Characterizing Mat Formation of Bamboo Fiber Composites: Horizontal Density Distribution Hu, Yu’an; He, Mei; Semple, Kate; Chen, Meiling; Pineda, Hugo; Zhou, Chenli; Dai, Chunping
Bamboo fiber composite (BFC) is a unidirectional and continuous bamboo fiber composite manufactured by consolidation and gluing of flattened, partially separated bamboo culm strips into thick and dense panels. The composite mechanical properties are primarily influenced by panel density, its variation and uniformity. This paper characterized the horizontal density distribution (HDD) within BFC panels and its controlling factors. It revealed that HDD follows a normal distribution, with its standard deviation (SD) strongly affected by sampling specimen size, panel thickness and panel locations. SD was lowest in the thickest (40 mm) panel and largest-size (150 × 150-mm2) specimens. There was also a systematic variation along the length of the BFC due to the tapering effect of bamboo culm thickness. Density was higher along panel edges due to restraint from the mold edges during hot pressing. The manual BFC mat forming process is presented and found to effectively minimize the density variation compared to machine-formed wood composites. This study provides a basic understanding of and a quality control guide to the formation uniformity of BFC products.
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