THE EFFECT OF NOTCHES ON THE STRENGTH OF COIR – REINFORCED CASHEW NUT SHELL RESIN COMPOSITE
The effect of notches on the strength of Coir – reinforced cashew nut shell resin composite was investigated. Composite laminates with six different fibre contents (0,0,1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4 and 0.5 volume fractions) were fabricated using the hand lay – up moulding method. A static fracture testing equipment was designed and fabricated in the absence of a functional fracture testing machine. Static fracture tests were performed on the notched composites with different notch depths and locations. The 0.4 volume fraction of the fibre was determined as the optimum level of fibre necessary for reinforcing the compositesro for maximum strength. The fracture strength of the composite increased with decreasing notch depth. The strength of the laminates also increased with the notch locations. Again, varying both notch depths and locations had no effect initially on the strength of the composite.