Neural networks approach towards determining Flax-Biocomposites composition and processing parameters
Mondol, Joel-Ahmed Mubashshar
This research introduces neural networks (NN) as a novel approach towards aiding biocomposite materials processing. At its core, the aim of the research was to investigate NN usage as a tool for advancing the field of biocomposites. Empirical data was generated for compression-molded flax fiber and High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) matrix based biocomposite materials. In an attempt to create the NN model, tensile strength, impact strength, hardness, bending strength, and density were provided to the NN as inputs. These inputs were processed through multiple layers of the NN, and contributed to the prediction of the composition (fiber loading percentage) and operating parameter (pressure in MPa) as output. In précis, NN’s use was investigated to predict composition and operational parameter for biocomposites production when the desired mechanical properties of the biocomposites were available. Flax (Linum usitatissimum) fiber biocomposite boards were manufactured using chemically pretreated flax fiber and high density polyethylene (HDPE). After extensive preprocessing (combing and size reduction to 2 mm particles) and pretreatment regimen - flax fiber was mixed with HDPE and extruded using a laboratory scale single screw extruder. Extrudates generated from the extruder were again ground to 2 mm particles. Ground extrudates from different sample sets were exposed to a compression molding unit. The mold was put under two sets of pressures, (variable operating parameters) for all individual fiber loading. These boards were used to determine the mechanical properties tensile force, impact force, hardness, bending, and density. For verification and analysis of the mechanical properties, Microsoft Office Excel and a statistical software package SAS were used. After verification five different multilayer neural networks, i.e., cascade forward neural network, feedforward backpropagation neural network, neural unit (single layer, single neuron), feedforward time delay neural network and NARX, were trained and evaluated for performance. Ultimately, the feedforward backpropagation NN (FFBPNN) was selected as the most efficient. After rigorous testing, the FFBPNN trained by the TRAINSCG algorithm (Matlab ®) was selected to generate prediction results that were the most suitable, fast and accurate. Once the selection and training of the NN architecture was complete, biocomposite materials prediction was performed. From 9 separate input sets, NNs provided overall prediction error between 2 - and 4%. This was the same amount of error that was observed in the training of the neural network. It was concluded that the neural network approach for the experimental design and operational conditions were satisfied.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentAgricultural and Bioresource Engineering
ProgramAgricultural and Bioresource Engineering
SupervisorPanigrahi, Satyanarayan; Gupta, Madan M.
CommitteeZhang, Chris; Tabil, Lope; Chen, Li
Copyright DateNovember 2009