LPM Rod Bend Test
In order to better understand the performance and durability of our plastic waste rods, we subjected them to a 3-point bend test. The rods that we tested were 33.5mm in diameter and 475mm in length, they both had 4 layers of our flax LDPE composite sheet on the outer layer. We ran the test on two different types of rods, one was made up of 100% plastic waste content and the other contained around 20% aluminium chip. The hope was that the aluminium would make the rod stiffer and increase strength.
The results are presented in separate graphs down below showing the deflection of the rod and the weight the rod was subject to at the time of that specific deflection. The pictures show the breakpoint after the test was complete.
As you can see from the results the aluminium didn't work the way we had hoped, it actually increased the amount of deflection in the rod. This was unexpected but at a closer glance at the sight of the break, it made sense. As you can see in the photos above the aluminium chip caused areas where the material couldn't fully consolidate, therefore, creating weak points in the core.
The most interesting part of this test is that both rods failed under the same load, 63KG of force, indicating that the fibre layer on the outside is where the rod gets its strength.