Performance of Oil Plam EFB Fibre on the Sand-Cement Brick

sia-how-teckProject Title:  Performance of Oil Plam EFB Fibre on the Sand-Cement Brick

Research ID:  1/2016/09

Principal Researcher:  Ir Sia How Teck

Co-Researchers:  Dr. Ling Jen Hua, Leong Wen Kam, Euniza ak Jusli

Project Start Date:  3/1/2016

Duration of Project:  24 months

Research Summary:  Adopting the idea of using natural fibre in the construction materials, this research intends to propose a solution to consume the waste of the industry (EFB) and to transform it into a product with added values.  EFB could be processed into fibre and to be mixed into the sand-cement bricks.  The advantages of using EFB fibre includes non-hazardous, renewable, low cost (as the current technology to extract the fibre is quite well established), and it solves the disposal and environmental problems.

The EFB fibre could be used to partially substitute the sand used in sand-cement bricks.  This overcomes the problem of the shortage of sand and reduces the cost of material.  It also reduces the weight of the bricks, and thus, reduces the loading acting on the structural elements of the building.  This leads to a more economical design of the structural elements of buildings.  In terms of the structural behaviour, the fibre provides reinforcement to the bricks, increases the tensile strength, delays the propagation of cracks, and transfers stress across cracked sections to enable a larger deformation of the bricks under loading.  Additionally, the fibre increases the fracture toughness, modifies the elastic modulus and reduces density of the bricks.

As an in-fill material for walls, the weight of the material is a major concern.  As it is not meant for engineering bricks, the EFB-cement brick is only required to fulfill the strength of 7.5 N/mm2 as stipulated in BS EN 771-3:2003.  In the aspect of practicality, the water absorption property will affect the quality of plastering.  Based on these considerations, the three main parameters to be studies are the density, compressive strength and the water absorption properties.