Performance evaluation of palm stems fibers in cement-based materials
Natural fibers, including cellulose, bamboo, hemp, have good mechanical and thermal properties, and they are renewables and recyclables. Recent advances regarding the use of natural fibers in cement composite showed that their behavior is depended on their structure, chemical composition, and their position in the plant. Therefore, the use of natural fibers in cement composite presents important challenges. For example, their hydrophilic character and vulnerability in alkaline environment have to be solved. The objective of this investigation is to characterize and evaluate the performance of date palm stems (pedicel) fibers in cement-based materials. Two different types of natural fiber, including hemp and date palm stems (pedicel) fibers, were evaluated. Both types of fiber have been subjected to several chemical treatments to reduce their high hydrophilicity and increase their durability. The obtained results showed that palm stems fibers have good mechanical properties. Furthermore, the chemical treatment of fiber using hydrophobic resin reduced the hydrophilic character of the fibers, hence resulting in improving the bond between fibers and matrix.