Assessment of Sponge Gourd (Luffa Aegyptical) Fiber as a Polymer Reinforcement in Concrete

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Civil Enginering Department, The Federal University of Technology, Akure. Nigeria

2 Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Department Federal University of Technology Akure, Nigeria.

10.22034/jcema.2020.232358.1026

Abstract

The crave for a sustainable green environment and yearning for lightweight structures in society today have prompted engineers to seek more alternative materials to reduce the negative sides of concrete structures. Often time, composite materials or fibers are incorporated into the concrete matrix to give better performance. In this regard, the fiber enhances the concrete aggregates against stresses. This study assessed the performance of Luffa aegyptiaca (sponge gourd), a natural fiber as a polymer reinforcement in concrete for better operation. Different layering arrangements were adopted (lamina, mesh, longitudinal and disperse) to get the best fit. The compressive strength test, as well as the flexural strength test among other tests carried out, indicated that laying the fiber longitudinally in the concrete matrix can give better performance in strength. The average compressive and flexural strength of 25.8 MPa and 10.2 MPa respectively are recorded for the longitudinal arrangement which stands as the highest strength. The fiber can work well in improving concrete spalling. An extended study on the mechanical properties of the Luffa aegyptiaca to ascertain its performance is therefore recommended.

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