pp 1–9 | Cite as

Holistic solution to natural fiber deterioration in cement composite using hybrid treatments

  • Qiang Li
  • Lawan Ibrahim
  • Weiming Zhou
  • Mingxin Zhang
  • Gerard Franklyn Fernando
  • Liwei WangEmail author
  • Zhanhui YuanEmail author
Original Research


The problems of high-water absorption, limited tensile strength, and susceptibility to microbial degradation and poor adhesion to the cement matrix are the main challenges limiting the usage of natural fiber for the reinforcement of cement composite. And thus, that motivated the present study. Stage-wise hybrid treatment that involves alkaline treatment using NaOH and subsequent impregnation with either stearyldimethylbenzylammonium chloride (1827), cinnamon derivative or room temperature vulcanized silicon rubber (RTV) resulting to three hybrid treatment were investigated to simultaneously tackle the aforementioned problems. Findings obtained reveal that water absorption of the fibers reduced by 82.38% and 82.17%, and tensile strength increased by 8.7% and 17.47% with the hybrid treatment 1 (H-T1) and hybrid treatment 2 (H-T2) respectively. Also, both the hybrid treatments have impacted antimicrobial efficacy. More so, the characterizations carried out on the fibers using Fourier infrared spectroscopy, crystallinity index using X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy are all in agreement with the results achieved. Overall, the hybrid treatment suggests a sustainable and environmentally friendly treatment method that ensures durability hemp fiber for reinforcement of cement composite.


Hemp fiber Fiber deterioration Cement composite Hybrid treatment 



This work is supported by the Open Project Program of Fujian Key Laboratory of Novel Functional Textile Fibers and Materials (Minjiang University), China (No. FKLTFM1708), the Fujian Engineering Research Center of New Chinese lacquer Material (Minjiang University), China (No. 323030010301), the humbly acknowledge international funding provided by Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (No. KXB16001A) and the Department of Science and Technology of Fujian Province (No. 2017H6003).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Materials Science and EngineeringFujian Agriculture and Forestry UniversityFuzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Metallurgy and MaterialsUniversity of BirminghamEdgbastonUK
  3. 3.Ocean CollegeMinjiang UniversityFuzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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