Vol. 2, Issue 2 (2018)
Effect of particle size and volume fraction on the tensile properties of Wood Ash Particles Reinforced Polypropylene (WARPP) composites
Author(s): Aguh Patrick Sunday, Charles Chikwendu Okpala, Chukwumuanya Emmanuel Okechukwu
Abstract: Wood ash is the residual powder left after combustion of wood, such as wood burnt in home fireplace or in an industrial power plant. Wood ash particles reinforced polypropylene (WARPP) composite samples were produced in an injection moulding machine. Three particle sizes of 0.25mm, 0.80mm and 1.40mm of the ash were choosen as representative particles for this reearch. The orthogonal array (matrix) of Taguchi experimental design was used to generate the factors combination used to produce the wood ash particles reinforced polypropylene composite samples. The samples produced were characterized using a mechanical testing method (tensile test). The tensile properties of the composite samples were tested using Hounsfield extensometer experimental rig. Results of the experimental data were then used to plot stress – strain curve which showed that the composites displayed magnesium or aluminum – like tensile behaviour. From the plots, it can be deduced that at 5% volume fraction, the tensile strength increased from 13.2N/mm2 to 18.4N/mm2 as the particle size increased from 0.25mm to 0.80mm, while there was a decrease from 18.4N/mm2 to 11.2N/mm2 as the particle size increased from 0.80mm to 1.40mm. At 35% volume fraction, the tensile strength increased fairly from 15.4N/mm2 to 16.4N/mm2 as the particle size increased from 0.25mm, 0.80mm to 1.40mm. At 60% volume fraction, the tensile strength increased from 13.2N/mm2 to 16.6N/mm2 and from 16.6N/mm2 to 20.4N/mm2 as the particle size increased from 0.25mm to 0.80mm and from 0.80mm to 1.40mm. The results show that the tensile constitutive behaviour of the WARPP composites is consistent with the typical heat treated steel (gray cast iron), magnesium, aluminum and copper.