COMPRESSIVE AND FLEXURAL STRENGTH OF CEMENT MORTAR STABILIZED WITH RAFFIA PALM FRUIT PEEL (RPEP)
Mortar is a material with wide range of applications in the construction industry. However, plain mortar matrices are usually brittle and often cracks and fails more suddenly than reinforced mortars. In this study, the compressive and flexural strengths of cement mortar stabilized with Raffia Palm Fruit Peel (RPFP) as fibre were determined. The cement-sand mortars were in the ratios of 1:1 and 1:2 respectively. They were stabilized with 2%, 4%, 6% and 8% RPFP fibres respectively by volume using a water cement ratio of 0.5. Test cubes and beams measuring 150 x 150 x 150mm and 160 x 40 x 40mm were cast and subjected to cube and central point loading crushing tests respectively. Density measurements were also taken. The compressive strength of test specimens were found to reduce with increases in RPFP fibre while the flexural strength increased with increase in the fibre content. The average compressive strength after 28 days of curing was 10.67N/mm2 at 8% stabilization for the 1:1 mix and 10.01N/mm2 at the same percentage stabilization for 1:2 mix ratio. Also the average flexural strengths (i.e. Modulus of Rupture) were 4.26N/mm2 and 4.29N/mm2 respectively for the two mix ratios at the same fibre percent and curing period. The densities decreased with increase of fibre content. The results compare well with similar tests on mortars stabilized with coir, rice husk and sawdust. The results confirm that fibre stabilized mortars could be used as light-load bearing members in civil engineering constructions.
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