G. M. Matoke, S.F. Owido, D. M. Nyaanga

Plastic waste and bamboo fibres can be used to produce composites for the construction industry. This would reduce the environmental problems associated with plastic waste and also reduce pressure on conventional materials such as wood from forest resources. Recent interests in reducing the environmental impact of waste materials and forest cover enhancement have led to the development of composites. Fillers and reinforcements are used in the plastic industry to produce composites for load carrying structures. Bamboo, sisal and hemp are strong and renewable plant fibres that can replace synthetic fibres. This research focused on the effects of the production methods on the physical and mechanical properties of recycled plastic - bamboo fibre boards. Recyclable plastic wastes were cleaned, dried and shredded before melting to mix with bamboo fibres. The thermo plastics were heated poured into moulds where they were mixed with bamboo fibres and then allowed to cool completely before removal in the case of open casting. In compression moulding, the mould charge was pressed using the mould lid. Water absorption, thickness swelling, bending strength and impact strength were carried out in according to standard procedures. The fibre content and production method influenced the physical and mechanical properties of the composites. Higher fibre content resulted in higher water absorption and thickness swelling. It was noted that water absorption was significantly influenced by the fibre content at α = 0.05. The hydrophilic nature of natural fibres increased water absorption and thickness swelling significantly leading to dimensional instability of composites. Moulded composites showed better physical properties than open casting method, possibly due to reduced void space during polymerization. These tests suggested that reducing void space and incorporating fibres into the plastic improves the end use properties.These findings could be used to develop alternative materials for the construction industry.

Full Text: PDF

Copyright © 2014: www.aijcrnet.com. All Rights Reserved.