on-disc wear setup

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Fig. 4

SEM of the longitudinal surface image of (a) untreated (UT) and (b) nanoclay-infused banana fiber (NC-BF)

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Fig. 5

SEM of the cross-sectional image of (a) 20 wt %, (b) 40 wt %, and (c) 60 wt % nanoclay-treated banana fiber (NC-BF) reinforced composites

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Fig. 6

Static friction (µs) of composites series

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Fig. 7

Mass loss of composite series due to wear

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Fig. 8

SEM image of (a) counter face before wear test, (b) wear track of 20 wt % NC-BF-reinforced composites after wear test cycle, and (c) wear track of 20 wt % UT-BF-reinforced composites after wear test cycle

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Fig. 9

Selected area of the EDX spectrum of (a) steel counter face (spectrum 1), (b) wear track of 20 wt % NC-BF-reinforced composites after the wear test cycle (spectrum 2), and (c) wear track of 20 wt % UT-BF-reinforced composites after the wear test cycle (spectrum 3)

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Fig. 10

SEM of the wear track of (a) 20 wt % UT-BF composites, (b) 20 wt % NC-BF composites, (c) 40 wt % UT-BF composites, (d) 40 wt % NC-BF composites, (e) 60 wt % UT-BF composites, and (f) 60 wt % NC-BF composites after completion of the wear test cycle

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Fig. 11

SEM of the wear specimen of (a) 20 wt % UT-BF composites, (b) 20 wt % NC-BF composites, (c) 40 wt % UT-BF composites, (d) 40 wt % NC-BF composites, (e) 60 wt % UT-BF composites, and (f) 60 wt % NC-BF composites after the completion of the wear test cycle

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Fig. 12

Schematic illustration of the formation of (a) wear debris in UT-BF-reinforced composites and (b) the stable transfer layer in the NC-BF-reinforced composites

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