Optimization of mechanical properties of non-woven short sisal fibre-reinforced vinyl ester composite using factorial design and GA method
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This work presents a systematic approach to evaluate and study the effect of process parameters on tensile, flexural and impact strength of untreated short sisal fibre-reinforced vinyl ester polymer-based composites and predicts the optimum properties of random natural fibre-reinforced composites. The natural fibre of sisal at lengths of 10, 30 and 50 mm and vinyl ester resin at loadings of 15, 30 and 45 (wt%) were prepared. The composite panel was then fabricated using hand lay method in cold process of size 180×160 mm2. Samples were then cut from the panel and subjected to mechanical properties testing such as tensile, flexural and impact strengths. The average tensile strength ranges between 27·1 and 43·9 MPa. The flexural strength ranged between 26·9 and 49·5 MPa and the impact strength ranged between 16 and 93 J/m. The strength values were optimized using factorial design and genetic algorithm (GA) method. The predicted optimum process parameter values are in good agreement with the experimental results.
KeywordsSisal fibre composites polymer matrix mechanical properties
The authors acknowledge the support of Mr G Tharanidharan and S Gnanakumar, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Kongu Engineering College, Erode, to carry out mechanical testing.
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