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Optimization of Dry Sliding Wear Performance of Ceramic Whisker Filled Epoxy Composites Using Taguchi Approach

DOI: 10.1155/2012/431903

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This study evaluates the influence of independent parameters such as sliding velocity (A), normal load (B), filler content (C), and sliding distance (D) on wear performance of potassium-titanate-whiskers (PTW) reinforced epoxy composites using a statistical approach. The PTW were reinforced in epoxy resin to prepare whisker reinforced composites of different compositions using vacuum-assisted casting technique. Dry sliding wear tests were conducted using a standard pin on disc test setup following a well planned experimental schedule based on Taguchi’s orthogonal arrays. With the signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio and analysis of variance (ANOVA) optimal combination of parameters to minimize the wear rate was determined. It was found that inclusion of PTW has greatly improved the wear resistance property of the composites. Normal load was found to be the most significant factor affecting the wear rate followed by (C), (D), and (A). Interaction effects of various control parameters were less significant on wear rate of composites. 1. Introduction Polymer matrix composites are an important class of composite that are finding increased use in aerospace, automotive, marine, and civil infrastructure applications. In recent years, polymer composites are extensively utilized in tribological components such as cams, brakes, bearings, and gears because of their self-lubrication properties, lower friction, and better wear resistance. More and more polymer composites are now being used as sliding components, which were formerly composed of only metallic materials [1, 2]. Still, developments are underway to explore other fields of application for these materials and to tailor their properties for extreme load-bearing and environmental temperature conditions. Currently, usage of ceramic whisker-reinforced polymer composites is rapidly increasing. Whiskers are short fiber-shaped single crystals with high perfection and very large length-to-diameter ratios. Generally whiskers possess high strength and stiffness due to their nearly perfect crystal structure [3]. Therefore whiskers are reckoned as more effective reinforcements than traditional fibers such as carbon fiber and glass fiber. Recently various inorganic whiskers such as Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3), Alumina (Al2O3), Silicon Carbide (SiC), Potassium Titanate (PTW, K2Ti6O13), Barium Titanate (BaTiO3), and so forth were prepared and employed in the manufacturing of composites with different polymer matrices. Several researchers have observed the significant changes in the mechanical and tribological properties of polymers

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