Comparative Study of Composite Made from Ensete False Banana Fibres and Polyethylene with Block Board

Stephen K. Kimutai, Zachary O. Siagi, Joan J. Kiptarus, Anthony D. Kibet


This paper is an effort to utilize abundant availability of natural fibres and waste plastics for the development of composite materials based on polymer and particles of natural fibres for conservation of natural resources such as forests. Ensete false banana (EFB) fibres were used as reinforcement to obtain composites with melted waste polyethylene bottled as matrix phase. The composites were prepared by means of compression moulding, and then the effects of fibres loading on mechanical properties such as impact strength, flexural strength, and wear resistance were investigated. Water uptake was also studied. It was observed that the flexural modulus, compressive strength and flexural strength of treated EBF reinforced PE increased linearly with increment of fibres loadings. This trend was similar for impact strength where it exhibited a slight reduction at the initial stage but increased later as the fibres loading increased. It was also observed the water absorption increased with increase in fibres loading. Machining operations such as grinding, milling, drilling and cutting can be performed on the composite. The study has demonstrated that the optimum fibres loading for the best performance of the composite achieved was 30 wt%. The composite produced has a high potential as alternative block board materials.

Keywords: Ensete false banana, Block board, fibres, plastics waste, composites

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3232 ISSN (Online)2225-0573

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