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Fire Properties of Elephant Grass Fiber and Glass Fiber Reinforced Polyester Composites

Natural fiber composites (NFC) and glass fiber composites (GFC) have been prepared by incorporating elephant grass fibers and glass fibers in to polyester matrix via hand layup technique. In this study, the fire properties of composites have been evaluated by cone calorimeter. The addition of elephant grass fiber has effectively reduced the average heat release rate (Av. HRR) and peak heat release rate (PHRR) of the matrix by 28 %, and 36 %, respectively. Maximum average heat rate emission and carbon monoxide yield of the bio composites decrease substantially compared with that of matrix. However, average carbon dioxide yield, and total smoke release values of matrix are slightly increased with the addition of the elephant grass fiber. The NFC ignites earlier, release greater levels of heat when compared with that of GFC. Average HRR, PHRR and THR values of NFC are about 39%, 71% and 38% greater than those of GFC, respectively. Further, theoretical models were used to predict time to flashover and FO classification of composites.

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