Noureddine Abidi, Priyantha W Jayawickrama, Rohan S Dassanayake, Manil Hettiwatte
Cotton cellulose-based concrete; strength and durability; use of cotton fiber and its derivatives
The authors aimed to develop high performance and economically facile natural fiber-reinforced transportation infrastructure. The main three tasks of this project include: (1) preparation of cotton cellulose-based concrete; (2) characterization of cotton cellulose-based concrete for strength and durability; and (3) investigation of possible enhancement of other pavement materials through the use of cotton fiber and its derivatives. The results showed that the tensile strength and modulus values of cotton-derived concrete composites after 28 days are comparable with the control specimens without added cotton. The composite materials prepared from cotton and its derivatives also showed high load endurance properties with high ductility values as compared to control samples, which are extremely crucial in climate resiliency. The data collected in this research also demonstrated the high load resistance and elastic deformation properties of other cotton cellulose-derived particulate composites such as flowable fluids, and geopolymers. Moreover, the addition of raw cotton to highly plastic swelling clay significantly reduced the swell potential. Overall, using renewable natural fibers, mainly cotton and its derivatives, the authors demonstrated that the properties of conventional construction infrastructure can be adapted to climate change. Therefore, the results of this project are extremely promising. Importantly, the simplicity of the preparation method and the relative abundance and low cost of cotton fibers make this technology an attractive approach worthy of being further investigated.