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Chapter I

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

As time goes by, human civilization is continuously becoming

more industrialized. More factories are built, and buildings were built

all around. One of the most important materials in building

construction is the concrete hollow blocks. They are used as part of

building walls covered by plaster of concrete mixture.

There are so many researches regarding on how to develop

further analysis on the load bearing capacity of concrete hollow blocks.

One of it is this research work studying the effects of Sugar Palm black

fiber or gomuti on the load bearing capacity of concrete.

Since 1960s, research works on fiber-reinforced concrete have

been carried out extensively leading to a wide range of practical

applications. As a result, there exists today a wide range of fiber types

available for use as fibers in concrete. These include steel, asbestos,

glass, ceramic, polymer, and natural fibers such as hemp, sisal, cotton,

coconut, and palm. Many research works have been carried out using

steel, polymer, and glass. However, investigations on the use of

natural fiber are rather limited and surely reported in the literature

compared to non-natural fibers such as steel and plastic. Principally,

the sources of natural fiber are found in several plants, but not all are
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suitable for use as fibers in concrete. The advantage of using natural

fibers is that they are readily available, environment-friendly, and

cheap since the production cost is lower than non-natural fibers. The

major problems associated with the use of natural fibers are due to

poor durability, low modulus of elasticity, poor bonding, and poor fire

resistance. Natural fibers have been used in soil cement construction

but their application is mainly in non-structural components such as

roofing tiles, concrete masonry blocks, slab for roofing, and

construction of water tanks. Recent studies using natural fibers such

as sugarcane bagasse and cellulose fiber have shown that

incorporation of these fibers enhanced the compressive strength,

tensile strength, flexure strength, toughness, and impact resistance.

On this research we are using concrete hollow blocks. Hollow

blocks are precast masonry units made of fly ash and are intended to

be used in most of the construction. These hollow blocks can be used

as a load bearing wall or a non-load bearing wall. The use of hollow

blocks is most common in places where soil bricks are costly, poor

strength and unavailable. In the Philippines, using hollow blocks is the

cheapest way to build a house. Hollow blocks are commonly reinforced

with steel bars to induce its strength especially for load-bearing walls.

Hollow blocks were also used in sound-proofing a room. On the other

hand, steels are generally used worldwide as reinforcing bars due to its

availability, affordability and quality. Due to high costs of steel bars,


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substandard bars develop and reproduce vastly in construction stores

and hardware, leading to the suburban and rural construction resulting

to a low quality type of structure. This predicament leads the

researcher to look for possible partial replacement of cement by

investigating the potential use of Black sugar palm fiber. (Mapúa

Institute of Technology)

Statement of the problem

This study aimed to determine the effects of sugar palm black

fiber or gomuti on the load bearing capacity of concrete hollow blocks.

Specifically, it sought to answer the following questions:

1. What is load bearing capacity of CHB with 25 grams, 50

grams, and 100 grams as additive on the concrete hollow

blocks at 7, 14, 21, and 28 days?


2. Is there a significant difference in the load bearing capacity of

CHB with 25 g, 50 g, and 100 g of black fiber as additive on

the concrete hollow blocks at 28 days?


3. Is there a significant difference in the load bearing capacity of

CHB between the 25gram black fiber additive and the regular

concrete hollow blocks at 28 days?


4. Is there a significant difference in the load bearing capacity of

CHB between the 50gram black fiber additive and the regular

concrete hollow blocks at 28 days?


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5. Is there a significant difference in the load bearing capacity of

CHB between the 100gram black fiber additive and the

regular concrete hollow blocks at 28 days?

Hypothesis of the study

1. There is no significant difference in the load bearing capacity

of CHB with 25 g, 50 g, and 100 g of black fiber as additive on

the concrete hollow blocks at 28 days?


2. There is no significant difference in the load bearing capacity

of CHB between the 25gram black fiber additive and the

regular concrete hollow blocks at 28 days?


3. There is no significant difference in the load bearing capacity

of CHB between the 50gram black fiber additive and the

regular concrete hollow blocks at 28 days?


4. There is no significant difference in the load bearing capacity

of CHB between the 100gram black fiber additive and the

regular concrete hollow blocks at 28 days?

Theoretical Framework

Concrete Masonry Units In the design and construction of

masonry structures, engineers consider the compressive strength of

the masonry used as an important performance characteristic. These

concrete masonry units come as hollow or solid, but in this study, the
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concrete masonry units to be considered are hollow ones. In

constructing concrete masonry units, you need binding material,

aggregates and water. The binding material is your hydraulic cement

while your aggregates could be sand, gravel, clay or crushed stones.

This comes in different proportions and mixed together to form a

masonry mix. These are cured and tested at 28-day age to determine

its compressive strength. From strength of materials, the compressive

strength of the material is the ratio between the applied compressive

force and the net area of the unit. The compressive force shall be

applied parallel to the cores or cells of the unit. For compressive

testing, ASTM C140 or the Standard Test Methods for Sampling and

Testing Concrete Masonry Units and Related Units will be used as the

guide. The finished product’s compressive capacity is totally

dependent on different factors like the quality of materials used,

workmanship, curing and the method used in determining its

compressive strength.

This study is based on the theory of McGregor (1997) which

states that the compressive strength is one important property of any

material that determines its capacity and rigidity to compression forces

acting through the body. The Testing sample must be required to

choose a very careful mix design. This is necessary of relative effect on

the compressive strength of the sample, however the strength of

concrete vary on the proportions of cement, fine aggregate, coarse


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aggregates and water. Over the past decade the presence of mineral

admixtures in construction materials has been observed to impart

significant improvement on the strength, durability and workability of

cementations products. However, additive can be used to produce

much cheaper concrete products, and one of this is Black Fiber.

The Sugar palm (Arenga pinnata) can reach a height of 12 to 15

m and a diameter of 40 cm upon reaching the maturity age (more than

15 years). It has long ascending pinnate leaves up to 8.5 m in length

with 100 or more pairs of linear leaflets. Once maturity is reached,

huge fruit clusters begin to appear.

The most important industrial yield of this palm is the black,

tough fiber locally known as bagatbat (Negros Oriental); cabo negro

(Spanish-Filipino); black rope; hebiok (Capiz); hidiok (Camarines, Albay,

Capiz, Antique); ibiok (Capiz, Negros Occ., Bohol); igok (Antique); irok

(Zambales, Cavite,Tayabas, Mindoro); kaong (Manila, Rizal, Cavite,

Laguna); kauing (Bataan); onau-onau (Misamis, Surigao); rapitan

(Ilocos province),(commercially known as gomuti fibers). This is found

at the base of the petioles and is manufactured into sea water-resistant

rope, cleaning brushes, filters and thatching materials. It is known for

its durability and can stand long exposure to either fresh or salt water

and is also fire resistant. As early as 1821, it was reported that 439,450

sugar palms were harvested for the fiber in Indonesia, yielding as

much as 300,000 ropes from a single factory in one month.


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Conceptual Framework

Independent Variable Dependent Variable

EXPERIMENTAL
SAMPLES
CHB with
25 g
Black Fibre
CHB with
50 g Black
Fibre
CHB with
CONTROL
100 g Black
SAMPLE
Fibre
Regular
COMPRESSIVE
Commercial
Concrete
STRENGHT
Hollow
Blocks
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Figure 1.0 Schematic Diagram showing the Framework of the study.


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Significance of the study

This study will surely help future students in performing research

studies in the future. Furthermore, it could help such individuals’

involve having relation to this study especially:

Concrete Hollow Blocks Suppliers. This study will sure be a

great help to these suppliers because it could encourage more

costumers to avail these stronger CHB than the regular one for a

cheaper price.

Construction Industry. It will enable innovation in the use of

organic fibers in making CHB that will hold greater loading than the

regular mixture.

School, the School Administration and Instructors. It could

help students and instructors in doing research regarding the use of

other materials such as organic fibers in innovating construction

elements. By understanding the needs of the students and benefits of

quality education, these instructors and students are assured of a

competitive advantage.

Future Researches. It can be a guide for future researches,

results of this study can be used as basis for their study or option for

further studies on any beneficial way to use natural organic material.


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Scope and Delimitations

This study generally deals with the construction of concrete

hollow blocks (CHB) through the inclusion of stripped sugar palm black

fiber in the masonry mix, to be tested for the acquisition of engineering

properties especially the compressive strength. The study makes use

of plain hollow blocks and hollow blocks mixed with stripped sugar

palm black fiber having length of 1.5 inches that will serve as

additional and reinforcing materials for the material of interest. The

properties that are determined in this study include the compressive

strengths of both plain and mixed CHB’s. And it was focused on the

effects in compressive strength of the concrete hollow blocks with 25

g, 50 g, 100 g Sugar Palm Black Fiber and compressive strength of the

regular commercial hollow blocks.

The samples were made using a concrete hollow block mold with

16” x 8” x 4” dimensions subject for non-load bearing concrete hollow

blocks. The cement aggregate proportion is 1:3 ratio, it means that one

part of cement is to three parts of fine aggregate.

The time series experimental design was used in this study to

examine the effects in the compressive strength of hollow blocks with

specified mixtures of gomuti/black fiber. The concrete hollow blocks

were done using a mechanical device so those mixtures were

compacted enough, resulting to a desirable compressive strength. The


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compression testing was conducted at an interval of 7, 14, 21, and 28

days and the average compressive strength were taken from samples

at 28 days curing period.

Statistical tools were limited to mean and T-test, and the level of

significance was set at alpha 0.05.

The cost for the manufacturing of CHB with black fiber was not

covered in this study for it only focuses in the effects in compressive

strength of CHB.

Technical persons with specializations in Civil Engineering are

included in the panel of examiners to check the appropriateness of the

study.

Definition of terms

These terms are defined conceptually and operationally.

Gomuti fiber/Black Fiber is the black tough part under the

leaves of sugar palm tree. This is found at the base of the petioles and

is manufactured into sea water-resistant rope, cleaning brushes, filters

and thatching materials. It is known for its durability and can stand

long exposure to either fresh or salt water and is also fire resistant. In

this study it is the primary ingredient in testing the compressive

strength of the CHB.


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Fine Aggregate It is generally consists of natural sand or

crushed stone with most particles passing through a 3/8 inch sieve

(http://www.cement.org). In this study, we used fine aggregates only to

lessen the roughness of the finished CHB unlike the common regular

mixture.

Concrete Hollow Blocks (CHB) is one of the most extensively

used walling materials in the Philippines (sheltercluster.org). In this

study, CHB’s we made with 25 g, 50 g, and 100 of black fibers.

Compressive Strength is calculated by dividing the maximum

loads by the original cross-section are of a specimen in a compression

test (http://www.instron.com). The samples in this research study are

subject for compressive testing to determine the capacity of CHB to

resist loadings.

7, 14, 21, and 28 days it is the required number of days that

concrete reached its maximum compressive strength (Construction

Materials and Testing, Max Fajardo). In this study, this is the curing

days of our samples.

1:3 ratio is the proportion used in this study to gain higher load

bearing capacity. It is 1 part cement and 3 parts sand.

Chapter II
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REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

This chapter deals with the various literature related to the use

of Black fiber in making concrete hollow blocks and what are the

benefits in can give.

Organic fibers

Organic fibers can be produced from a number of solid wastes

such as bamboo, coconut, date palm, oil palm, sugar palm, sugarcane,

and vegetable wastes. Some of these fibers are chemically more inert

than either steel and glass fibers. They are also cheaper and more

importantly most of them can be natural. Bamboo fibers can be

extracted from the bamboo wastes. This kind of fibers is useful to

produce polymeric composites such as bamboo fiber reinforced plastic

and polyester composites (Jain and Kumar, 1994; Deshpande et al.,

2000). Jain and Kumar (1994) reported that bamboo fiber reinforced

plastic composite can be used in a number of applications as a suitable

replacement for the commercially available glass fiber reinforced

plastic (GFRP) composite. Coconut fibers can be used with portland

cement to manufacture fiber cement board. In a recent research,

coconut fibers were used in reinforced concrete beam along with rice

husk and sugarcane waste fibers (Sivaraja and Kandasamy, 2009). The

performance of composite beam was evaluated under monotonic

loading and compared with conventional concrete beam. It was found

that the beam’s resistance to cracking due to seismic load improved in


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structural systems. Date palm has a fibrous structure consisting of four

types of fiber. They are leaf fibers in the peduncle; baste fibers in the

stem, wood fibers in the trunk and surface fibers around the trunk,

which can be utilized to produce construction products. It was

observed that the flexural strength and toughness improve whereas

the compressive strength decreases with the increased length and

percentage of date palm fibers (Kriker et al., 2005). Oil palm fiber is a

non hazardous biodegradable material extracted from oil palm's empty

fruit bunch through decoration process. The palm fibers are clean, non-

carcinogenic, and free from pesticides and soft parenchyma cells.

These fibers are versatile as well as stable and can be processed into

various dimensional grades to suit specific applications such as erosion

control, 1958 Int. J. Phys. Sci.

Uses of Gomuti fiber/Black fiber

The leaf sheath is a source of a tough, black fibre (gomuti or

yonot fibre). It is used chiefly for a durable rope tolerant of both fresh

and salt water and of fire; it is used for marine work, thatching and

brushes. The split petioles are used for basketry and a form of

marquetry.

Rope/sea water-resistant rope. A construction of twisted

fibers, as of hemp, cotton, flax, etc., so intertwined in several strands

to form a thick cord.


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Cleaning Brush/Broom. A brush used by local people in the

Philippines in cleaning the house.

Filters. A meshed by product used in screening of stopping

small particles commonly on liquid to another surface.

Decoration. These black fibers are somehow used as a

decoration as an indigenous material.

MIXTURE PROPORTION 1:3

This method is less used as compared to those mixture used

commercially showing the amount of cement and san aggregates in

CHB. The specification should also say if those proportions are by

weight or volume.

If the proportions are based on weight, use 3 parts of fine

aggregates for every part of cement. To make the concrete, though,

you still need to know the required water-cement ratio.

If the proportions are based on volume, use three shovelfuls of

fine aggregates for every shovelful of cement.

(concreteconstruction.net,1997)

MATERIALS AND ITS PROPERTIES

Portland Cement Portland cement is the basic ingredient of

concrete. Concrete is formed when Portland cement creates a paste

with water that binds with sand and rock to harden.


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Cement is manufactured through a closely controlled chemical

combination of calcium, silicon, aluminum, iron and other ingredients.

Common materials used to manufacture cement include

limestone, shells, and chalk or marl combined with shale, clay, slate,

blast furnace slag, silica sand, and iron ore. These ingredients, when

heated at high temperatures form a rock-like substance that is ground

into the fine powder that we commonly think of as cement.

Bricklayer Joseph Aspdin of Leeds, England first made Portland

cement early in the 19th century by burning powdered limestone and

clay in his kitchen stove. With this crude method, he laid the

foundation for an industry that annually processes literally mountains

of limestone, clay, cement rock, and other materials into a powder so

fine it will pass through a sieve capable of holding water.

Cement plant laboratories check each step in the manufacture of

Portland cement by frequent chemical and physical tests. The labs also

analyze and test the finished product to ensure that it complies with all

industry specifications.

The most common way to manufacture Portland cement is

through a dry method. The first step is to quarry the principal raw

materials, mainly limestone, clay, and other materials. After quarrying

the rock is crushed. This involves several stages. The first crushing
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reduces the rock to a maximum size of about 6 inches. The rock then

goes to secondary crushers or hammer mills for reduction to about 3

inches or smaller. (http://www.cement.org)

CHAPTER IV

PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF DATA

This chapter discusses the findings on the effects of untreated

sugar palm black fiber on the compressive strength of commercial

hollow blocks. The gathered data were presented, analyzed and

interpreted in this chapter. The data presented in each table were

preceded by a textual discussion.


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Compressive Strength of RegularCommercial Hollow Blocks


(CHB), CHB with 25g, CHB with 50g and CHB with 100g
Additives

The compressive strength of Regular Commercial Hollow Blocks

(CHB), CHB with 25g, CHB with 50g and CHB with 100g Additives after

7 days, 14 days, 21 days and 28 days curing period are shown in Table

1 in the succeeding page.

The compressive strength of Regular Commercial Hollow Blocks

(CHB), CHB with 25g, CHB with 50g and CHB with 100g Additives after

7 days are 1.65 MPa, 2.29 MPa, 2.15MPa and 2.15 MPa, respectively.

The compressive strength of Regular Commercial Hollow Blocks

(CHB), CHB with 25g, CHB with 50g and CHB with 100g Additives after

14 days are 1.98 MPa, 2.83 MPa, 2.44 MPa and 2.32 MPa, respectively.

The compressive strength of RegularCommercial Hollow Blocks

(CHB), CHB with 25g, CHB with 50g and CHB with 100g Additives after

21 days are 2.29 MPa, 3.92 MPa, 3.13 MPa and 2.75 MPa, respectively.

The compressive strength of Regular Commercial Hollow Blocks

(CHB), CHB with 25g, CHB with 50g and CHB with 100g Additives after

28 days are 2.69 MPa, 5.09 MPa, 3.94 MPa and 3.34 MPa, respectively.

Furthermore, it was found out that all compressive strength

values for all mixtures after 28 days curing period have passed the

standard values for commercial hollow blocks.


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Table 1. Differences in the Compressive Strength of Regular


Commercial Hollow Blocks (CHB), CHB with 25g, CHB with 50g and
CHB with 100g Additives

Mixture Compressive strength (in MPa)


7 days 14 days 21 days 28 days
CHB 1.65 1.98 2.29 2.69
25g 2.29 2.83 3.92 5.09
50g 2.15 2.44 3.13 3.94
100g 2.15 2.32 2.75 3.34

The results further revealed that there was an increase in the

compressive strength for all mixtures for each week. The weekly

development of compressive strength for Regular Commercial Hollow

Blocks, CHB with 25g, CHB with 50g and CHB with 100g Additives is

shown in Figure 2.

On the 7th day, CHB with 25g additives had the highest

compressive strength (2.29 MPa) followed by CHB with 50g additives

and CHB with 100g additives with equal compressive strength (2.15

MPa). Regular CHB registered the lowest compressive strength (1.65

MPa).

On the 14th day, CHB with 25g additives had the highest

compressive strength (2.83 MPa) followed by CHB with 50g additives

(2.44 MPa), CHB with 100g additives (2.32 MPa). Regular CHB

registered the lowest compressive strength (1.98 MPa).


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On the 21st day, CHB with 25g additives had the highest

compressive strength (3.92 MPa) followed by CHB with 50g additives

(3.13 MPa), CHB with 100g additives (2.75 MPa). Regular CHB

registered the lowest compressive strength (2.29 MPa).

On the 28th day, the CHB with 25g additives had the highest

compressive strength (5.09 MPa) followed by CHB with 50g additives

(3.94 MPa), CHB with 100g additives. Regular CHB registered the

lowest compressive strength (2.69 MPa).


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Figure 2. Comparison and Development of Compressive Strengths of


Concrete Samples.

Differences in the Compressive Strength of Regular


Commercial Hollow Blocks (CHB), CHB with 25g, CHB with 50g
and CHB with 100g Additives

The results of the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) showed that

there were significant differences in the compressive strength of CHB,

CHB with 25g, CHB with 50g and CHB with 100g additives as shown in

Table 2 with p-value=0.000. This result implies that the compressive

strength is different with different composition of the mixture

depending on the amount of additives for hollow blocks and regular

commercial hollow blocks.

Table 1. Differences in the Compressive Strength of Regular


Commercial Hollow Blocks (CHB), CHB with 25g, CHB with 50g and
CHB with 100g Additives
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Source of Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig


Prob
Variation (p)
Between Groups 6.245 3 2.082 151.95 .000
s.
Within Groups .055 4 .014
Total 6.300 7
______________________________________________________________________________________
p<.05 – significant at 5% level; p>.05 – not significant

Differences in the Compressive Strength of Regular


Commercial Hollow Blocks (CHB) and CHB with 25g Additives

The result of T-Test showed that there was a significant difference

in the compressive strength of Regular CHB and CHB with 25g

additives as shown in Table 2 with p-value=0.000. This result implies

that the compressive strength different of regular CHB is not the same

as the compressive strength of CHB with 25g additives. Furthermore, it

was found out that CHB with 25g additives has a higher compressive

strength than the regular CHB with a mean difference of 2.4 MPa.

Table 2. Differences in the Compressive Strength of Regular


Commercial Hollow Blocks (CHB) and CHB with 25g Additives

Source Mean Mean df t-value Sig Prob


Variation Difference (p)

Regular CHB 2.690


2.40 2 -80.0 .000
s.
25g 5.090
p<.05 – significant at 5% level; p>.05 – not significant

Differences in the Compressive Strength of Regular


Commercial Hollow Blocks (CHB) and CHB with 50g Additives
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The result of T-Test showed that there was a significant difference

in the compressive strength of Regular CHB and CHB with 50g

additives as shown in Table 3 with p=0.009. This result implies that the

compressive strength is different for regular CHB and CHB with 50g

additives. Furthermore, it was found out that CHB with 50g additives

has a higher compressive strength than the regular CHB with a mean

difference of 1.25 Mpa.

Table 3. Differences in the Compressive Strength of Regular


Commercial Hollow Blocks (CHB) and CHB with 50g Additives

Source Mean Mean df t-value Sig Prob


Variation Difference (p)

Regular CHB 2.690


1.25 2 -10.417 .009
s.
50g 3.940
p<.05 – significant at 5% level; p>.05 – not significant

Differences in the Compressive Strength of Regular


Commercial Hollow Blocks (CHB) and CHB with 100g Additives

The result of T-Test showed that there was a significant difference

in the compressive strength of Regular CHB and CHB with 50g

additives as shown in Table 4 with p=0.027 This result implies that the

compressive strength is not the same for CHB and CHB with 100g
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additives. Furthermore, it was found out that CHB with 100g additives

has a higher compressive strength than the regular CHB with a mean

difference of 0.65 Mpa.

Tablexxx. Differences in the Compressive Strength of Regular


Commercial Hollow Blocks (CHB) and CHB with 100g Additives

Source Mean Mean df t-value Sig Prob


Variation Difference (p)

Regular CHB 2.690


0.650 2 -5.909 .027
s.
50g 3.34
p<.05 – significant at 5% level; p>.05 – not significant