The Influence of Pineapple Leaf Fiber Orientation and Volume Fraction on Methyl Methacrylate-Based Polymer Matrix for Prosthetic Socket Application Gaba, Eric Worlawoe; Asimeng, Bernard O.; Kaufmann, Elsie Effah; Foster, Johan; Tiburu, Elvis K.
This work reports on the use of low-cost pineapple leaf fiber (PALF) as an alternative reinforcing material to the established, commonly used material for prosthetic socket fabrication which is carbon-fiber-reinforced composite (CFRC) due to the high strength and stiffness of carbon fiber. However, the low range of loads exerted on a typical prosthetic socket (PS) in practice suggests that the use of CFRC may not be appropriate because of the high material stiffness which can be detrimental to socket-limb load transfer. Additionally, the high cost of carbon fiber avails opportunities to look for an alternative material as a reinforcement for composite PS development. PALF/Methyl Methacrylate-based (MMA) composites with 0°, 45° and 90° fiber orientations were made with 5–50 v/v fiber volume fractions. The PALF/MMA composites were subjected to a three-point flexural test to determine the effect of fiber volume fraction and fiber orientation on the flexural properties of the composite. The results showed that 40% v/v PALF/MMA composite with 0° fiber orientation recorded the highest flexural strength (50 MPa) and stiffness (1692 MPa). Considering the average load range exerted on PS, the flexural performance of the novel composite characterized in this work could be suitable for socket-limb load transfer for PS fabrication.
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