Application of Carbon–Flax Hybrid Composite in High Performance Electric Personal Watercraft
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Within the herein presented research, we studied the applicability of flax fabrics for composite parts in personal watercrafts in order to enhance damping of vibrations from the engine and noise reduction (which is relatively high for contemporary carbon constructions). Since the composite parts are intended to be exposed to humid environments requiring high levels of mechanical properties, a carbon–flax composite was selected. Samples of carbon, fiberglass, flax, and hybrid carbon–flax twill and biax fabrics were subjected to tensile and three-point bending tests. The mechanical properties were also tested after exposure of the samples to a humid environment. Damping was assessed by vibration and noise measurements directly on the complete float for samples as well as real parts. The hybrid carbon–flax material exhibited lower values of tensile strength than the carbon material (760 MPa compared to 463 MPa), but, at the same time, significantly higher than the other tested materials, or flax itself (115 MPa for a twill fabric). A similar trend in the results was observed for the three-point bending tests. Vibration tests and noise measurements showed reductions in vibration amplitude and frequency when using the carbon–flax hybrid material; the frequency response function for the watercraft part assembled from the hybrid material was 50% lower than for that made of carbon. Testing of samples located in a humid environment showed the necessity of surface treatment to prevent moisture absorption (mechanical properties were reduced at minimum by 28%). The tests confirmed that the hybrid material is satisfactory in terms of strength and its contribution to noise and vibration damping.
Keywordsflax, hybrid composite, personal watercraft
Document typePeer reviewed
Document versionFinal PDF
SourcePolymers. 2022, vol. 14, issue 9, p. 1-17.