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Testing and characterized mechanical properties of Agrostone

PROJECT PROPOSAL
Submitted by
1. Mulugeta Eshetu.....0502069
2. Taye Miheretu.0502535
3. Samuel Melekamu...0502288
4. Miheret Betmariam..0501805

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE
In
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

FACULTY OF MECHANICAL AND INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING

BAHIRDAR INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

BAHIRDAR UNIVERSITY, BAHIRDAR, ETHIOPIA

FEBRUARY 2017

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Proposed by ID signature

1. Mulugeta Eshetu.......0502069

2. Taye Miheretu0502535

3. Samuel Melekamu.....0502288

4. Miheret Betemariam..0501805

Advisor signature

Mr. Ephrem Zeleke

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
ABSTRACT .............................................................................................................................................. VI

1. INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................... 1

2. LITERATURE REVIEW .................................................................................................................... 3

3. PROBLEM STATEMENT.................................................................................................................. 7

4. OBJECTIVES ...................................................................................................................................... 8

4.1 Main objectives ............................................................................................................................ 8

4.2 Specific objectives........................................................................................................................ 8

5. METHODOLOGY .............................................................................................................................. 9

6. PROJECT SCHEDULE .................................................................................................................... 10

7. FINANCIAL ANALYSIS ................................................................................................................. 11

8. REFERENCE .................................................................................................................................... 12

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LIST OF TABLE

Table 1-1 Basic Raw Materials inputs for the production of Agrostone board [5] .................................... 2

Table 6-1 project schedule ........................................................................................................................ 10

Table 7-1 financial analysis for four month .............................................................................................. 11

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LIST OF SYMBOLS, NOTATIONS AND ABBREVATIONS
Symbol Description Unit
Abbreviations
UF/PF resin for panels & blocks
PVC poly vinyl chloride
HDPE high density polyethylene
CPE chlorinated polyethylene
LDPE low density polyethylene
PP polypropylene
PS normal polystyrene
LLDPE linear low density polyethylene
PH
Nomenclature
CO2 carbon di oxide
MOC Magnesium Oxychloride Cement
SiO2 silicon di oxide
MgO Magnesium Oxide
MgCl2 magnesium Chloride
MgCO3 calcining magnesite
3Mg (OH) 2 magnesium hydroxide
K Thermal conductivity W/mK
Coefficient of thermal expansion 1/K
Ch Specific heat capacity J/KgK
k Dielectric constant MHz
E Young's modulus Mpa
G Shear Modulus Mpa

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ABSTRACT
Agrostone is a construction material that can be used as an exterior wall.it is composed of magnesium
oxide, magnesium chloride. Iron sulphate heptahydrate, foaming agent etc. The basic raw material of
Agrostone is agricultural/industrial wastes such as bagasse to provide reinforcement and natural
minerals as a filler, magnesium-based chemicals as a binder and fiberglass as reinforcement. It uses in
Automobiles, Marine, Chemical Industry, Electrical and Electronics and Construction etc. the Agrostone
panel improved damage tolerance, environmental resistance, fire resistance, recyclability, good strength,
light in weight and potential for fast processing. The study of this project is characterization of
mechanical, and thermal properties of this Agrostone in different fiber glass arrangement and different
thickness layer by using different standard testing equipments and specimens.

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1. INTRODUCTION
Composite is a materials made from two or more constituents with significantly different physical or
chemical properties from each other. One of the composite groups is bio-composite which is defined as
a material that composed of one of its constituent is bio-sources or biodegradable bio-fibers as
reinforcement and biodegradable or non-biodegradable polymers as matrix.
According to BMTPC (2009-2010) [1] calendar report bio-composites provide environmental friendly
and sustainable alternatives to traditional/conventional composite materials. Bio-composites have
applications in Automobiles, Aerospace, Marine, Chemical Industry, Electrical and Electronics and
Construction etc. Different bio-composites have different applications in construction BMTPC (2009-
2010) such as wood with polymer for making door shutters, doors & window frames; Vegetable
fiber/red mud & polyester are also common for flat & corrugated roofing sheets, shutters & tiles; Jute
fiber polyester/epoxy with red mud are applied for panels & sheets, wall cladding, partitions & door
shutters; Bagasse & UF/PF resin for panels & blocks; Red mud plastic (PVC, polyester) reinforced with
sisal fiber are used for producing paneling, roofing, partitions and door panels.
According to (BMTPC 2009-2010, www.compositebuilding.com) nowadays, engineers and researchers
are searching and developing new composites for different advantages that include, light weight, high
specific stiffness and strength, easy molding property to complex forms ,easy bonding capacity, good
dumping properties ,low electrical conductivity and thermal expansion, good fatigue resistivity and low
cost.
Agrostone panel is composed of agricultural/industrial wastes and/or lightweight natural minerals as
fillers, most Agrostone production center has adopted this technology based on locally available raw
materials which are presented below.
Filler: - Fillers for Agrostone panel production can be agricultural products and/or lightweight
natural minerals like pumice and diatomite. Agrostone production center uses an agricultural
product, bagasse which is available from a number of inland sugar factories. Bagasse has two main
advantages. One of the advantages is its high tensile strength and elasticity modulus properties.
Besides being filler material, these properties make the bagasse to provide reinforcement. The
second advantage is its high resistance against solvent and chemical attacks since it has high
proportion of cellulose in its structure. The cellulose fiber makes the bagasse to be highly crystalline
and stable polymer as cellulose is a linear polyglucose and is highly hydrogen bonded component.
Moreover, as bagasse is largely available agro waste material; the production of Agrostone panels is

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sustainable and ecofriendly, contributing to the socio-economic and environmental well-being of the
Country.
Binder: - Agrostone panel uses Magnesium Oxychloride Cement (MOC), also known as Sorel
cement as a binder. MOC is non-hydraulic cement which is formed by mixing powdered Magnesium
Oxide, MgO with concentrated solution of Magnesium Chloride, MgCl2. There are two methods to
produce Magnesium Oxide. One is by calcining magnesite (MgCO3) to a temperature range of 700
2000C, and then they release CO2 and form MgO. In different range of temperature different types
of MgO is produced. The second method is by processing seawater and underground deposits of
brine which contains magnesium chloride. Like MgO, Magnesium Chloride, MgCl2 can be also
produced locally from different sources including evaporation of seawaters or brines, but imported
MgCl2 is used for the production of the Agrostone panel. [4]. MOC was discovered by Sorel in 1867
just few years after the ordinary Portland cement discovered [3]. MOC have better qualities than
Portland cement. It has high early strength as well as it creates a good bond with various inorganic
and organic fillers such as sand, gravel, marble flour, wood flour, sawdust, pumice, and red ash. Its
high fire and abrasion resistance, low thermal conductivity, and high compressive and flexural
strength are other superior engineering properties of MOC [3, 2]. Moreover, MOC is suitable to use
with fiberglass without aging problems since it has lower PH value of 10 11 compared to Portland
cement with PH value of 12 13 [2]. These all properties make MOC an appropriate binder for the
production of Agrostone panels.
Table 1-1 Basic Raw Materials inputs for the production of Agrostone board [5]
S/N Description Standard consumption Quantity/board(Kg) Weight (%)
1 Magnesium Oxide (MgO) 18.00 41.75
2 Magnesium Chloride (MgC12) 12.51 29.01
3 Fiberglass 1.01 2.34
4 Red ash/pumice 8.33 19.32
5 Bagasse 3.03 7.02
6 Steel bar (4mm) 0.11 0.25
7 Admixtures 0.12 0.27
Total 43.11 100.00

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2. LITERATURE REVIEW
Common practice is fabrication of agri-fiber boards that are made from fibrous residue of the wheat,
rice, rye grass, soybean straw, cornstalks, hemp, rice hulls, flax shaves, sunflower stalks, and seed hulls.
The most common advanced composites are polymer matrix composites that consist of thermoplastic or
thermo settings, which can be fashioned into a variety of shapes and sizes. They provide great strength
and stiffness along with resistance to corrosion, low cost, high strength and simple manufacturing
principles.
Most common thermoplastics, which have been used as matrix for natural fiber reinforced composites
include high density polyethylene (HDPE), low density polyethylene (LDPE), chlorinated polyethylene
(CPE), polypropylene (PP), normal polystyrene (PS), poly vinyl chloride (PVC), mixtures of polymers,
recycled thermoplastics. Based on Thermoplastics with processing temperature not exceeding at
which fiber is incorporated into polymer matrix are used for bio-fiber reinforced composites. These
include polyethylene and polypropylene. For reinforcement of composites particulate, fibers and
structural reinforcement are common .Bio fibers are other categories used in composite production.
According to S. W .Beckwith (2003)[7] the sources of bio-fibers are classified as Best, seed and leaf.
Williams, G. I.; Wool, R. P. J. Appl. (2000)[8] explained that best and leaf fibers are the hard type
fibers, which are most commonly used in composite applications. Vegetable fibers can withstand
processing temperatures up to 250C. The strength characteristics of fiber depend on the properties of
the individual constituents, the fiber structure and the lamellae matrix. Seed fibers include cotton, coir
(coconut husk materials), and kapok materials in which cotton is easily recognized for its widespread
international use in textiles and other fibrous products within the clothing and rope industries.
Bio fibers have selected for many composite reinforcing fibers due to the physical, mechanical and
chemical properties they attained.
The properties of bio-fibers can vary depending on the source, age and separating techniques of the
fibers. Quality and other properties of fibers depend on factors such as size, maturity and processing
methods adopted for the extraction of fiber (Mohanty et al., 2001)[6]. Desirable properties for fibers
include excellent tensile strength and modulus, high durability, low bulk density, good mold ability and
recyclability. Bio-fibers are complex mixture of organic materials and as a result, thermal treatment
leads to a variety of physical and chemical changes.
Chemical modification (Ray and S. Bandyopadhyay, 1965)[9] was found to improve the thermal
stability of the composites. Fibers with higher cellulose content, higher degree of polymerization of
cellulose and lower microfibrillar angle give better mechanical properties. The mechanical properties of
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bio-fibers are influenced by the composition, structure and number of defects in a fiber. Moisture
content in fibers influences the degree of crystallinity, crystallite orientation, tensile strength, swelling
behavior and porosity of vegetable fibers (Sukumaran, et al. (2013); Mohanty et al., 2000)[6].
According to M. Roger, Rowell (1998)[10], bio-composite is classified with respect to their application
in construction in to two main groups structural and non-structural bio-composite. In structural and
infrastructural applications (Ticoalu and Aravinthan, 2010)[11] bio-fiber composite have been used to
develop load bearing materials like beam, roof and multipurpose panels. Thermoplastics possess several
advantages such as they do not need storing under refrigeration; possess improved damage tolerance,
environmental resistance, fire resistance, recyclability and potential for fast processing. Primary reason
for the use of thermoplastics is their cost effective processing. Process conditions for high performance
thermoplastics are temperature in the range of 300 to 400C and pressure between atmospheric pressure
for thermo folding process to 20 times the atmospheric pressure for high performance press forming.
Thermo-loading is the most straight forward thermoplastic forming technique where a straight line is
heated and folded. Thermoplastics are recyclable. Low-density polyethylene (LDPE), high-density
polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) are major matrix materials. Bagasse
the residue fiber remaining of pressed sugarcane is one of the bio-fiber. The fiber is thick walled and
relatively long (1-4mm) (Mekuria et al., 2007)[12].Analysis of show that there exist 46.5% of fibers in
bagasse.
Bagasses used as reinforced filler in production of bio-composite construction materials, in different
part of the world like North America, Venezuela, Middle East (Egypt, Saudi Arabia) (Golbabaie Res,
2012)[13]. In Ethiopia also bagasses has used as filler in manufacturing of Agrostone (panels and
board). Other components used to make composites for construction purpose are sand, which contains
silicate(silicon dioxide, or SiO2) and lime (www.wikipedia.com), and scoria (red ash) (Dinku, 2005)[14]
a volcanic cinder which generally has a rough surface and high porous nature, with its pores chiefly in
the form of vesicles instead of the more tube like, interconnected pores.
Studies have been carried out in the areas of various flame retardant fillers / compounds in fiber
reinforced plastic composites for various applications. Researcher (Rowell, 1998)[10] indicates, one of
the biggest new areas of research in the value added area is in combining bio-fibers with thermoplastics.
Blending of the plastics with the bio-based fibers may require compatibilization to improve dispersion,
flow and mechanical properties of the composite. Typical blending involves the plastic-
filler/reinforcement to be shear mixed at temperatures above the softening point of the plastics. The
heated mixture is then typically extruded into small rods that are then cut into short lengths to produce

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a conventional pellet. The pellets can then be used in typical injection or compression molding
techniques (Fainleib and Grigoryeva, 2011)[15]. Generally, however, the composite properties are
derived from the intrinsic properties of the components. The case study (van Wyk, 2007)[16] stated that
the determination of the required mechanical properties for a fiber-based composite could be suitable for
application in the construction sector.
Given the list of products identified four applications can be extracted as generic to construction
products namely; load bearing element, non-load bearing element; solid section; and hollow tube.
In the work of (www.xco2.com, http://www.nnfcc.co.uk/library/publications/index.cfm),it has said that
mechanical testing of Hemp/Cellulose Acetate and Hemp/Polyhydroxy buterate composites were
performed and demonstrated that these bio-composites have strength properties comparable to structural
lumber and higher than plywood. In Ethiopia bio-based composite production for residential
construction materials is in practice.
Thus from literatures, experience in the country and existing conditions there is a need to focus on
alternative building materials development from raw materials like agro-industrial wastes, and mineral
products with relatively low price and much higher strength than the ordinary hollow concrete blocks.
At the same time analyzing the major causes of quality problems using appropriate quality instrument
will help to determine the application of the product.
Magnesium Oxide
Magnesium oxide (sometimes called magnesia) is formed commercially by heating magnesite, which
drives off most of the CO2. It has good thermal conductivity and electrical resistively at elevated
temperatures. Magnesium oxide is used as a basic refractory material for lining crucibles. Magnesium
oxide is a principal ingredient in construction materials used for fireproofing. It is used as a reference
white colour in colorimetry. The emissivity value is about 0.9. Magnesium oxide seldom occurs as a
natural mineral; it is found in contact metamorphic lime stone and dolomites, in volcanic eject, and in
serpentine rocks. It does not form rocks or salt deposits because it converts to magnesium hydroxide by
the water vapor in the atmosphere. The primary sources of industrially produced magnesia are natural
magnesite, seawater and natural and synthetic brines. Natural magnesite is a mineral composed of
MgCO3 and its theoretical composition is 47.8% MgO and 52.2%CO2. Magnesium hydroxide is formed
as an intermediate in the production of magnesia from sea water and brines.
Magnesia is used in technical application on accounts of its high melting point, chemical resistance, high
thermal conductivity, low electrical conductivity and biological activity. Technical grade magnesia is
mainly sintered to form sintered magnesia (also known as magnesia sinter, dead-burned magnesia or

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sintered magnesite) which is used primarily as a refractory material and in the steel industry. Large
quantities of calcined (decarbonated) material known as caustic magnesia or caustic-calcined magnesia
are produced for use in agriculture and building industry. Fused magnesia is normally produced by
melting caustic magnesia.
Table 2.1 Physical and thermochemistry of magnesium oxide [7]
Name Magnesium oxide
Chemical formula MgO
Common Reaction 2Mg + O2 _ 2MgO
Appearance White, Powder
Physical
Formula weight 40.3044 g/mol
Melting point 3073 K (2800 C)
Boiling point 3873 K (3600 C)
Density 3580 kg/m3
Crystal structure Cubic FCC
Solubility 0.00062 g in 100 g water
Thermochemistry
601 kJ/mol
S0 solid 32.51 J/(molK)
Miscellaneous
Thermal conductivity (K) 42 W m-1 K-1 at 0 C
Coefficient of thermal expansion[1] 9.84 10-6/K at 0 C
Specific heat capacity ( ) 877 J kg-1 K-1
Dielectric constant 9.65 at 1 MHz
Young's modulus (E) 250 GPa
Shear Modulus ( ) 155 GPa

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3. PROBLEM STATEMENT
In the production process of Agrostone the manufacturer uses random fiber arrangement and similar
thickness of layers; because of this they have a limitation in the cost, weight, strength, mechanical and
thermal property of the product. In the current situation Agrostone material is not used as a machine
element in order to replace frictional materials such as brake. And there are no known characterized
mechanical and thermal properties of Agrostone in different arrangement of fiber glass and thickness of
the layer.

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4. OBJECTIVES
4.1 Main objectives
The main objective of this project is to characterize the mechanical and thermal properties of
Agrostone at different fiber glass arrangement and different layer of thickness.

4.2 Specific objectives


To understand how to prepare the standard specimen for laboratory analysis
To modify or improve the better mechanical and thermal property of Agrostone material by
changing arrangement of fiber glass and layer thickness
To test the use of Agrostone as a frictional material at higher temperature
To test mechanical properties of Agrostone such as tensile, compressive, impact and fatigue test
To understand how to prepare standard molds for the specimen

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5. METHODOLOGY
Data collection: - on this part we will survey several literatures performed future related to the
experimental analysis of Agrostone
Mold preparation: - different size molds will prepare for specimen preparation purpose. The size
of the specimen will be compatible with the size of the mold. In addition we will design the
proper type of mold for this analysis.
Standard specimen preparation: - different specimen for different arrangements of carbon fiber
and layer of thickness will be prepared. The layer of thickness is depending on the size of the
mold and the weight of the materials used.
Experimental analysis: - the mechanical (i.e. tensile, compressive, and impact), and thermal
properties of the specimen will be analyzed.
Impact testing may be performed using either the Izod or Charpy method. For this particular
experiment the Charpy test method was used because of its availability.
The tensile testing and compression testing were carried out using WP 310 Universal strength
tester capacity 50KN

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6. PROJECT SCHEDULE
Table 6-1 project schedule
Tasks or activities Start End time February March April May

Data collection Week 1-weak 4

Mold preparation Week 5- Week 6

Sample preparation Week 7- week 8

Testing and experimental analysis Week 9- Week 12

Discussion and recommendation Week13week 16

Documentation Week1-week16

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7. FINANCIAL ANALYSIS
Table 7-1 financial analysis for four month
Proposed financial requirement

S.N Item Unit Quantity Unit Cost Total cost(ETB) Remark

1. Personal expenditure
1.1 Mobile card Birr 4 1000 4000
1.2 Transport 4 700 2800
1.3 Paper and documentation - 1000 1000
1.4 Others 2000 2000
2. Raw material Birr -
2.1 Magnesium Oxide (MgO) 1000 1000
2.2 Magnesium Chloride (MgC12) 800 800
2.3 Fiberglass 1000 1000
2.4 Red ash/pumice 700 700
2.5 Bagasse 1000 1000
2.6 Steel bar (4mm) 500 500
2.7 Admixtures 500 500
2.8 mold preparation 1000 2000
2.9 specimen preparation 1200 1200
3. Labor 1 1000 1000

Total amount Birr 19500

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8. REFERENCE
[1] Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC), Calendar of events for the year
(2009-2010), New Delhi, 6.
[2] Z. Li, and K.-C. Chau, Influence of Molar Ratios on Properties of Magnesium Oxychloride
Cement. Cement and Concrete Research,
[3] J.-J. Beaudoin, and V.-S. Ramachandran, Strength Development in Magnesium Oxcychloride and
Other Cement. Cement and Concrete Research, Vol. 5. pp.617 - 630. 1975.Vol. 37, pp. 866-870, 2007.
[4] AAHDPO, Agrostone Production Technology. Addis Ababa: Addis Ababa Housing Development
Project Office, 2007.
[5] Adola magnesium oxide factory (2007)Magazine of Addis Ababa Housing Development Project
Office, August
[6] Mohanty, A.K., et al. (2000). Biofibres, biodegradable polymers and bio composites: An overview.
Macromolecular Materials and Engineering, 276/277, 1-24.
[7] Beckwith, S.W. (2003). Composites Fabrication-natural fiber. Harvard university, 122.
[9] Ray, P.K., & Bandyopadhyay, S.B. (1965). An X-ray study of coir fiber, India, 39, 421-427.
[10] Rowell, M.R. (1998). The state of art and future development of bio-based composite science and
the technology towards the 21st century. Madison, 1-16.
[11] Ticoalu, A., Aravinthan, T. (2010). A review of current development in natural fiber composites for
structural and infrastructure applications, Proceedings of the of the 2010- eprints.usq.edu.au.
[12] Mekuria, S., Tefera, N. Ramaya, A.V. (2007). Energy System Analysis of Wonji/Shewa Sugar
Factory. Journal of the ESChE, 10(1), 13-25.
[13] Golbabaie, M. (2012). Applications of Bio composites in Building Industry, China, 1.
[14] Dinku, A. (2005). The need of standardization of aggregates for concrete in Ethiopian construction
industry, Addis Ababa University, 1-15.
[15] Fainleib, A., & Grigoryeva, O. (2011). Recent Developments in Polymer Recycling, Ukraine, 101-
120.
[16] van Wyk, K. (2007). A Research Case Study: The Application of Natural Fiber Compositesin
Construction, Pritoria,1-13.

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