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Testing of Plant Fiber Composites: The Potential of Acoustic Emission Methods
This paper presents a series of acoustic emission (AE) tests and preliminary mechanical analysis of plant fiber composites (PFCs) tensile loaded to failure. The aim of these tests was to identify the potential of AE in evaluating the mechanical properties of the PFCs from the detection of different damage modes. Unidirectional long fibers and randomly oriented fiber mats embedded in thermoplastic polyamide or thermoset epoxy resin were considered. It was found that the onset of damage can be clearly detected in the AE response for the PFC specimens, which would otherwise be missed in the mechanical test data. This provides some form of early indication regarding the interfacial properties of the composite system as the acoustic events were the result of several damage modes originating from the fiber-matrix interface.