With the growing adoption of composite materials, new matrix and reinforcement materials have been entering the market at an ever growing rate. These new materials have to be thoroughly tested in order to determine its mechanical properties and possible applications.
Basalt fibers offer some advantages versus current materials, it is fireproof, requires no material addition, has better mechanical properties than most types of E-Glass, and it is cheaper than Carbon Fiber.
The goal of this thesis is to understand the viability of basalt fibers as part of a composite, by determining its mechanical properties. The composites were tested with a Polyester resin matrix, produced by Resin Transfer Molding. The composites were subjected to tensile, compression, shear and flexural tests.
The results were generally good and in line with the mixing rules predicted results, although with a somewhat high coefficient of variance. C-Scan Analysis was performed on the composites, to determine its origin. The analysis showed that the problem was the production method, since the composite layers were not evenly spaced, and possessed different spacing from specimen to specimen.
R. Preto, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisboa, Portugal
Companies: Mechanical Properties