Nigerian Journal of Technology

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Ply Tensile Properties of Banana Stem and Banana Bunch Fibres Reinforced Natural Rubber Composite

IC Ezema, ARR Menon, SO Edelugo, AD Omah, IU Agbo


Ply tensile properties of banana stem and banana bunch fibres reinforced natural rubber composite was studied. Banana stem and banana bunch stalk fibres were extracted, surface treated, uni-directionally matted and laminated with natural rubber latex.  The result of the tensile loading in 0o fibre direction of the composite lamina (single ply) of 1.2mm thickness indicated a better performance of the banana stem fibres (BSF) than the banana bunch fibres (BBF). Natural rubber composite lamina reinforced with BSF which were treated with a  mixture of NaOH and Na2SO3 had a superior tensile strength of 4.0 MPa and Young’s modulus of 147.34MPa over the untreated BSF with tensile strength and Young’s Modulus of 3.7MPa and 84.30MPa respectively. Both the treated and untreated BSF and BBF fibres exhibited better mechanical properties than the unreinforced natural rubber. The composite lamina exhibited anisotropic characteristics, having different tensile properties of 3.7MPa, 0.6MPa and 1.0 MPa corresponding to 00 , 450 and 900 loading directions with respect to the fibre direction.  The micrographs of the composite surface after tensile test indicated a ductile failure of the material with appreciable plastic deformation.

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