Analysis and Application of Natural Fiber Reinforced Polyester Composites to Automobile Fender

Benjamin Ufuoma Oreko, Omonigho B. Otanocha, Eyere Emagbere, Christopher Chukwutoo Ihueze


In Nigeria, little attention has been given to the analyses and applications of natural fibers for automobile body parts production. Hence in this work, an attempt is made to evaluate the compressive and impact strength of plantain fiber reinforced polyester composites (PFRC) and to develop an automobile fender using plantain fiber reinforced polyester composites. The PFRC automobile fender was constructed using the hand lay-up technique. The method adopted to achieve the PFRC fender involved fiber extraction, fiber surface treatment, laminates development for impact and compressive test experiment and the development of automobile fender. Experimental investigations for compressive and impact tests were carried out on the laminates which were prepared according to the ASTM D256 and ASTM D1621 standards, respectively. The impact strength result of the PFRC with volume fraction 0.25 and 0.3 was 12.22J/m2 and 12.83J/m2, respectively. The compressive strength, shear stress and resultant stress results of PFRC laminates with volume fraction 0.25 and 0.3 were 62.52MPa, 31.26MPa, 69.99MPa and 68.98MPa, 34.49MPa, 77.12MPa, respectively. From the results, it was observed that the strength of the plantain fiber reinforced polyester composites depend on the fiber volume fraction. The constructed automobile fender was simulated in a Solidworks software environment and was found that the edges, especially the circular part of the automobile fender have high stress concentrations. The production of the automobile fender using PFRC was done at low cost.

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