EXPERIMENTAL AND COMPUTATIONAL EVALUATION OF MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF BAMBOO FIBER REINFORCED MORTARS
Mortar is a structural material with wide range of applications in the construction industry and provided good performance for bedding unit masonry and plastering over bricks [1, 2]. However, plain mortars are usually brittle, often cracks, and fails more suddenly than reinforced mortars . To overcome the shortcomings of plain mortar, bamboo fibers are added to enhance its mechanical properties. Bamboo fibers demonstrate enormous potential as the reinforcement phase in composite materials . The bamboo fiber was treated with 5% of caustic soda (NaOH) solution for 48 hours for ease of separation of the bamboo fibers. The mechanical properties of reinforced mortars containing 0%, 0.5%, 1%, 1.5%, and 2% of bamboo fibers were evaluated by experimental and computational methods. In addition, the tensile test was conducted on single bamboo fiber to determine the average tensile strength of fibers. To understand the effect of bamboo fiber on the compressive strength, bamboo fiber reinforced mortar cubes have been tested at three different ages: 7, 14, and 28 days. The addition of bamboo fibers resulted in decreasing the compressive strength and effective Young’s modulus of mortar cubes for 7, 14, and 28 days. The reduction in strength could be attributed to the poor bonding strength between the fiber and mortars mixed. The results of this study also confirmed that the bamboo fibers were able to control crack widening with higher fiber content compared to the plain mortars. Further research is required to obtain the compressive stress-strain curve for plain mortars and assess the bond strength between fiber and mortar mixed by treating the bamboo fibers properly.