The mechanical properties of bamboo reinforced sawdust composite briquettes

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The flexural modulus (elastic modulus), flexural strength (bending strength), fracture load, maximum deflection, bulk density and the percentage apparent porosity of sapele (Entandrophragma cylindricum) sawdust and bamboo strip composites have been determined using the static bending test and porosity measurement. The sawdust particles were sieved into three different particles sizes (d): coarse (1400 pm < d < 2000 pm), medium (500 pm< d < 1400 pm) and fine (d < 500 pm). Composite briquettes were formed by arranging bamboo strips in different orientation (planar, oblique and vertical stacking) in a wooden mould of dimension 50 cm x 10 cm x 2.5 cm and the sawdust matrix of approximately the same particle sizes were formed around them, using wood glue as a binder. Pressure was exerted to ensure good bonding. Sawdust briquettes without reinforcement were first formed followed by the composite briquettes. They were then subjected to bending tests. The porosity values of the composite briquettes were also determined. The composite briquettes made from medium stacking configuration with eight strips (M«) were found to have good application in high-performance structure work. It actually produced the combined properties of light weight (low bulk density of 438.21 kg m"3), high flexural modulus of0.240 GPa, high flexural strength of 5.77 MPa, maximum deflection of 3.90 cm and fracture load of 600.71 N. The results indicated that the lighter weight composite briquettes depended on the density of the bamboo strips and the particle size of the sawdust matrix. The incorporation of bamboo strip into the sawdust matrix introduced some degree of flexibility into the composite, but the introduction of too many of them decreases the strength. The changes in the strength and flexibility of the composite briquettes have been explained by stress distribution, interfacial bonding and spacing between the bamboo strips.
A thesis submitted to the College of Science,Department of Physics, 2008