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Engineering  |  Barzin Mobasher

Natural Fiber Cement Composites

The need for economical, sustainable, safe, and secure shelter is an inherent global problem.  Numerous challenges remain in order to produce environmentally friendly construction products which are structurally safe and durable. Natural fibers have been traditionally used as a substitute of asbestos in the form of chopped, short, and or in a pulp form for the production of thin elements for roofing and cladding. An increased use of these materials for applications such as cladding, internal, and external partitioning walls is possible and may lead towards the development of low cost-sustainable materials. New strong and ductile cement composites using sisal, a natural fiber provide an exciting opportunity to the housing construction industry. The economic incentives are particularly important in developing countries since the availability and production of composite reinforcement requires a low degree of industrialization. Furthermore, in comparison to the most common synthetic reinforcing fibers, the energy required for their production is small and hence, the fabrication cost is low.

Tensile response of the sisal fiber reinforced composite system: (a) tensile stress and crack spacing vs. strain and (b) comparison of tensile stress vs. strain from strain gage measurements and cross-head displacement; (c) cumulative distribution function for crack spacing.

The sisal plant (a), leaf (b) and leaf cross-section showing different fiber types (c)

Fiber-cell microstructure: (a) cross-section view showing the fiber-cells, lumens and middle lamellae, (b) magnification of the cross-section and (c) schematic drawing showing the different layers of an individual fiber-cell

 

  1. Flavio de Andrade Silva, B. Mobasher, and R. D. T. Filho, “Cracking Mechanisms in Durable Sisal Fiber Reinforced Cement Composites,” Journal of Cement and Concrete Composites, 31 (2009) 721–730 10.1016/j.cemconcomp.2009.07.004, [download] 
  2. Flavio de Andrade Silva, D. Zhu, B. Mobasher, C. Soranakom, and R. D. T. Filho, ” High speed tensile behavior of sisal fiber cement composites”, Materials Science and Engineering A 527 (2010) 544–552 [download] 
  3. Silva F.A., Mobasher B., Toledo Filho, R.D. “Bond Mechanisms in Sisal Fiber Reinforced Cement Composites” In: 11th International Conference on Non-conventional Materials and Technologies, Bath. Proceedings of NOCMAT 2009.  http://opus.bath.ac.uk/16170/1/papers/Paper%2098.pdf 
  4. Silva F.A., Mobasher B., Toledo Filho R.D. Advances in Natural Fiber Cement Composites: A Material for the Sustainable Construction Industry. Textile Reinforced Structures : Proceedings of the 4th Colloquium on Textile Reinforced Structures (CTRS4), SFB 528, Technische Universität Dresden, Eigenverlag, 2009, ISBN 978-3-86780-122-5 URN:, 2009. p. 377-388. 
  5. Flavio de A. Silva , Barzin Mobasher and Romildo D. Toledo Filho, “Recent Advances On High Performance Natural (Sisal) Fiber Cement Composites”, 7th international Symposium of Fiber Reinforced Concrete: Design and Applications BEFIB 2008, Editor: R. Gettu, Sept.  2008, pp 105-115. [download] 
  6. Flavio de Andrade Silva, B. Mobasher, and R. D. T. Filho, “Cracking Mechanisms in Durable Sisal Fiber Reinforced Cement Composites,” Journal of Cement and Concrete Composites, 31 (2009) 721–730 10.1016/j.cemconcomp.2009.07.004, [download] 
  7. Flavio de Andrade Silva, D. Zhu, B. Mobasher, C. Soranakom, and R. D. T. Filho, ” High speed tensile behavior of sisal fiber cement composites”, Materials Science and Engineering A 527 (2010) 544–552 [download] 
  8. Silva, F.,  Mobasher, B.,  Toledo Filho, R.,“Fatigue Behavior of Sisal Fiber Reinforced Cement Composites”  Materials Science and Engineering: A . Vol. 527, No. 21-22, 20 August 2010, pp 5507-5513.  doi:10.1016/j.msea.2010.05.007 [download] 
  9. Silva, F.; Toledo Filho, R. D.; Mobasher, B. and  Chawla, N. “A multi-scale investigation of the mechanical behavior of durable sisal fiber cement composites,”   Matéria (Rio J.) 2010, vol.15, n.2, pp. 338-344. ISSN 1517-7076. [Download] 
  10. Silva, F.,  Zhu, D., Mobasher, B.,  Toledo Filho, “ Impact Behavior of Sisal Fiber Cement Composites under Flexural Load” ACI Materials Journal,  V. 108, No. 2, March-April 2011, pp. 168-177. [download]