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Toughening Behavior in Natural Fiber-reinforced Earth-based Composites

Author(s): Mustapha, K; Zebaze Kana, MG; Soboyejo, WO

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Abstract: This study presents a combine experimental and analytical investigation of the toughening behavior in natural fiber-reinforced earth-based composites. A specially designed single fiber pullout apparatus was used to provide a quantitative determination of interfacial properties that are relevant to toughening brittle materials through fiber reinforcement. The parameters investigated included a specially designed high strength earth-based matrix comprising of 60% laterite, 20% clay and 20% cement. The toughening behavior of whisker-reinforced earth-based matrix is analyzed in terms of a whisker bridging zone immediately behind the crack tip and interface strength. This approach is consistent with microscopy observations which reveal that intact bridging whiskers exist behind the crack tip as a result of debonding of the whisker-matrix interface. Debonding with constant frictional stress was obtained and this formed the basis for the analytical model considered and the underlying crack-microstructure interactions associated with Resistance-curve behavior was studied using in situ/ex situ optical microscopy to account for the bridging contribution to fracture toughness. The effect of multiple toughening mechanisms (debonding and crack bridging) was elucidated and the implications of the results are considered for potential applications in the design of robust earth-based building materials for sustainable eco-friendly homes.
Publication Date: 2016
Citation: Mustapha, Kabiru, Martiale G. Zebaze Kana, and Winston O. Soboyejo. "Toughening Behavior in Natural Fiber-reinforced Earth-based Composites." MRS Advances 1, no. 12 (2016): 791-797. doi: 10.1557/adv.2016.15
DOI: doi:10.1557/adv.2016.15
EISSN: 2059-8521
Pages: 791 - 797
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: MRS Advances
Version: Author's manuscript

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