Performance Evaluation of Natural Composites Made from Banyan and Cotton Fibers for Sustainable Thermal Insulation Applications

Abstract: Natural composites are gaining more attention due to the light weight and low cost characteristics. In the present investigation, an attempt has been made to fabricate the natural composites using natural fibers like Banyan and Cotton. Composites were made by compression molding technique and five types of composites were prepared, namely, B, BC(3:1), BC(1:1), BC(1:3) and C. Mechanical and thermal properties of the composites were tested. Results showed that Banyan composite exhibited the maximum tensile and flexural strength of 75 MPa and 113 MPa, respectively. This was attributed by the placing of high strength and stiffness Banyan fiber. Further, a maximum thermal resistance of 18.1 × 10−3 m2K/W was observed for Banyan composite. Moreover, the Banyan composite displayed the least coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of 1.81 × 10−5/°C which indicated the good dimensional stability of composite. Furthermore, a high thermal diffusivity of 8.79 × 10−7 m2/s was achieved for Banyan composites. Based on the experimental results, it is suggested that the Banyan composite could be a suitable candidate for sustainable thermal insulation applications.

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