Mechanical Properties of Pineapple Leaf Fibre Reinforced Polymer Composites for Application as a Prosthetic Socket

J.K. Odusote, A.T. Oyewo


Biodegradable fibers derived from natural plants are abundantly available and are currently considered as waste. This study aims at investigating the mechanical properties of pineapple leaf fiber reinforced thermoset composites as possible alternatives to the above-knee glass fiber reinforced prosthetic socket. This study was carried out according to ASTM (2004) standards at temperature and relative humidity of 26 ± 3 °C and 51 ± 2%, respectively. Continuous pineapple leaf fibers are treated with sodium hydroxide and acetic acid, and then added to epoxy and polyester at varying fiber loadings of 0, 20, 30, 40 and 50% to produce fiber reinforced composites using the hand lay-up method. The mechanical properties of glass fiber polyester composite (GFPC) were compared with pineapple leaf fiber polyester composites (PLPC) and pineapple leaf epoxy composites (PLEC). The results showed that PLEC, particularly at 40% fiber loading, had superior mechanical properties than GFPC and PLPC. The tensile, flexural and impact strengths of PLEC are 76.47 ± 3.85 MPa, 81.27 ± 1.77 MPa and 59.03 ± 0.99 k/Jm2 , respectively. These values are higher than those of PLPC with tensile, flexural and impact strengths of 62.09 ± 4.47 MPa, 53.02 ± 1.20 MPa 45.22 ± 1.10 k/Jm2 , respectively. The tensile, flexural and impact strengths of GFPC are also lower and are respectively 59.03 ± 0.99 MPa, 66.10 ± 1.88 MPa and 52.48 ± 1.77 k/Jm2 . Thus, PLEC has the potential to be further developed as a replacement for glass fiber in above-knee prosthetic sockets.

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ISSN : 2180-3811       E-ISSN : 2289-814X

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