Comparison of crimson fountaingrass and diss fibers as aggregates for cement mortars

  • A. Valenza
  • D. Badagliacco
  • T. La Mantia
  • L. Ercoli
  • B. Megna
Keywords: Grass fibres, Ampelodesmos Mauritanicus, Pennisetum Setaceum, insulating plaster


The use of natural fibres in cement composites is an expanding research field as their use can improve the mechanical and thermal behavior of cement mortars and reduce their carbon footprint.

In this paper two different wild grasses, i.e. Pennisetum Setaceum, also known as crimson fountaingrass, and Ampelodesmos Mauritanicus, also called diss, are used as source of natural fibres for cement mortars. The principal aim is to evaluate the possibility of using the more invasive crimson fountaingrass in place of diss inside cement based vegetable concrete.

The two plants’ fibres have been characterized by means of electron microscopy, helium picnometry; moreover, the thermal conductivity of fibre panels has been measured. Mortars samples using untreated and boiled fibres have been prepared. The mechanical characterization have been performed by means of three point bending and compression tests. Thermal conductivity and porosity have been measured to characterize physical modification induced by fibres’ treatment. The results showed better thermal and mechanical properties of diss fibres composites than fountaingrass one and that fibres treatment leads to a decrease of thermal insulation properties.

How to Cite
Valenza, A., Badagliacco, D., La Mantia, T., Ercoli, L., & Megna, B. (2019). Comparison of crimson fountaingrass and diss fibers as aggregates for cement mortars. Academic Journal of Civil Engineering, 37(2), 570-575.