Investigations on Tribological Performance of Sisal Fiber Reinforced Polypropylene Composites

  • Temesgen Berhanu Yallew Mekelle University
  • Mulubrhan Mokonen Mekelle University
  • Tsegay Tesfay Mekelle University
Keywords: Polymer matrix composites; Sisal fiber; Polypropylene; Friction; Wear loss; RSM; SEM.


There has been an increase in global interest in the development of natural fiber-reinforced composites. Natural fibers extracted from plants are receiving more attention from researchers, scientists, and academics due to their use in polymer composites and their environmentally friendly nature and sustainability. Recently, sisal fiber-reinforced polymer composites have been used in a variety of engineering applications like aerospace, automotive, marine, and other mechanical components, where tribological properties are of prime consideration. In this endeavor, experiments have been conducted to determine the tribological behavior of sisal fiber-reinforced polypropylene composite. Pin-on-disc wear tests have been conducted on specimens at various combinations of sliding velocities (1-3 m/s), sliding distances (1000-3000 m), and applying normal loads (10-30N). Using Response Surface Method (RSM), a mathematical model has been developed to predict the friction and wear loss behavior of the sisal fiber-reinforced polypropylene (PP) composites. To ensure the validity of the developed model, the Analysis of variance (ANOVA) technique has been applied. Important process parameters and material variables that exert significant influence on sliding wear loss have been determined with the help of systematic experimentation. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) has been used to probe morphological observation of the worn surface. Results revealed that the highest volumetric wear loss has been recorded at the highest values of applied load and this has been supported by the morphological study demonstrated by the scratches, as well as wider and deeper plowing marks on the worn surfaces.

Author Biographies

Temesgen Berhanu Yallew, Mekelle University

School of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Ethiopian Institute of Technology-Mekelle, Mekelle University, Mekelle, Ethiopia

Mulubrhan Mokonen, Mekelle University

College of Dry-land Agriculture and Natural Resources; Mekelle University, Mekelle, Ethiopia.

Tsegay Tesfay, Mekelle University

College of Natural and Computational Sciences; Mekelle University, Mekelle, Ethiopia.

Research Paper

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2220-184X
print ISSN: 2073-073X