The uses of fiber-reinforced composite materials is increasing as substitutes for metals and their research and development are active in aerospace, shipbuilding/ocean, leisure and sports industries because they have large specific strength and specific stiffness, excellent chemical resistance and formability. However, their weak toughness, vulnerability to impact, and deterioration by environmental conditions such as moisture need to be improved and many studies are being conducted in this area.
In this study, polypropylene/glass fiber reinforced composite panel that is weaved with a mixture of polypropylene fibers and glass fibers with such characteristics as high elongation of short fibers, high ductility, anti-fouling, and hydrophobicity by giving them directional property. Then mechanical and environmental tests were carried out with specimens fabricated with this composite panel and its applicability to shipbuilding and ocean leisure industries was evaluated through a comparison with existing glass fiber reinforced composite materials.
Mechanical tests confirmed that specimens fabricated with polypropylene/glass-mixed woven fibers had higher tensile strength and 3-point bending strength compared to the single glass-fiber specimen. Environmental tests showed that the polypropylene/glass-mixed woven fiber specimen had a higher water absorption, but a lower deterioration of properties due to water absorption and better recovery of properties by drying than the single glass-fiber reinforced composite material did.
The results of this experiment verified the excellence of the polypropylene/glass-mixed woven fiber-reinforced composite material compared to the existing glass fiber-reinforced composite material. However, the forming process needs to be changed to improve the weak interfacial bonding, and the properties of the composite material itself could be improved through mixed weaving with other fibers after development. Maximizing of the advantages of polypropylene fibers and overcoming their shortcomings will improve their applicability to the shipbuilding, ocean leisure, and other industries, and increase the value of polypropylene fibers in the composite material market.