Optimizing the Mechanical Properties of Cement Composite Boards Reinforced with Cellulose Pulp and Bamboo Fibers for Building Applications in Low-Cost Housing Estates

Anuoluwapo S. Taiwo, David S. Ayre, Morteza Khorami, Sameer S. Rahatekar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Africa is the third-richest continent in the world in terms of bamboo species. Despite these laudable natural resources, most African countries still use asbestos cement board as one of their major building materials. This is chiefly due to the high cost of equipment and technologies associated with non-asbestos-fiber cement board production. The current research seeks to underscore the possibility of utilizing these massive continent resources for non-asbestos-fiber cement board production by employing the existing production process in the asbestos cement industries via an innovatively developed laboratory-simulated Hatschek process. Non-asbestos-fiber cement boards incorporating kraft and bamboo fibers were successfully produced in the laboratory using this innovative method based on Hatschek technology, with natural fibre addition in the range of 2–6 wt.%. Experimental results revealed that the Flexural strength and deflection of the board improved significantly, producing optimum values of 10.41 MPa and 2.0 mm, respectively for composite board reinforced with 10 wt.% and 6 wt.% of kraft pulp and bamboo fibers, respectively. The SEM morphology of the fractured surfaces revealed the mode of composite fracture as well as good interaction at the fiber–matrix interface. Overall, the mechanical properties of the developed composite boards satisfy the minimum requirements of relevant standards based on fiber cement flat sheets and can be employed for internal building applications in low-cost housing estates in developing countries. The outcome of this research indicates that the current industrial production process based on Hatschek technology can be employed for non-asbestos-fiber cement board production using the studied natural fiber.
Original languageEnglish
Article number646
Number of pages18
Issue number3
Early online date29 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

© 2024 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


This research was funded by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Nigeria, through the Academic Staff Training and Development (AST&D) scholarship grant number TETF/ES/UNIV/ONDO STATE/TSAS/2019/Vol.1.


  • Hatschek process
  • natural fiber
  • non-asbestos cement board
  • kraft pulp
  • construction materials


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