Developing a Compression-moulded Composite Partitioning Panel from Banana Fibres and PLA




Construction material, PLA, banana yarn/fibre, composite panel, partitioning material


Green construction materials developed using renewable resources have become the focus of concurrent research owing to increasing environmental considerations and legislations. However, most of the available literature focus only on load-bearing construction elements. Consequently, little attention has been paid towards non-load-bearing construction elements such as partitioning materials. The present work aims to address this gap by investigating the viability of using the biodegradable bioplastic PLA in combination with yarns spun using banana fibres to manufacture a composite panel intended for temporary partitioning materials used in the construction industry. Pre-tensioned banana yarns were used as the reinforcement while PLA was used as the matrix. The composite panels were manufactured using the compression moulding technique. The effect of process parameters such as moulding temperature and pressure, the effects of the degree of pre-tension and the amount of reinforcing yarn on the performance of the panels were investigated. The optimum moulding conditions were found to be 180oC moulding temperature and 15 tonnes of moulding pressure. Yarn pre-tensioning exhibited a positive effect on the performance of the composite panels. However, increasing the reinforcing yarn percentage caused a degradation of flexural performance of the composite. Finally, the performance was compared against the most widely used partitioning material currently, medium-density fibreboard (MDF). The novel composite panel manufactured at optimum conditions exhibited 52% higher impact strength and 55% higher flexural strength when compared to MDF. The composite panel presented herein has the potential to replace MDF as a better performing material manufactured using renewable resources.


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How to Cite

Weerasinghe, D., Hedigalla, D., Dassanayaka, D., Wanasekara, N., Gunasekera, U. and Mohotti, D. (2023) “Developing a Compression-moulded Composite Partitioning Panel from Banana Fibres and PLA”, Electronic Journal of Structural Engineering, 23(2), pp. 21–26. doi: 10.56748/ejse.233832.