Masters Theses


“This work is divided into two sections: the development of lower cost environmentally friendly composite materials, and mechanical testing of a v-ribbed belt system. Each section consists of a paper to be published in a journal.

The first section addresses two key issues in the composites industry: cost and environment. Composite materials offer many superior properties that enable composites manufacturers to gain significant market share in a variety of industries. Cost and “green” issues are key in the further development and growth of this field. This research addresses cost by exploring a method of recovering and recycling waste polystyrene as an additive and supplement to common polyester resin systems. Since, waste polystyrene is a non- biodegradable and not currently profitable as a recycled material it is nearly without cost while recycling reduces waste and benefits the environment. The recycling method used is also environmentally conscious. A renewable soy product without harmful emissions is used to dissolve the waste polystyrene before addition to the composite. Natural fibers were used to create samples. A test matrix of common composite tests was created and results were compared to polyester resin systems in common use.

The second section details the testing of a pseudo-composite system. This system consists of a v-ribbed serpentine front end accessory drive common to most automobiles. The belts have an elastomer matrix with nylon belt reinforcement. Dynamic reaction data was taken from the system and used to verify a finite element method simulation”--Abstract, page iv.


Chandrashekhara, K.

Committee Member(s)

Flanigan, V. J.
Kapila, Shubhender


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Mechanical Engineering


The work reported in this thesis was supported by the following: Dayco Products Inc.; Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council; Manufacturing Research and Training Center (MRTC); and the Center for Environmental Science and Technology (CEST).


University of Missouri--Rolla

Publication Date

Fall 2001

Journal article titles appearing in thesis/dissertation

  • Fiber reinforced composites using recycled polystyrene foam and natural fibers
  • Experimental measurements of V-Ribbed belt tracking lateral forces


x, 55 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references.


© 2001 James Bartholomew Castle, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Composite materials

Thesis Number

T 7995

Print OCLC #


Link to Catalog Record

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