Response Surface Optimization of the Impact Strength of Plantain Fiber Reinforced Polyester for Application in Auto Body Works

C. C. Ihueze, E. C. Okafor


The impact strength of plantain fiber reinforced polyester composites (PFRP) was evaluated to assess the possibility of using it as a new material in engineering applications. The study considered the controlling factors (notch tip radius (A) and notch depth (B)) of different reinforcement combinations in the determination of impact strength of the composites. This property was determined for plantain empty fruit bunch (PEFBF) and plantain pseudo stem (PPS). Impact tests were conducted on the replicated samples of PEFB fiber reinforced polyester composite and PPS fiber reinforced polyester respectively using Archimedes principles in each case to determine the volume fraction of fibers. To obtain the optimum properties being investigated, Charpy impact tester was used to establish the actual control factor levels needed to optimize the mechanical properties being investigated. These control factor levels were then applied to optimize the mechanical properties of plantain fiber composites using response surface methodology (RSM) of Design – Expert 8 software. The impact strength of plantain fiber reinforced polyester was evaluated as 167.851 KJ/m2 for optimum performance.

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