An integrated approach of quality for polymer composite manufacturing validated and optimized through Taguchi method

Document Type: Article

Authors

1 Department of Engineering, Management Center of Advanced Studies in Engineering G-5/1, Islamabad, Pakistan.

2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan

3 Center of Excellence on Science and Applied Technologies (CESAT), Islamabad, Pakistan.

4 Department of Engineering, Management Center of Advanced Studies in Engineering G-5/1, Islamabad, Pakistan

Abstract

Quality problems in the polymer composite products are mainly attributed to design  flaws, material inconsistencies, defects in manufacturing process, unquali ed manpower, use of primitive technology, and defective machines. The purpose of this research is to develop a generic framework of quality for polymer composite manufacturing, which is validated and optimized through determining  flexure properties by Taguchi
method. To test the proposed framework, 27 polymer composite laminates were produced according to Taguchi L27 orthogonal array by varying thirteen key process parameters including laminates' thickness, weight, ber pattern, matrix, core type, resin and hardener mixing time, viscosity, layup pattern, tooling, cure, temperature, labour and process techniques. Flexure strength was de ned as quality characteristic, and accordingly, e ffects of the selected parameters on  exural properties were studied through three-point bending
test. Results of the study reveal that ber pattern, cure, tooling type, and layup pattern are the most signi cant variables influencing  flexure stress, whereas ber pattern, matrix, resin hardening mixing time, and process techniques have signi cant e ffect on flexure strain. The optimized levels of each control parameter for
exure stress and strain were obtained, and results were validated through predictive analysis. Findings of this study and the proposed framework are useful for polymer composite application in aviation, mechanical, sports, automobile, and civil industries.

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