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Solid Particle Erosion of Date Palm Leaf Fiber Reinforced Polyvinyl Alcohol Composites

DOI: 10.1155/2014/293953

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Solid particle erosion behavior of short date palm leaf (DPL) fiber reinforced polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) composite has been studied using silica sand particles (200 ± 50?μm) as an erodent at different impingement angles (15–90°) and impact velocities (48–109?m/s). The influence of fiber content (wt% of DPL fiber) on erosion rate of PVA/DPL composite has also been investigated. The neat PVA shows maximum erosion rate at 30° impingement angle whereas PVA/DPL composites exhibit maximum erosion rate at 45° impingement angle irrespective of fiber loading showing semiductile behavior. The erosion efficiency of PVA and its composites varies from 0.735 to 16.289% for different impact velocities studied. The eroded surfaces were observed under scanning electron microscope (SEM) to understand the erosion mechanism. 1. Introduction Material scientists are constantly searching for new nonconventional materials to replace the conventional metallic materials. With this effort the development of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite, reinforced with both synthetic and natural fibers, finds its place for applications ranging from household appliances to advanced space and defense equipment due to its excellent specific properties. Environmental awareness has triggered the researchers worldwide to replace traditional synthetic fibers with natural fibers because of certain advantages such as low price, low density, unlimited and sustainable availability, and low abrasive wear of processing machinery [1, 2]. However, they have certain disadvantages like high moisture absorption, poor wettability, low mechanical properties, and so forth. In spite of these disadvantages, the interest in natural fiber polymer composites is rapidly growing in terms of their tribological and industrial applications [3]. With regard to tribological application, natural fiber polymer composites encounter different types of wears in practical situations. Solid particle erosion is one of the typical wear modes which is characterized by the loss of materials that results from repeated impact of small solid particles. It occurs in various situations like pipe line carrying sand slurries in petroleum refining, helicopter rotor blades, pump impeller blades, high speed vehicles, and aircraft operating in desert environments, radomes, surfing boats, and so forth. In those situations the components come across impact of lot of abrasives like dust, sand, splinters of materials, slurry of solid particles, and so forth, and consequently the material undergoes erosive wear [4]. Till date, most of the

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