Characterization of Plantain Fiber Reinforced High Density Polyethylene Composite for Application in Design of Auto Body Fenders


  • Ihueze, Christopher Chukwutoo Department of Industrial/Production Engineering, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria
  • Obiora Jeremiah Obiafudo Department of Mechanical Engineering, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria
  • Christian Emeka Okafor Department of Industrial/Production Engineering, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria


Plantain fiber, Polyethylene resin, Compactibilizer, Machine parameters, Taguchi methods.


High density polyethylene composite reinforced with natural plantain fiber was
produced using injection moulding technique. The production process utilized the popular L18
Taguchi experimental design which allowed for investigating the effects of the major production
variables (the machine parameters) such as; barrel(melt) temperature, mold temperature, injection
pressure, holding pressure, back pressure, clamping force and shaft speed in the final mechanical
property of the product. Moreover, the need to use improved fiber volume fraction/particle size
and appropriate compactibilizer mass was verified. The various mechanical tests conducted on
the new composite material reveal that fiber volume fraction of 0.1, particle size of 75μm and
compactibilizer mass of 0.00024kg yields a high quality composite material with improved
mechanical properties suitable for auto body fender application. The Taguchi robust design
technique was applied for "the greater the better" to obtain the highest signal-to-noise ratio
(SNratio) for quality characteristics (strengths) in the determination of optimum factor levels. The
improved PFRHDPEC was found to have optimum tensile strength of 87.44MPa
, yield strength of
, Flexural strength of 77.03J, Rockwell Hardness strength of 756.99, Impact strength of
16.21J and density of 993kg/m3
. The result shows that the auto body fender produced based on
compactibilized PFRHDPEC has an advantage of reduced density compared to that of steel and
alternative composite materials