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International Journal of Mechanical and Production 
Engineering Research and Deyelopment (IJMPERD) 

ISSN (P): 2249-6890; ISSN (E): 2249-8001 
Vol. 10, Issue 2, Apr 2020, 867-878 
© TJPRC Pvt. Ltd. 

EFFECT OF ROSIN AND FLAX FIBERS ON THE IMPROVEMENT IN 
MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF HYBRID POLYMERIC COMPOSITES 

Dr. A. JOHN PRESIN KUMAR 1 , Dr. G. RAVIKUMAR SOLOMON 2 , Dr. S. SIVAKUMAR 3 , 

Dr. S. SATHISH 4 & K. VISWANATHAN 5 

I,3 ' 4 Lecturer, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Hindustan Institute ofTechnology & Science, 

Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India 

2 Professor and Head, Department ofMechanical Engineering, Hindustan Institute ofTechnology & Science, 

Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India 

5 Associate Professor, Department ofMechanical Engineering, Hindustan Institute ofTechnology & Science, 

Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India 

ABSTRACT 

This paper presents an experimental work on the development of natural fiber reinforced polymeric composites. The 
powdered rosin, flax jiber, sisal fiber and sunn hemp fiber are utilized as fillers or reinforcements with epoxy resin for 
making hybrid composites. The fiber and resin compositional proportion in each specimen are 1:1 while the epoxy resin 
and hardener composition is 10:1 respectively. In the first type ofhybrid composite, only sunn hemp and sisal fibers were 
added and in the second type of hybrid composite rosin, flax, sunn hemp and sisal fibers were added. These fabricated 
hybrid composites were tested as per the ASTM standards in order to evaluate the mechanical properties such as 
hardness, impact strength, tensile strength and density in dry conditions. The result of tests show that the rosin and flax 
incorporated composite has better properties compared to the normal hybrid composite made using the other two fibers 
under the mechanical loadings. However, it was found that the inclusions of rosin and flax fiber could improve the 
mechanical properties. 

KEYWORDS: Rosin, Polymer matrix composite (PMC), Mechanical Properties, Sunn Hemp Eiber, Sisal Fiber, Flax 
Fiber, Epoxy LY556 & Hardener HY951 

Received: Feb 06, 2020; Accepted: Feb 26, 2020; Published: Mar 31, 2020; Paper Id.: IJMPERDAPR202086 

1. INTRODUCTION 

In this work, two hybrid composites were fabricated, tested and compared. One is rosin and fiax fiber reinforced 
hybrid composite also having sunn hemp, sisal fibers. The other is named normal hybrid composite having only the 
reinforcements of sun hemp and sisal fibers without flax. The matrix component used in this investigation was 
epoxy type resin of grade LY556 and its suitable hardener namely HY951 supplied by the company called 
Laboratary chemicals, Chennai. These reinforcement materials were obtained from local markets in the raw format 
as shown in table 1. A composite material is a combination of two materials in which one of them is known as the 
reinforcing phase, in the form of fibers, sheets, or particles, and is incorporated in the other materials namely the 
matrix phase. The reinforcing element and the matrix component can be a metal, ceramic, or polymer. Composites 
normally have a fiber or particle phase has more stiffness and strength compared to the continuous kind of matrix 
phase and always serves as the major load carrying members. The matrix acts often as the load transferring medium 
among fibers, and in most of the less ideal cases where the loads have complex nature, the matrix may have to 



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Dr. A. John Presin Kumar, Dr. G. Rarikumar Solomon, Dr. S. Simkumar, 

Dr. S. Sathish & K. Yiswanathan 


withstand loads transverse to the place of fiber axis. The matrix has more ductility than the fiber elements and thus always 
acts as a resource for the composite toughness. The matrix also serves to safeguard the fibers from environmental hazards 
before, during and after the processing of the composite. When properly designed, the new combination material shows 
better strength values than that is possible with the individual materials. Composites are used mainly not only for their 
structural characteristics, but also for the electrical, heat and environmental applications. 

Rosin, is a naturally available material, also known as colophony and the Greek pitch meaning in Latin as 
the pix grseca, is a solid natured resin normally obtained aprioristically from pine trees and some important variety of 
plants, in majority from the conifer trees, finally produced by means of heating method for fresh liquid resin in order 
to evaporate fully the volatile natured liquid known as terpene type of components. It is having the nature of semi- 
transparency in look and differs in color from yellow to dark black. At normal room temperatures, rosin has 
brittleness, but rosin melts readily often at stove-top temperatures. It mainly consists of various types of resin full 
acids, most often abiotic type of acid in its composition. Flax, also commonly known as flax or linseed, is a element 
of the genetic type Linum in the family called Linaceae. It is a food material and fiber kind of crop mostly cultivated 
in much cooler places worldwide. Textile materials made using flax are well known in the Western type countries as 
linen material, and traditionally utilized for making bed sheets, making underclothes, and making table linen. Sisal is 
a hard natured fiber extracted from the tree leaves of sisal kind of plants which are the perennial succulents that 
always grow well in hot natured and dry kind of places. Sisal is environmentally friendly fiber as it has the nature of 
biodegradability and almost nil pesticide materials and fertilizer materials are used in its very cultivation. World 
production of this is about 300 kilo tonnes. Sun hemp is mainly cultivated in India and also in several other countries 
and regions. The fiber is always extracted from the area of bast of the plant side through a process knowingly retting 
and the resource cummaturity value of the plant and the type of retting always govern the important properties of the 
fiber. These mentioned fibers were first purified through water treatment and then immediately powdered through 
grinding process. This information presents a full mechanical type of characterization for a hybrid composite 
material. Regulations for the mechanical and fracture type of characterization of these hybrid composite materials are 
provided clearly. Mechanical characteristics of composite materials were found in dry conditions. Rosin and its 
powder are indicated below in figure 1. 



Figure 1: Rosin (Left) and Rosin Powder (Right) 


2. METHODS 

The raw fibers as shown in table 1 were broken down in the form of pieces and were first finely ground using a ball mill in 
order to produce fiber in powder form and then separated using mechanical sieving process into particle format. 


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Effect ofRosin and Flax Fibers on the Improvement in Mechanical 869 

Properties ofHybrid Polymeric Composites 

2.2.1 Fiber Preparation 

Raw fibers were initially cleaned with clear running water and then immediately dried. Then these aggregations were 
smoothly dispersed using hand gently. Its outer shell was removed using knife and was cut to get the required dimensions. 
Finally, it was measured for attaining proper weight and maintained. 

Table 1: Natural Fiber Materials 



Table 2: Materials 


Material 

Type 

Supplied by 

Matrix 

Bio Epoxy resin 

Laboratary chemicals Chennai 
(Matrix, hardener and releasing 
agent) 

Catalyst 

Hardener 

Releasing agent 

Poly Vinyl Acetate 

Sunn hemp, sisal, flax 

Fibers 

Local markets, Chennai 

Rosin 

Natural resin 

Local markets, Chennai 


2.2.2 Polymer-Hardener Mixture Preparation 

For getting quality composite, the method of measurement used for the samples should be accurate before mixing with 
better uniformity. Precise amount of polymer was taken as per calculations and 10% of hardener was added to it. This type 
of mixture was stirred fully until it becomes warmer. Very small extra quantity of hardener was taken for balancing any 
possible wastage in the process with more care. 

2.2.3 Preparation of Specimens 

The method of hand lay-up technique was utilized for making composites. The fiber piles were cut to the required sizes. 
The suitable numbers of fiber piles were correctly taken. Then these fibers were weighed and correctly the resin and 
hardener were also weighed. Epoxy resin and its hardener was mixed using sun hemp material rod using a bowl. More care 
was considered in order to avoid any formation of bubble materials. Because the formation of air bubbles in the process 
that were normally trapped in the matrix may result in material failure. The subsequent steps in the fabrication process 
mainly consist of first keeping a releasing type of film on to the mold surfaces. Then a polymer coating was immediately 
applied on the sheet tops. As the next step, fiber ply of one kind was introduced along with rosin particles on top and 
proper rolling action was done. Then resin materials was again applied, fiber ply of another type was allowed and rolled 
again. Rolling process was conducted using cylindrical mild steel rod materials. These procedural steps were repeated 
again and again until eight numbers of alternating fibers have been laid successfully. On the top of the last ply layer, a 
polymer coating was done which always serve to confirm a good surface finish on top. Finally, a clear releasing sheet was 
put again on the top and a light rolling action was performed. A 20 Kg of weight was rested on the composite for good 
compression action. It was left over for 72 hours’ time duration for proper aging and curing actions. 


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3. TEST RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS 

3.1 Hardness Test 

Porosity or atmospheric oxygen and thermal oriented deformation are caused by decreased hardness of the material. 
Therefore, it was important to get the sample with good hardness vales. Test samples were subjected to hardness testing 
using Shour D Micro Hardness tester using ASTM E 18-07. The sample was tested at three different locations with the test 
specimens being subjected to a load of 1/2 kg for a dwell time duration of 10 seconds for each location. The load range of 
the hardness testing machine is 10 g to lkg with a least count of 0.01 mm. The average hardness value for flax fiber hybrid 
composite with rosin was found to be 70 and that of the normal composite having only sun hemp and sisal fibers was noted 
as 68.9. The plot of hardness values for the two different composites is given below in figure 2. 


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Effect ofRosin and Flax Fibers on the Improvement in Mechanical 
Properties ofHybrid Polymeric Composites 


871 



Shour D Hardness 

Figure 2: Hardness Test Results 

3.2 Impact Test 

The impact testing was carried out as per ASTM D 256 standard, using the Tinius Olsen Impact testing machine having 5.5 
J pendulum. In this test, the specimen which is usually having notched structure is struck and immediately broken by the 
single blow in a specially designed type of machine. In this test, the energy absorbed while breaking was measured. The 
flax fiber with rosin reinforced hybrid composite absorbed an energy value of 20.53 J whereas the normal hybrid 
composite absorbed 19.86 J indicating the better value obtained by flax fiber one. The plot of impact strength values for the 
two different composites is given below in figure 3. 



Impact strength (Joules) 

Figure 3: Comparison of Impact Strength 

3.3 Tensile Test 

The tensile testing was carried out using ASTM D638 standard, using the Universal Testing Machine (UTM) Instron 1195. 
The commonly used specimens for tensile testing are the flat type. During this testing, a uniaxial load was applied at both 
ends of the specimen. The speed of the test was kept at 5 mm/min. The tensile strength values of both flax fiber with rosin 
and normal composites were noted as 67.43 Mpa and 65.13 Mpa showing the superiority of flax fiber one. The plot of this 
tensile strength numerical values for the two different hybrid composites are given below in figure 4. 


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Dr. A. John Presin Kumar, Dr. G. Rarikumar Solomon, Dr. S. Simkumar , 

Dr. S. Sathish & K. Yiswanathan 



Composite type 


Figure 4: Comparison of Tensile Strength 

3.4 Flexural Strength Test 

The flexural testing was carried out as per ASTM D790 standard, using the Universal Testing Machine, 5569A, Instron. 
The span length was kept as 50 mm and speed for test as 2 mm/min. The flax fiber reinforced hybrid composite with rosin 
has the highest flexural strength (13.86 MPa for dry condition) since its strength value increases with an increase in the 
inter-facial adhesion as clearly shown in figure 4 compared to other hybrid composites. The normal hybrid composite 
having only sun hemp and sisal fibers had the flexural strength value of 13.56 Mpa showing a comparatively lesser value 
than the flaxfiber hybrid composite. The plot of flexural strength values for the two different composites is given below in 
figure 5. 



Flax fiber hybrid composita Normal hybrid composite 

Composite type 

Figure 5: Comparison of Flexural Strength 
3.5. Percentage of Elongation of Different Hybrid Composites 

Figure 6 shows the percentage of elongation of hybrid composites in tensile testing is found to be more than that value of 
the hybrid composite made of normal sun hemp and sisal fiber composite (16.76% in dry condition). Therefore, flax fiber 
hybrid composite with rosincan withstand more amount of strain before failure in the tensile testing than the other kind of 
hybrid composite. 


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Effect ofRosin and Flax Fibers on the Improvement in Mechanical 
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873 



Figure 6 


Banana stem 
fiber hybrid 
composite 


c 

o 

03 

O) 

c 

o 

LU 

O 

Normal ^ 

hybrid 

composite 


I-H44-I Sample 3 
YZZ1 Sample 2 
^Samplel 




















1 1 11 i 1 ■ 1 ■ i 1 ■ 1 1 i 1 1 1 1 i • • 1 ■ i ■ 1 1 1 i 1 1 1 1 i ■ 1 1 ■ i ■ 1 1 1 i ■ 

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 


% of Elongation 


Figure 7: Comparison of % of Elongation 


3.6 Comparison of Different Hybrid Composites: Break Load 

The normal hybrid composite failed at 9.42 kN in the tensile testing and in the flexural test 2.3kN. In the double shear 
testing, at 9.23 kN the said composites failed. From this observation, the flax fiber hybrid composite with rosin withstands 
maximum loading compared to other hybrid composite as shown in figure 7. 


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874 


Dr. A. John Presin Kumar, Dr. G. Rarikumar Solomon, Dr. S. Simkumar , 

Dr. S. Sathish & K. Yiswanathan 


I I Sample 3 
V77\ Sample 2 
V77\ Sample 1 


Normal 

hybrid 

composite 


16.4 

5.8 




16.2 






17.1 

Flax 

fiber hybrid 


16.3 

composite 


> 16.9 


.1 ' ' ’ ’ r r'.-’-’- r -'-T-T 'r r rT .,-T-.- r -T-T T-r-yr T - T —^ . T , j . 


0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 

% of Elongation 

Figure 8: Comparison of Break Load Performance 

The fabricated composite samples are shown below in figure 8. 



Figure 9: Rosin and Flax (Left two) and Normal 
Hybrid (Right Three) Composite Samples 


3.7 Archimedes Density Test 

Archimedes’ principle helps in the calculation of density by means of providing a convenient and accurate method for the 
purpose of determining the numerical volume value of irregularly shaped objects like rocks. This method is often 
commonly used in the construction industry knowingly Hydrostatic Weighing. A sample of the fabricated composite is 
taken for this purpose and the calculations are shown below. 

P=density 

M^weight or mass in air 
M 2 =weight or mass in water 

The sample object is weighed in air and noted with Mi=7.12g 

The sample was submerged in water and thereby found to have apparent mass M 2 =5.06g 

The sample was clear that it had displaced M r M 2 =7.12-5.06=2.06g of water. Since water has density of lg/cm 3 , 

This implies that volume of the object = 2.06 cm 3 

Density of the object is then calculated as P=m/v=3.46/2.06=1.33g/cc 


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Effect ofRosin and Flax Fibers on the Improvement in Mechanical 
Properties ofHybrid Polymeric Composites 

4. CONCLUSIONS 


875 


From the experimental results, rosin and flax fiber hybrid composite specimen possess good mechanical properties. It is 
found that the innovative incorporation of natural rosin and flax fiber can very much improve the properties. This research 
work could be further extended in future to study the tribological aspects and phenomena like abrasion behavior, wear 
behavior, hardness behavior. The possibility of using other type of potential fillers for development of hybrid kind of 
composites can be explored and evaluation of their mechanical behavior and erosion type of behavior and the resultant 
experimental findings and outputs can be similarly found and also analyzed. Investigation and research of the powder 
morphology and fracture surfaces of the composite specimens can be carried out using scanning electron microscopy. 
Generating wealth from waste materials, such as from the flax fibers, sisal fibers and sun hemp fibers etc should be 
regarded as one of the methodologies for creating eco-friendly and hazardless environment helpful for the future 
generation. Plastic by-products could be changed into natural fiber hybrid composites similar to the one used in this present 
research work in view for sustaining these natural resources and compliment extra financial gains for enterprises like small 
scale kind of farming industries. This change can be possible in the due course of such research work keeping in mind that 
there canbe no compromise in terms of quality and also safety in competitiveness with various business products and 
materials. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

Authors are grateful to Metallurgy and Metrology laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Hindustan Institute 
of Technology and Science, Padur, Chennai for valuable support during the entire research period. 

REFERENCES 

1. D. Chandramohan, A. John Presin Kumar, Experimental data on the properties of natural fiberparticle reinforced polymer 
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2. S K. Giri, N. Prasad, S. K. Pandey, M. Prasad, B. Baboo, “Natural Resl=ins and Gums of Commercial Importance- 
AtaGlance”, Technical Bulletin, Indian Institute ofNatural Resins and Gums, Jharkhand, Pages 1-43, 2008. 

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Dr. S. Sathish & K. Viswanathan 

Enahled Discov. Appl. Springer (2017) 1-9. 

10. Deenadayalan, S. Sivakumar, R. Vishnuvardhan, R. Sathish Kumar, Fabrication and Characterisation of B-H-G Fiber with 
Teak Wood Particles Reinforced Hybrid Composite, International Journal of Engineering and Technology, 7 2.31 (2018), 208 
- 211 . 

11. “Investigation of Tensile Properties of Alkali Treated Andanus Odoratissimus Fiber Reinforced with Polymer Matrix 
Composite ”, IJMPERD, Vol. 8, Special Issue 8, pp. 403-407 

12. R. SathishKumar, S. Sivakumar, A. Joshuva, G. Deenadayalan, R. Vishnuvardhan, Experimental Investigation on Mechanical 
Properties and Vibration Damping Frequency Factor of Kenaf Fibers Reinforced Epoxy Composite, SAE conference, 
ADMMS’19, SAE Technical Papers, Oct2019, 1-8. 

13. Yan Li, Chunjing Hu, Yehong Yu, Interfacial studies of sisal fiber reinforced high density polyethylene (HDPE) composites, 39 
(2008), 570-578. 

14. John Presin Kumar, S. Sivakumar, R.Balaji, MukeshNadarajan, “Banana Stem based Activated Carbon as Filler in Polymer 
Composites for Automobiles”, SAE conference, ADMMS’19, SAE Technicalpapers, Oct 2019. 

15. John Presin KumarA, Ravikumar Solomon G, Sivakumar S, Balaji R, MukeshNadarajan, AshishSelokar, Air Quality Ejfects of 
Pollutant Gases from Brick Kilns near Chennai, International Journal ofRecent Technology and Engineering (IJRTE), 2019, 
8, 2284-2291. 

16. John Presin Kumar A, Ravikumar Solomon G, Sivakumar S, Sathish S, Harikrishnan S A, Sathish Babu R, Pollution Hazard 
Caused By Anti-Disease Drugs In Hospital Environments Near Chennai, International Journal of Recent Technology and 
Engineering (IJRTE), 2019, 8, 6401-6405. 

17. “Synthesis and Structural Characterization of Silica Doped Zinc Oxide Nanorods for Photoluminescence Applications”, 
BEST: International Journal of Management, Information Technology and Engineering (BEST: IJMITE), Vol. 3, Issue 11, pp. 
33-40 

18. John Presin Kumar A, Rajavel.R, Wear loss behavior of sol-gel treated aluminium alloys for bearing application, 2012, 
International Journal ofApplied Engineering Research, 6 (20), 2405-2412. 

19. John Presin Kumar A, Rajavel.R, Dijferent hardness sol-gel surface treatment of A390 aluminium alloy and its tribological 
ejfects, 2012, International Journal ofApplied Engineering Research, 7(3), 339-343. 

20. John Presin Kumar A, Rajavel.R, Dry sliding wear behavior of sol-gel treated aluminium alloys, 2012, International Journal 
of Applied Engineering Research, 7(3), 333-338. 

21. John Presin KumarA, Rajavel.R, A study on the superiority ofsol-gel method over conventional coating methods for 
A390 aluminium, 2014, Research Journal of Pharmaceutical, Biological and Chemical Sciences, 5(2), 472-477. 

22. “Investigation of Impact Response for CFRP/Steel Hybrid Composite Plate Under Low-Velocity Impact”, International 
Journal ofGeneral Engineering and Technology (IJGET), Vol. 3, Issue 2, pp. 1-10 

23. John Presin Kumar A, Rajmohan.G, A study on the supply chain management policies for a Chennai based company, 2014, 
International Journal ofApplied Engineering Research, 9(6), 629-632. 

24. John Presin KumarA, Harikrishnan.S.A, A study supply chain management order delaysfor a Chennai based company, 2014, 
International Journal ofApplied Engineering Research, 9(6), 633-636. 

25. Nagaraj.M.S, Exzhilarasan.C, John Presin KumarA, Betala.R, Analysis ofmultipoint cutting tool temperature using FEM and 
CFD, 2018, Manufacturing Review, 5,16. 


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26. u Modification Polymer Matrix Composites by Addition Graphene”, IMPACT: International Journal of Research in Applied, 
Natural and Social Sciences (IMPACT: IJRANSS), Vol. 4, Issue 5, pp. 41-46 

27. Nagaraj.M.S, Exzhilarasan.C, John Presin Kumar A, Velayudham.A, A review of machining characteristics in mechanical 
drilling of super alloys, 2018, International Journal of Mechanical and Production Engineering Research and Development, 
8(1), IJMPERDFEB201864, 579-588. 

28. Nagaraj.M.S, John Presin Kumar A, Exzhilarasan.C, Betala.R, Finite Element Modelling in drilling of Nimonic C-263 alloy 
using deform- 3D, 2019, CMES-Computer Modelling in Engineering and Sciences, 118(3), 679-692. 

AUTHORS PROFILE 

•NHW* 

Dr. A. John Presin Kumar has been in engineering teaching and engineering research field for the last 19 years. He has 
published 24 international journal papers so far. He is a member of WEO, ISEIS and IRED and presently doing research 
work in Composites, Waste recycling, Organic materials, Pollution control and Soil fertility. 



Dr. G. Rayikumar Solomon is the Professor and Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering in Hindustan 
Institute of Technology & Science, Chennai. He has over 30 years of Teaching experience and has published almost 52 
research papers in the field of Heat transfer, Solar air heating, Cooling potential & technology. 



Dr. S. Siyakumar has been in engineering teaching and engineering research field for the last 17 years. He has published 
21 international journal papers so far. He is a member of SAE and IRED and presently doing research work in composites, 
CAD/CAM, Waste recycling, Pollution control and Soil fertility. 



Dr. S. Sathish has been in engineering teaching and engineering research field for the last 9 years. He has published 38 
international journal papers so far. He is a member of ACM and IRED, he served as a reviewer and editorial boards in 18 
international journals and presently doing research work in Biomass, Energy, and Alternative Fuels, Environmental. 


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Dr. A. John Presin Kumar, Dr. G. Rarikumar Solomon, Dr. S. Sivakumar, 

Dr. S. Sathish & K. Yiswanathan 



Mr. K. Viswanathan has experience in Manufacturing Industries like shock absorbers, signage industries, bi-metal 
bearings for more than 25 years and currently he is an Associate Professor with School of Mechanical Science, Hindustan 
University, Chennai. He completed his graduation in Mechanical Engineering &M.E.(Engineering Design) from Madras 
Uniyersity. He published papers in the area of condition monitoring, 5S. 


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