The work describes the fibre extraction, manufacturing and testing of biocomposites made from cactus fibres and polyester matrix. A novel fibre extraction process has been developed, allowing the production of fibres from cactus cladodes with three distinct architectures in terms of microstructure morphology. Biocomposites with polyester matrix have been fabricated, and subjected to tensile and flexural loading. The flexural mechanical properties have been also identified through cyclic (1.5 Hz) 3-point bending tests at different loading ratios (0.60–0.95) and up to 106 cycles following the ASTM D790 standard. The cactus/polyester composites show a flexural modulus significantly higher compared to their tensile analogous, and large energy dissipation per unit volume at low cycles and high loading levels.
- A. Structural composites; A. Wood; B. Mechanical properties; B. Fatigue; C. Finite element analysis (FEA); D. Infrared (IR) spectroscopy