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Materials 2015, 8(5), 2332-2345; doi:10.3390/ma8052332

How Properties of Kenaf Fibers from Burkina Faso Contribute to the Reinforcement of Earth Blocks

Unité de Formation et de Recherche en Sciences et Techniques (UFR/ST), Université Polytechnique de Bobo-Dioulasso, 01 BP 1091 Bobo 01, Burkina Faso
Laboratoire de Chimie Moléculaire et de Matériaux (LCMM), UFR/Sciences Exactes et Appliquées, Université de Ouagadougou, 03 BP 7021 Ouagadougou 03, Burkina Faso
Université de Toulouse, UPS, INSA, LMDC (Laboratoire Matériaux et Durabilité des Constructions), 135 avenue de Rangueil, F-31077 Toulouse cedex 4, France
Institut Français des Sciences et Technologies des Transports, de l'Aménagement et des Réseaux, Département Matériaux, GPEM, route de Bouaye, 44344 Bouguenais, CS4, France
Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat, Université de Lyon CNRS-LTDS, UMR 5513, LGCB, 3 rue Maurice Audin, Vaulx-en-Velin cedex, F-69120, France
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Geminiano Mancusi
Received: 5 March 2015 / Revised: 8 April 2015 / Accepted: 22 April 2015 / Published: 30 April 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1380 KB, uploaded 30 April 2015]   |  


Physicochemical characteristics of Hibiscus cannabinus (kenaf) fibers from Burkina Faso were studied using X-ray diffraction (XRD), infrared spectroscopy, thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), chemical analysis and video microscopy. Kenaf fibers (3 cm long) were used to reinforce earth blocks, and the mechanical properties of reinforced blocks, with fiber contents ranging from 0.2 to 0.8 wt%, were investigated. The fibers were mainly composed of cellulose type I (70.4 wt%), hemicelluloses (18.9 wt%) and lignin (3 wt%) and were characterized by high tensile strength (1 ± 0.25 GPa) and Young’s modulus (136 ± 25 GPa), linked to their high cellulose content. The incorporation of short fibers of kenaf reduced the propagation of cracks in the blocks, through the good adherence of fibers to the clay matrix, and therefore improved their mechanical properties. Fiber incorporation was particularly beneficial for the bending strength of earth blocks because it reinforces these blocks after the failure of soil matrix observed for unreinforced blocks. Blocks reinforced with such fibers had a ductile tensile behavior that made them better building materials for masonry structures than unreinforced blocks. View Full-Text
Keywords: kenaf fibers; Earth blocks; physicochemical characteristics; mechanical properties; Burkina Faso kenaf fibers; Earth blocks; physicochemical characteristics; mechanical properties; Burkina Faso

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Millogo, Y.; Aubert, J.-E.; Hamard, E.; Morel, J.-C. How Properties of Kenaf Fibers from Burkina Faso Contribute to the Reinforcement of Earth Blocks. Materials 2015, 8, 2332-2345.

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