The use of natural fibres such as oil palm broom fibres (OPBF) for reinforcing cementitious composites though reported to be beneficial from economic and environmental standpoints have generated durability concerns that have caused investigations into possible fibre treatments. In this study, three (3) types of treatments were carried out on OPBF. These include alkalisation, silanization and hot-water treatments. For alkalisation, OPBF were treated with solutions of 2%, 4%, 6% and 10% sodium hydroxide each for 30, 60, 120, 240, 480, 1440 and 2880 minutes. For silanization, OPBF were treated with solutions of 1% and 3% triethoxyvinylsilane each for 60, 120, 240, 480, 1440 and 2880 minutes. For hot-water treatment, OPBF were treated with water at 1000C for 15, 30, 60 and 120 minutes. Effects of treatments on the fibres were analysed through tensile strength, x-ray diffraction, electron microscopy and water absorption tests. Results show improvements in tensile strength and modulus of elasticity of 60% and 65% respectively. While average reduction in water absorption of 4% was recorded for silanization, an increase of 40% and 9% were recorded for alkalisation and hot-water treatment respectively. The changes in the physical and mechanical properties of treated OPBF are attributed to the elimination of impurities, lignin and wax, reduction of microfibrillar angle, alteration of fibre surface and improvement in fibre crystallinity. The reported pre-treatments could enhance the durability of composites incorporating OPBF as reinforcement.
|Journal||Journal of Material in Civil Engineering|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 15 Apr 2020|
- Mechanical properties
- Natural fibres
- Silane treatment