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Measuring fibre orientation in sisal fibre-reinforced, injection moulded polypropylene

Pros and cons of the experimental methods to validate injection moulding simulation
: Albrecht, K.; Baur, E.; Endres, H.-J.; Gente, R.; Graupner, N.; Koch, M.; Neudecker, M.; Osswald, T.; Schmidtke, P.; Wartzack, S.; Webelhaus, K.; Müssig, J.


Composites. Part A, Applied science and manufacturing 95 (2017), pp.54-64
ISSN: 1359-835X
Journal Article
Fraunhofer WKI ()
fibre orientation; natural fibre; process simulation; injection molding

In commercial injection moulding simulation software only tools for glass fibre-reinforced thermoplastics exist, but not for natural fibres. In our research, we adapted a simulation software for sisal fibre-reinforced polypropylene. To evaluate our simulation results, three experimental methods, to measure fibre orientation are compared to each other using injection moulded sisal fibre-reinforced polymer parts: terahertz spectroscopy, μ-CT and light microscopy measurements (LMM) of microtome sections. Terahertz spectroscopy determines the main orientation over the plate thickness, but it neglects variances of fibre orientation across the plate thickness. Using μ-CT and LMM allows measuring fibre orientation at different layers across the plate thickness and to detect a shell-core effect. Care has to be taken comparing results from μ-CT and LMM, due to their differences in the slice thicknesses. The orientation found with the μ-CT correlates well with the injection moulding simulation developed for sisal fibre-reinforced polypropylene.