Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Thomas H. Fronk


This thesis includes the study of the mechanical performance of two different types of fibers reinforced hybrid composites. Two kinds of fibers, natural fiber (flax) and synthetic fiber (E-glass), are used to reinforce epoxy resin. To evaluate the effective properties of the hybrid composites, a micromechanical analysis of the structure genome (SG) of a unidirectional fiber hybrid composites is performed using nite element analysis (FEA). Both fibers are assumed to be circular and packed in a hexagonal pattern. The effects of varying volume fractions and fiber locations, of the two fibers, on the elastic properties of the hybrid composites are studied using FEA. Rule of hybrid mixtures (RoHM) and Halpin-Tsai equations, which are analytical equations, are used as a preliminary prediction of the elastic constants of the hybrid composites. Then, the comparison is made between FEA and analytical results. The predicted elastic constants through numerical homogenization are in good a agreement with analytical results. The effect of changing fiber locations on the tensile strength of hybrid composite is investigated using tensile tests. Impact strength of single fiber composites and ax/glass fiber hybrid composites, in which various stacking sequences of ax and glass fibers are used, are obtained using Charpy impact tests. Moisture absorption test was performed by immersing single fiber composites and various stacking sequences of hybrid composites in deionized water at room temperature for a week. To investigate the effect of water absorption on the tensile properties of composite, tensile test was done on various stacking sequences of the hybrid composite. FEA and analytical equations showed that Young's and shear moduli increased and the axial Poison's ratio decreased linearly with the glass fiber content. Also, FEA showed that changing fiber locations have no effect on the effective properties of the hybrid composite. However, changing fiber stacking sequences showed a significant effect on tensile strength, impact strength, and water absorption properties of the hybrid composites. It was concluded that better design of the hybrid composite was achieved when glass fibers placed on the extreme positions and flax fibers in the middle. Positive hybrid effect is achieved from hybridization of E-glass fiber with flax fiber.