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Flexibility improvement of short glass fiber reinforced epoxy by using a liquid elastomer

Kaynak, Cevdet
ARIKAN, Aslihan
Tincer, Teoman
In certain applications of fiber reinforced polymer composites flexibility is required. The aim of this study was to improve flexibility of short glass fiber reinforced epoxy composites by using a liquid elastomer. For this purpose, diglycidyl ether of bisphenol-A (DGEBA) based epoxy matrix was modified with hydroxyl terminated polybutadiene (HTPB). A silane coupling agent (SCA) was also used to improve the interfacial adhesion between glass fibers and epoxy matrix. During specimen preparation, hardener and HTPB were premixed and left at room temperature for an hour before mixing with epoxy resin to allow possible reactions to occur. In order to compare flexibility of the specimens flexural tests were conducted and the data were evaluated numerically by using a derived relation. Test data and scanning electron microscope analysis indicated that surface treatment of glass fibers with SCA, and HTPB modification of epoxy matrix improved flexural properties especially due to the strong interaction between fibers, epoxy, and rubber. It was also observed that HTPB modification resulted in formation of relatively round rubber domains in the epoxy matrix leading to increased flexibility of the specimens.