Mechanical performance and durability of treated palm fiber reinforced mortars

Nesibe Gozde Ozerkan, Bappy Ahsan, Said Mansour, Srinath Iyengar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)


The performance of cement mortar reinforced with varying percentages of treated bundled date palm fibers is investigated to appraise their feasibility for structural and non-structural applications. The study first entailed the evaluation of two different alkali pre-treatments at varying concentrations by subjecting treated and untreated bundled fibers to tensile testing. The suitable pre-treatment was then adopted while casting cement mortar mixes. The physical properties of fresh mortar was studied through setting times and, for mortar mixes cured up to 28 days, through parameters such as drying shrinkage and water absorption. The unconfined compressive strengths, split tensile strengths as well as the flexural strengths of the cured mortar mixes at two different ages were undertaken to assess their mechanical properties; while the durability was gauged based on their sulfate resistance for up to a period of four months. Observed stress–strain behavior under tension led to the choice of 0.173% Ca(OH)2 as the preferred pre-treatment for the bundled fibers used in the mortar mixes. This was further supported by the microstructural examination on the hardened mortars which, revealed that the integrity of treated fibers remained intact within the cement matrix without hindering the hydration processes. Results also indicated that inclusion of fibers improves the flexural strengths as well as the sulfate resistance of the mortar mixes. However, the cylinder and cube compressive strengths decreased with the increase in treated fiber inclusion. Although, the work reported in this paper was carried out on cement mortars, conclusions are expected to be relevant to fiber reinforced concrete employing treated natural fibers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-142
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Built Environment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013



  • Date palm fibers
  • Durability
  • Fiber reinforced mortar
  • Mechanical performance
  • Mortars (materials)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Urban Studies
  • Ecological Modelling

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