Micro-analysis on the internal structure of fibres-soil composite
Micro-structure of any composite material influences to a greater extent the performance properties of the material. The aim of this study is to investigate the internal structure of fibre-soil composite through micro-analysis for better understanding of the material’s behavior. Soil and natural fibres were used to prepare fibre-soil composites and CT scan, SEM and optical microscopy analysis were conducted on the composites. The CT scan analysis found that pores and cracks exist in the fibre-soil composites, and the fibres are randomly distributed in the soil matrix with greater concentration at the middle portion. SEM analysis revealed that there is presence of gaps between the fibres and the soil matrix in the composite, with optical microscope analysis confirm the gaps to be 9-32, 31-51 and 53-119 µm, respectively for Bagasse, oil palm and coconut fibres. It was further revealed that the gaps are developed mainly due to the shrinkage of the fibres in the soil matrix. The study therefore concludes that fibre-soil composites develop internal micro-cracks, pores and micro gaps are formed between the fibres and the soil matrix. These identified features have the potential of influencing the performance properties of the fibre-soil composites. It is therefore recommended that further studies are conducted to assess the impact of these internal features on the properties of the fibre-soil composites.