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Abstract

Within the general objective of analyzing and modeling the processability of polypropylene and of its short fiber composites, a statistical analysis of the relationship between processing conditions and final properties has been performed applying modern experimental design concepts. In order to gather the largest amount of information with a manageable quantity of experiments, Taguchi methods were used for the design of injection molding tests and for the analysis of experimental fiber orientation and impact strength results. Two levels of each variable of interest were selected, and the results of the analysis not only show which of the processing variables are predominant but also show that interactions between variables must be taken into account. The approach presented here offers a viable route to the scaling-up of the injection molding process through the reduction of the number of variables in the prediction of the processing behavior of semicrystalline polymers and of their composites.