Assessing the effect of bamboo fiber on the mechanical properties of fiber reinforced concrete.
Atima, Alice Tracy
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Bamboo has a potential as a construction material due to its high tensile strength that makes it comparable to steel as a reinforcement in concrete. It can be used as a fiber in reinforced concrete for improving strength properties of concrete. However, the effect of bamboo fiber on mechanical properties of fiber reinforced concrete are not known. The objective was to assess the effect of bamboo fiber on the mechanical properties of fiber reinforced concrete using compressive, flexural, tensile and slump experimental tests. This was to determine mechanical properties of bamboo, workability of fresh bamboo fiber reinforced concrete, compressive and tensile strength and optimize the bamboo fiber proportion for concrete strength improvement. The failure load of bamboo under compression and flexure at 1, 3 and 5 years was recorded and used to compute its compressive and flexural strength. The slump of fresh fiber reinforced concrete was measured at 0%, 1% and 2% of bamboo fiber in concrete and used to determine the workability of fresh concrete. The failure load of bamboo fiber reinforced concrete was recorded at 7, 14 and 28 days and used to compute compressive and tensile strengthen gained. These results were used to optimize bamboo fiber proportions. The results were analyzed using Microsoft Excel. Results indicated bamboo has high compressive strength in the bottom and top parts of the culm for bamboo with and without nodes. Bamboo with nodes had a higher compressive strength on average because the nodes are the strongest part of the bamboo. The flexural strength was higher at the bottom and top parts of the bamboo culm. However, the flexural strength decreased with increase in the age of the bamboo. Workability decreased with increase in fiber proportions in concrete. Compressive strength decreased with increasing bamboo proportions with 1 and 38.5% decrease. There was an increase in tensile strength of bamboo FRC with increase in fiber proportions from 1.9 to 2.7 N/mm2 at 28 days. The optimum bamboo fiber proportion for concrete strength improvement was at 1% and gave 19.4 and 2.7 N/mm2 for compressive and tensile strengths at 28 days respectively. Bamboo fiber enhances the strength properties of fiber reinforced concrete in tension and reduces the compressive strength of the concrete within acceptable ranges up to 1%. Bamboo fiber reinforced concrete should be promoted for use in structures with light loads such as walling units, shades or on pavements and parking for soil reinforcement.