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Journal of Emerging Trends in Engineering and Applied Sciences (JETEAS)


Article Title: Optimization of the Flexural Strength of Raffia Palm Fibre-Cement Composites
by Odera, R.S., Onukwuli, O.D. and Osoka, E.C.

The flexural strength - the resistance to fracture - of raffia palm fiber-cement composites for low cost roofing tiles was investigated. The composites were prepared at varying sand-to-cement ratios (1 - 5), water-to-cement ratios (0.4 - 0.8) and fiber volume fraction (0 - 4%). The flexural strength of the samples was determined and a statistical model based on a three-level full factorial experimental study was developed. The model was optimized using the optimization toolbox of MATLAB 7.0 to determine optimal values of factors that maximize flexural strength. The results show that addition of raffia palm fibre to cement composites increases the flexural strength by more than 100% in comparison with the control, with zero percent fibre volume fraction. The most significant factor is sand-to-cement ratio and the flexural strength has a local optimum (maximum) for a sand-to-cement ratio of 1, water-to-cement ratio of 0.4 and fiber volume fraction of 2.0525%. Reducing the values of the first two factors will increase the optimum flexural strength. It is recommended that raffia palm fiber be used for the manufacture of wall, ceiling and roofing tiles based on the above specification
Keywords: raffia palm, fibre, cement composites, flexural strength, optimization
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ISSN: 2141-7016

Editor in Chief.

Prof. Gui Yun Tian
Professor of Sensor Technologies
School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
University of Newcastle
United Kingdom



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