This study has examined the flexural properties of natural and chemically modified coir fiber reinforced cementitious composites (CFRCC). Coir fibers of two different average lengths were used, and the longer coir fibers were also treated with a 1 % NaOH solution for comparison. The fibers were combined with cementitious materials and chemical agents (dispersant, defoamer or wetting agent) to form CFRCC. The flexural properties of the composites, including elastic stress, flexural strength, toughness and toughness index, were measured. The effects of fiber treatments, addition of chemical agents and accelerated ageing of composites on the composites’ flexural properties were examined. The results showed that the CFRCC samples were 5–12 % lighter than the conventional mortar, and that the addition of coir fibers improved the flexural strength of the CFRCC materials. Toughness and toughness index, which were associated with the work of fracture, were increased more than ten times. For the alkalized long coir fiber composites, a higher immediate and long-term toughness index was achieved. SEM microstructure images revealed improved physicochemical bonding in the treated CFRCC.
The original publication is available at springerlink.com.
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