A Comparative Analysis of Three Optimisation Approaches to Free Swell Characterisation of Particulate Coconut Shell Reinforcement Composite Material
There is paucity of data relating to the free swell properties of composite reinforcement materials in outdoor applications despite their undesirable tendency to absorb water. In this paper, a comparative performance analysis of three optimisation models - Taguchi method, simplex algorithm and Taguchi-simplex method - is pursued. We used experimental data of 0.600 mm particulate coconut shell with L27 (311) orthogonal arrays of the Taguchi method. For the Taguchi-simplex method, S/N ratios were used as the objective function that the simplex algorithm optimised. Parameters include initial and final volumes of coconut shell particulates (CSPs), mass of water, volumes of CSP and water as well as mass of CSP. The optimised Taguchi method yielded initial and final volumes of 10 and 34 cm3, respectively while it gave the optimal mass of water as 141.54 g. Also, 152 cm3 was the optimal volume of CSP and water while the mass of CSP was optimised to 12.07 g with the use of Taguchi method. However, the use of simplex method retained the initial values of 20 cm3, 34 cm3, 146.81 g, 153 cm3 and 12.07 g as optimal values for the initial and final volumes, mass of water, volume of CSP and water as well as mass of CSP, respectively. The use of Taguchi-simplex method yielded optimal initial and final volumes of 16.6 and 24.82 cm3, respectively. Also, the mass of water was optimal at 92.49 g while the volume of CSP and water was optimal at 107.1 cm3. Lastly, the optimal value for the mass of CSP was obtained at 6.28 g. Confirmatory test validated the results. In conclusion, the optimum parametric setting of the Taguchi-simplex method was the best.
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