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Advances in Materials Research
  Volume 6, Number 4, December 2017 , pages 329-341

Effect of fibre loading and treatment on porosity and water absorption correlated with tensile behaviour of oil palm empty fruit bunch fibre reinforced composites
Anthony N. Anyakora, Oladiran K. Abubakre, Edeki Mudiare and MAT Suleiman

    The challenge of replacing conventional plastics with biodegradable composite materials has attracted much attention in product design, particularly in the tensile-related areas of application. In this study, fibres extracted from oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) were treated and utilized in reinforcing polyester matrix by hand lay-up technique. The effect of fibre loading and combined influence of alkali and silane treatments on porosity and water absorption parameters, and its correlation with the tensile behaviour of composites was analyzed. The results showed that tensile strength decreased whilst modulus of elasticity, water absorption and porosity parameters increased with increasing fibre loading. The composites of treated oil palm EFB fibre exhibited improved values of 2.47 MPa to 3.78 MPa for tensile strength; 1.75 MPa to 2.04 MPa for modulus of elasticity; 3.43% to 1.68% for porosity and 3.51% to 3.12% for water absorption at respective 10 wt.% fibre loadings. A correlation between porosity and water absorption with tensile behavior of composites of oil palm EFB fibre and positive effect of fibre treatment was established, which clearly demonstrate a connection between processing and physical properties with tensile behavior of fibre composites. Accordingly, a further exploitation of economic significance of oil palm EFB fibres composites in areas of low-to-medium tensile strength application is inferred
Key Words
    tensile strength; porosity; water absorption; fruit bunch; composite
(1) Anthony N. Anyakora:
Department of Mechanical/Mechatronic Engineering, Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo, P.M.B. 1010, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria;
(2) Oladiran K. Abubakre, Edeki Mudiare:
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Federal University of Technology, P.M.B. 65, Minna, Niger State, Nigeria;
(3) MAT Suleiman:
Department of Chemistry, Federal University of Technology, P.M.B. 65, Minna, Niger State, Nigeria.

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