Sisal organosolv pulp as reinforcement for cement based composites


Materials Research




The present work describes non-conventional sisal (Agave sisalana) chemical (organosolv) pulp from residues of cordage as reinforcement to cement based materials. Sisal organosolv pulp was produced in a 1:1 ethanol/water mixture and post chemically and physically characterized in order to compare its properties with sisal kraft pulp. Cement based composites reinforced with organosolv or kraft pulps and combined with polypropylene (PP) fibres were produced by the slurry de-watering and pressing method as a crude simulation of the Hatschek process. Composites were evaluated at 28 days of age, after exposition to accelerated carbonation and after 100 soak/dry cycles. Composites containing organosolv pulp presented lower mechanical strength, water absorption and apparent porosity than composites reinforced with kraft pulp. The best mechanical performance after ageing was also achieved by samples reinforced with kraft pulp. The addition of PP fibres favoured the maintenance of toughness after ageing. Accelerated carbonation promoted the densification of the composites reinforced with sisal organosolv + PP fibres.

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