Mechanical properties of biaxial weft-knitted flax composites

Daoshun Xue, Hong Hu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


There has been an increasing interest of using natural fibers to replace glass fibers for composite reinforcement nowadays. However, most of the developments have focused on the random discontinuous fiber composite system. In this study, low cost flax continuous yarn was used to make non-crimp fabric for composite reinforcement based on a biaxial weft-knitted structure. A modified flat knitting machine was developed to produce this kind of reinforcement. Both NaOH treated and untreated reinforcements were used for fabricating the composite samples through the vacuum assisted resin transfer molding process (VARTM). The mechanical properties of the flax yarn, reinforcement and composites were tested and the effect of the NaOH treatment was discussed. The results revealed that although the NaOH treatment resulted in the reduction of the mechanical properties of both yarn and reinforcement, the mechanical properties of the composites could be considerably improved by the NaOH treatment of the reinforcement. The study has provided a simpler way of using low cost natural fiber yarns made from flax long-fiber bundles to produce high performance composites.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-269
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials and Design
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013


  • Biaxial knitted reinforcement
  • Flax fiber
  • Mechanical performance
  • Natural fiber composite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Materials Science(all)


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