Tensile Properties of Bagasse Fiber Composites
Bagasse is a waste generated in abundance from the sugarcane industry. This investigation was planned to convert bagasse waste into a useful composite. For this purpose the bagasse waste was obtained from sugar cane juice producer. In this study, the extraction of bagasse fibers was done manually and they were treated with sodium hydroxide. The treated bagasse fibers had higher tensile properties as compared to untreated ones, so the alkali treated fibers were used as reinforcement for making composites. Hand lay-up technique was used to manufacture bagasse composite samples. The fiber length (1 inch and 2 inch) and fiber weight percentage (10 wt% and 20 wt%) were considered as variables. It was found that better tensile properties were obtained with higher fiber length (2 inch) and weight percentage (20 wt%). Bagasse-cotton fabric composites were also produced using cotton fabric as a base material and the bagasse fibers were sandwiched between a printed and plain cotton fabric. The idea was to consider these composites useful for sun-shades or for decorative purposes. It was also found that bagasse-cotton fabric reinforced composites had higher tensile strength and strain; however the modulus had reduced due to higher elongation of cotton fabrics. With the increase in the weight percentage the tensile properties had reduced this might be because during the composite manufacturing the epoxy resin had to pass through the fabric to wet the bagasse fiber out and they were not wetted out properly. This phenomenon needs further investigation.