Strength Characteristics of Untreated Short-fibre Composites from the Plant Ensete ventricosum

Miroslav Müller, Petr Valášek, Alessandro Ruggiero

Abstract


The plant Ensete ventricosum is used in agriculture in Africa. It is a source of fibres, which can be used in the interaction with polymers. This study deals with a material utilization of these fibres with a length of 1 to 2 mm, 2 to 3 mm, and 3 to 5 mm, together with reactoplastics resin ChS Epoxy 1200/324, following requirements of developing countries. Some areas of the African continent suffer from a lack of wood, and material based on epoxy and fibres can substitute for many wood products. The aim of this experiment was to describe basic mechanical properties (tensile strength σm, strain at the break εb, modulus of the elasticity Et, and impact strength an) of the composite material reinforced with fibres of the false banana plant, Ensete ventricosum. The plant, which originated in Ethiopia, is exploitable in developing countries. Geometrical aspects and morphology of the used fibres was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The addition of fibres increased the modulus of elasticity and the impact strength, whereas the tensile strength and the strain at break were decreased.

Keywords


Permanently sustainable sources; Local resources; False banana plant; Reactoplastics

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