Influence of Empty Fruit Bunch Stalk and Spikelet Fibres on the Mechanical Properties of Cement-stabilised Soil


  • Reneta Nafu Yakum 1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, HigherTechnical Teacher Training College, P.O Box 34 Bambili, The University of Bamenda
  • Josepha Foba-Tendo
  • Ebenezer Njeugna



sustainability, natural fibres, cement-stabilised soil composites, , Empty Fruit Bunch, stalk, spikelet, compressive strength, flexural strength


The performance of natural-fibre reinforced cement stabilized soil prepared differently with stalk and spikelet from empty fruit bunch (EFB) was investigated. Standard test specimens were prepared with fibre loading varied from 0 to 3.0wt% and tested in compression and flexure for cured strength after 7 and 28 days. The densities of the composites were also determined. The test results are compared for cement stabilized soil without fibre additions as well as between reinforcement with stalk or spikelet fibre. The introduction of fibres prominently improves the compressive and bending strength of the composites, suggesting possibilities of reducing cement additions by introducing natural fibre reinforcements. The improvement for spikelet fibre reinforced soil is consistently higher for spikelet fibres than for stalk fibre. The separation and differentiated use of stalk and spikelet presents the possibility of enhancing the sustainability of recycling EFB for competing uses in nutrient recycling and natural fibre production.


Industry and environment, (2006) Sustainable building and construction initiative: information note. <>; [15.09.06].vol.26.N2–3.

Agenda 21 for Sustainable Construction in developing countries: a discussion document. CSIR Building and Construction Technology; 2004.ISBN0798855401.

Walker, P.J. (2004) Strength and erosion characteristics of earth blocks and earth block masonry. J. Mater. Civ. Eng, 16, 497–506.

Rigassi, V. (1995). Compressed earth blocks. Manual of production. Vieweg, Eschborn, Germany.volume 1

Namango, S., (2006), “Development of cost-effective earthen building material for housing wall construction: investigations into the properties of compressed earth blocks stabilized with sisal vegetable fibers, cassava powder and cement compositionsâ€, PhD Thesis, Brandenburg University of Technology, Germany.

Morton, T., (2008), “Earth masonry: Design and construction guidelinesâ€, BRE Press, Bracknell, Berkshire, UK.

Khedari J., Watsanasathaporn P., and Hirunlabh J., (2005), “Development of fibre-based soil–cement block with low thermal conductivityâ€, Cement & Concrete Composites, 27:111–116.

Obonyo, E. (2011), “Optimizing the physical, mechanical and hygrothermal performance of compressed earth bricksâ€, Journal of Sustainability, 3(4):596-604.

Binici,H., Aksogan, O., and Shah, T., (2005), “Investigation of reinforced mud brick as building material,†Construction and Building Materials, 19(4):313-318.

Elenga R.G., Mabiala B., Ahouet L., and Goma-Maniongui J. and Diris G.F. (2011), “Characterization of clayey soils from Congo and physical properties of their compressed earth blocks reinforced with post-consumer plastic wastesâ€, Geomaterials,1:88-94.

Consoli, N. C., Montardo, J. P., Prietto, P. D. M., and Pasa, G. S. (2002).“Engineering behavior of a sand reinforced with plastic waste.â€J. Geotech. Geoenviron. Eng., 128 (6), 462–472.

Mesbah A., Morel, J. C., Walker, P. and Ghavami, K., (2004), “Development of a direct tensile test for compacted earth blocks reinforced with natural fibersâ€, Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, 16:95-98.

Minke G., (2009), “Building with Earth: Design and Technology of a Sustainable Architectureâ€, Birkhäuser – Publishers for Architecture

Kestner, D., Goupil, J., and Lorenz, E. eds. (2010), “Sustainability Guidelines for the Structural Engineerâ€, American Society of Civil Engineers.

Yakum R. N., Josepha F. T., Ebenezer N., Gossett O., Kavian O. C., (2015);Extraction and Characterization of fibres from the Stalk and Spikelet of Empty Fruit Bunch (EFB);HindawiPubishing Corporation; Journal of Applied Chemistry; volume 2015; article ID 750818; 3 pp 1-10

Turgut, P. and Yesilata, B., (2008). Physicomechanical and thermal performances of newly developed rubber-added bricks, Energy and Buildings, 40, (5): 679- 688.

Binici, H., Aksogan, O., Nuri, B. M., Akca, E., &Kapur, S. (2007). Thermal isolation and mechanical properties of fibre reinforced mud bricks as wall materials. Construction and Buildings Materials, 21, 901-906.

Marwan Mostafa. andNasim Uddin.; (2015), Effect of Banana Fibers on the Compressive and Flexural Strength of Compressed Earth Blocks. Journal of Buildings 5, 282-296; doi:10.3390

Biswas, S and A. Satapathy, 2010. A comparative study on erosion characteristics of red mud filled bamboo-epoxy and glass-epoxy composites. Materials and Design, 31: 1752- 1767.

Reddy N. and Yang Y., (2005). Biofibres from Agricultural By products for Industrial Applications. Trends in Biotechnology, 23 (1):22-27.

Nosbi,N.,H.M .Akil,Z.A.M. IshakandA. Abubaker, (2011). Behavior of Kenaf Fibres after Immersion in Several Water Conditions, BioResources, 6(2):950-960.

Saikia, D.(2010). Studies of Water Absorption Behaviourof Plant Fibresat Different Temperatures. International Journal of Thermophysics, 31(4-5),1020-1026.

Rong, M. Z., Zhang M. Q., Liu Y., Yangand G.C., Zeng H. M., (2001). The Effect of Fibre Treatment on the Mechanical Properties of Unidirectional Sisal-Reinforced Epoxy Composites. Composite Science and Technology, 61(10):1437-1447.

Nabi,D and Jog J.P., (1999). Natural Fibre Polymer Composites: Areview. Advances in Polymer Technology, 18 (4): 351-363.

Prasad, S.V., C. Pavithranand P.K. Rohtgi, (1983). Alkali Treatment of Coir Fibresfor Coir-Polyester Composites. Journal of Material Science,18(5),1443-1454.

Bismarck A., Mohanty A. K., Askargorta I. A., Czapla S., Misra M, Hinrichsen G. and Springer J., (2001). Surface Characterization of Natural Fibres; Surface Properties and the Water Up-Take Behaviour of Modified Sisal and Coir Fibres. Green Chemistry, 3(2):100-107.

Bal, K. E., Bal Y. and Lallam A., 2004. Gross Morphology and Absorption Capacity of Cell-Fibres from the Fibrous Vascular System of Loofah (Luffacylindrica). Textile Research Journal, 74(3):241-247.




How to Cite

Yakum, R. N., Foba-Tendo, J., & Njeugna, E. (2018). Influence of Empty Fruit Bunch Stalk and Spikelet Fibres on the Mechanical Properties of Cement-stabilised Soil. Asian Journal of Engineering and Technology, 6(4).