Characterizing Tensile and Flexural Properties of Synthetic Fibers-Reinforced Epoxy Composite for Foot Prosthetic Application

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Addis Ababa University


Materials has direct and critical impact on the performance of prosthetic foot. The aim of this thesis is to characterize the tensile and flexural properties of the four stacking sequences of E-glass and hybrid (E-glass/carbon) epoxy composite for prosthetic foot using powerful FEA software (ANSYS 19.2) for selecting stacking sequence that yields high strength without experimental cost. Additionally, to compare the design and strength performance of prosthetic foot model for two materials (Homo-polymer-polypropylene and selected composite) by numerical simulation. This starts from determining the elastic property of lamina to modeling of testing samples according to their standards for each stacking configuration using ANSYS workbench and verifying the numerical result with analytical MATLAB solution. The result shows that the ROM and Halpin-Tsai predicts longitudinal and transversal properties of the lamina with an acceptable range of errors from (1.66%-3.04%) and (0.5%-3.02%) respectively compared to experimental result of [34]. In pure E-glass/epoxy and hybrid/epoxy laminate the ultimate tensile strength is increased from 777.44MPa to1475.5MPa and 1865MPa to 1935MPa respectively. Similarly, in flexural testing the ultimate flexural strength of hybrid composite is increased from 1299.2Mpa -1934.3MPa due effect of stacking sequence. Among the all stacking configuration the SS-3 ( ����������������������) results higher tensile and flexural strength and selected for prosthetic foot. The failure loads of laminate in each stacking sequence verified the numerical results with an error less than 2% and 3% for tensile and flexural loading respectively. The composite prosthetic model has higher performance than Homo-polymer-polypropylene model. The model of prosthetic foot from Homo-polymer-polypropylene is not operating under the material stress limits. The deformation resistance, energy storage capacity, safety factor and stiffness of composite foot is increased by 18.9%, 53.2%, 56.2% and 18.8% respectively compared to HPP prosthetic foot. Its weight and is reduced by 30.62%. Finally, this composite is suggested for prosthetic producers (Prosthetic and orthotic center).



Prosthetic Foot, Homo polymer poly propylene, Composite Laminate, Stacking Sequence, Property Characterization, Tensile Strength, Flexural Strength, Numerical Simulation, Energy Storage