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Polymers 2018, 10(3), 246;

Fique Fabric: A Promising Reinforcement for Polymer Composites

Materials Science Program, Military Institute of Engineering, IME, Praça General Tibúrcio 80, Urca, Rio de Janeiro 22290-270, Brazil
CCComposites Laboratory, Universidad de Antioquia, UDeA, Calle 70, No. 52-21, Medellin 050010, Colombia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 February 2018 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 24 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Textile and Textile-Based Materials)
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A relatively unknown natural fiber extracted from the leaves of the fique plant, native of the South American Andes, has recently shown potential as reinforcement of polymer composites for engineering applications. Preliminary investigations indicated a promising substitute for synthetic fibers, competing with other well-known natural fibers. The fabric made from fique fibers have not yet been investigated as possible composite reinforcement. Therefore, in the present work a more thorough characterization of fique fabric as a reinforcement of composites with a polyester matrix was performed. Thermal mechanical properties of fique fabric composites were determined by dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). The ballistic performance of plain woven fique fabric-reinforced polyester matrix composites was investigated as a second layer in a multilayered armor system (MAS). The results revealed a sensible improvement in thermal dynamic mechanical behavior. Both viscoelastic stiffness and glass transition temperature were increased with the amount of incorporated fique fabric. In terms of ballistic results, the fique fabric composites present a performance similar to that of the much stronger KevlarTM as an MAS second layer with the same thickness. A cost analysis indicated that armor vests with fique fabric composites as an MAS second layer would be 13 times less expensive than a similar creation made with Kevlar™. View Full-Text
Keywords: fique fabric; composites; polyester matrix; thermal dynamic mechanical behavior; ballistic performance fique fabric; composites; polyester matrix; thermal dynamic mechanical behavior; ballistic performance

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Neves Monteiro, S.; Salgado de Assis, F.; Ferreira, C.L.; Tonini Simonassi, N.; Pondé Weber, R.; Souza Oliveira, M.; Colorado, H.A.; Camposo Pereira, A. Fique Fabric: A Promising Reinforcement for Polymer Composites. Polymers 2018, 10, 246.

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