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    The focus of this study is to (i) understand the effect of the fiber type and content on the mechanical properties of sheetmolding compounds composites and (ii) investigate possible lightweight alternatives to glass fibers-sheet molding compound composites. Glass fiber and basalt fibers are used to make sheet-molding compound composites and the mechanical performance are determined as a function of the fiber type and content. In addition, cellulose nanocrystals are used to enhance the properties of the sheet-molding compound resin system. The possibility of lightweighting the basalt fiber/epoxy and glass fiber/epoxy sheet-molding compound composites is explored by replacing a portion of the fibers, i.e. 12–16 wt%, with a small amount cellulose nanocrystals, i.e. 1–2 wt%. No significant difference was found between the basalt fiber/epoxy and glass fiber/epoxy sheet-molding compound composites in terms of mechanical and impact properties. When cellulose nanocrystals were added to the composites, the properties of glass fiber/epoxy sheetmolding compound composites were enhanced while those of basalt fiber/epoxy sheet-molding compound composites deteriorated.

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    Asadi, Amir; Baaij, Ferdinand; Moon, Robert J; Harris, Tequila AL; Kalaitzidou, Kyriaki. 2019. Lightweight alternatives to glass fiber/epoxy sheet molding compound composites: a feasibility study. Journal of Composite Materials. 53(14): 1985-2000.


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    Cellulose nanomaterials, sheet-molding compounds, polymer-matrix composites, lightweighting, mechanical properties

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