Thermal characterizations of waste cardboard kraft fibres in the context of their use as a partial cement substitute within concrete composites

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Haigh, Robert ORCID: 0000-0001-5776-0893, Joseph, Paul ORCID: 0000-0002-5503-9979, Sandanayake, Malindu ORCID: 0000-0003-4303-7279, Bouras, Yanni ORCID: 0000-0001-7954-8754 and Vrcelj, Zora ORCID: 0000-0002-1403-7416 (2022) Thermal characterizations of waste cardboard kraft fibres in the context of their use as a partial cement substitute within concrete composites. Materials, 15 (24). ISSN 1996-1944


The building and construction industry consumes a significant amount of virgin resources and minimizing the demand with alternative waste materials can provide a contemporary solution. In this study, thermal components of kraft fibres (KFs) derived from waste cardboard are investigated. The mechanical properties containing KFs within concrete composites are evaluated. Metakaolin (MK) and KFs were integrated into concrete samples as a partial substitute for cement. Silica Fume (SF) was applied to the KF (SFKFs) with a view to enhancing the fibre durability. The results indicated that there was a reduction in compressive strength of 44 and 56% when 10% raw and modified KFs were integrated, respectively. Raw, fibre and matrix-modified samples demonstrated a 35, 4 and 24% flexural strength reduction, respectively; however, the tensile strength improved by 8% when the matrix was modified using MK and SFKF. The morphology of the fibres was illustrated using a scanning electron microscope (SEM), with an energy dispersion X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) provision and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) employed to gain insights into their chemical nature. The thermal, calorimetric and combustion attributes of the fibres were measured using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and pyrolysis combustion flow calorimetry (PCFC). SFKFs showed a lower heat release capacity (HRC), demonstrating a lower combustion propensity compared to raw KFs. Furthermore, the 45% decreased peak heat release rate (pHRR) of SFKFs highlighted the overall reduction in the fire hazards associated with these materials. TGA results also confirmed a lower mass weight loss of SFKFs at elevated temperatures, thus corroborating the results from the PCFC runs.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.3390/ma15248964
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4004 Chemical engineering
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Keywords cement substitute, fire durability, concrete composites
Citations in Scopus 1 - View on Scopus
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