Iranian researchers studied the effect of natural fibers and carbon nanotubes on increasing the strength of cement composites.
The researchers believe that bagasse fibers can be a good replacement for fiberglass. Results of the research reduce the production cost but increase the effective life of devices and structures in addition to improving the physical and chemical properties of cement.
Cement composites are among the most commonly used composites in building construction industry. Despite numerous advantages of this composite, includinf the lack of emission of formaldehyde (as a toxic gas), high resistance to fire and solar and thermal insulation, low impact resistance is considered as a great disadvantage in comparison with other types of composites. Researchers have studied the possibility of using bagasse fibers and carbon nanotubes as reinforcing agent in cement-based composites.
In this research, carbon nanotubes and bagasse were used as new reinforcing agents in fiberglass/cement composites. Results showed that the proposed composite can be used as a new reinforcing agent in cement industry to replace fiberglass. In addition to decreasing the production cost, this fact results in decreasing the composite density and increasing the life of production devices. Moreover, increasing the efficiency by using bagasse fibers is another advantage of this study.
According to the researchers, composites reinforced with fiberglass, bagasse fibers or carbon nanotubes have better physical and mechanical properties than the pure (not reinforced) cement.
Results of the research have been published in Journal of Forestry Research, vol. 26, issue 1, 2015, pp. 247-251.