CHARACTERIZATION OF SELECTED PROPERTIES OF COMPOSITES OF WASTE PAPER WITH UNTREATED BAMBOO STEM FIBRE AND RICE HUSK
Yusuf Ayotunde, Taofeek
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Composite technology is an excellent approach to utilizing natural fibres and agricultural wastes, which constitute an environmental nuisance. Efforts are being made to characterize the properties of composites produced from different sources of these wastes and fibres to facilitate a choice and selection for different applications. In this study, selected properties of composite samples, produced from waste paper in equal mix-ratio with rice husk and bamboo stem fibres (BSF) separately without chemical pre-treatment using cassava starch as a binder, were characterized. Composites from rice husk are better in terms of their higher compressive strength (71–202N/mm2), lower water absorption, at a rate of 1.97–5.19 and 1.09–3.02%/min, and a lower thickness swelling, at a rate of 0.74–1.23 and 0.52–0.70 %/min at 30 min and 1 h immersion time respectively, while that from the BSF is superior for its lower density 0.321–0.358 g/cm3 and specific weight 3.15–3.51 kN/m3. The material composition (percentage fibre volume fraction) appears to have no significant effect on the impact strength 26.0–26.4 kJ/m2 as well as other selected properties of the composites (p > 0.05). However, all the samples have properties that meet the requirement for composites except that the water absorption and thickness swelling are relatively high. The composites have considerably low density, which makes them suitable in light weight applications. Their compressive and impact strength make them appear specifically relevant for the production of construction blocks and industrial helmets respectively. Meanwhile, the properties are liable to modification with a chemical pre-treatment of the fibres.
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