Comestible fruit production from Musaceas plants is an important economical activity in developing countries like Colombia. However, it generates a large amount of agro-industrial residues. Some of them are a potential resource of natural fibres, which can be used as reinforcement for composite materials. In this work, a series of commercial plantain (Musa AAB, cv "Dominico Harton") fibre bundles extracted from pseudostem, leaf sheath and rachis agricultural wastes were analyzed. Mechanical decortication and biological retting processes were used during fiber extraction. No significant differences in composition of vascular bundles were observed for both extraction processes. Gross morphological characteristics and mechanical behavior have been evaluated. Conducting tissues with spiral-like arrangement are observed attached to fibre bundles. This fact suggests a big amount of these tissues in commercial plantain plants. Both used extraction methods are not enough to remove them. Pseudostem fibre bundles have higher specific strength and modulus and lower strain at break than leaf sheath and rachis fibre bundles, having values comparable to other lignocellulosic fibres bundles.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank to Colciencias, by Contract 359-2004, and Corbanacol Foundation for their financial support that has made this research work possible.
- Agriculture residue
- Mechanical behavior
- Plantain fibre bundles