Natural fiber-reinforced composite hollow pipes for potential use in rural building construction in tropical Africa

Abel Olajide Olorunnisola, Adetutu Boboye


Use of cement-bonded composites is gaining prominence in construction works across the globe. Typical uses include roofing, cladding, ceiling and tiling of walls and floors. The use of these materials as hollow pipes is yet to be fully explored. There is, also, the challenge of the relatively high cost of Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) in many developing countries which adds to the overall cost of cement-bonded composite products. This study was conducted, therefore, to develop composite hollow pipes using natural sponge fiber (Acanthanus montanus) as reinforcement at 3% by weight of cement. Lime, derived from welder’s carbide waste, was added as partial replacement for cement at 0 (control), 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, and 50% levels respectively. The effects of carbide lime waste addition on the density, compressive strength, and sorption properties of the composite pipes were investigated. Results obtained showed that the density values ranged between 1.63 g/cm3 to 2.16 g/cm3, the compressive strength ranged from 5.7 to 9.3 kN/m2, while the mean water absorption ranged from 0.4% to 7.9% after 30 minutes, and from 1.5% to 15.7% after 2 hours of immersion in water. Addition of lime generally lowered the density, thickness swelling and compressive strength of the pipes within acceptable limits. It was concluded that carbide waste can be used as partial replacement by up to 50% of OPC in the production Acanthanus montanus fibre-reinforced cement-bonded composite pipes for rural building construction.


Acanthanus montanus, carbide waste, composites, hollow pipes, rural construction

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