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5 ème Congres International de Thermique-AMT2018

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Mustapha BOUMHAOUT 1,2* Lahcen BOUKHATTEM 1,3 Hassan HAMDI 1,2 Brahim BENHAMOU 1,2 Fatima AIT NOUH 1

1 EnR2E, National Center of Studies and Research on Water and Energy, CNEREE, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakesh, Morocco Energy Process Research Group, LMFE, CNRST Associated Research Unit (URAC 27), Faculty of Science Semlalia, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakesh, Morocco

2

3 LMPEQ,

National

School

of

Applied Sciences, Safi, Cady

Ayyad University, Marrakesh, Morocco *Mustapha.boumhaout@edu.uca. ac.ma

EFFECT OF MOISTURE CONTENT ON THE THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY OF A BINDERLESS BOARD MADE FROM DATE PALM FIBERS MESH

Abstract: The boards made from date palm fibers mesh as construction material bear a growing interest owing to their several advantages such as their insulation effects. An experimental study was carried out on the humidity effect on thermal conductivity of binderless board of Date Palm Fibers (BB-DPF) mesh. The obtained results show that the thermal conductivity of BB-DPF increases significantly with volumetric water content. Indeed, at saturation state it may reach 4 times its value at dry state.

Keywords: Binderless board, Date palm fibers mesh, water content, thermal conductivity.

1. Introduction

The main insulation materials existing in the Moroccan market are: cork, rock wool, glass wool, polyurethane, expanded polystyrene, extruded polystyrene and perlite [1]. These materials are expensive as most of them have to be imported. On the other hand, these materials are often noxious and have a negative impact on human health as well as on the environment [2]. Vegetal fibers used in construction materials bears a growing interest owing to their several advantages such as availability, low cost, biodegradability, renewability, abundance, absence of toxicity and polluting effects.

The

vegetal

materials

used

alone

have

drawn attention of many researchers

in

last

decades. Ngohe-Ekam et al. [3] have carried

out an experimental study on the influence of

density on the thermophysical properties

of

tropical woods. Agoudjil et al. [4] have investigated the thermophysical, the chemical and the dielectric properties of three varieties of date palm wood. They noticed that date palm

wood could be a good candidate for the development of efficient and safe insulating materials when compared to other natural

materials.

Xu

et

al.

[5],

Zhou et

al.

[6,7] and

Panyakaew et al. [8] have studied the thermal

conductivity and bulk density of natural insulation boards made from kenaf, straw, cotton stalk, bagasse and coconut husk. They

reported that the thermal conductivity of the

studied materials density.

increases

with

their

bulk

On

the other

hand, vegetable fibers

are

known to be very hydrophilic

and

this may

impact negatively their

insulating capacity.

Therefore, a deeper investigation on thermal

conductivity of fibers and their composite materials as function of moisture content is required. Korjenic et al. [9] carried out an investigation on impact of moisture on thermal conductivity of boards made from natural fibers (jute, flax and hemp) and concluded that moisture has higher influence on boards made from higher hydrophilic fibers. Water absorption of date palm fibers, rachis and petiole type, were experimentally investigated by Benmansour et al. [10].

DPF mesh may be used advantageously in form of insulating binderless boards (DPF-B) to low its thermal conductivity. However, the hydrophilic character of DPF meshes may impact negatively their positive effects as insulating materials used in forms of binderless boards (DPF-B). This paper aims at studying experimentally humidity effect on thermal conductivity of binderless board of Date Palm Fibers.

2. Experimental set up

2.1

DPF

mesh binderless boards

manufacturing

 

The

following

procedure

was

used for

preparation of the DPF mesh binderless boards. Date palm fibers mesh (DPF), were obtained from First Unity of Date Palm Production of Marrakesh. Prior to their use, they were washed with high pressure water in order to eliminate the pollutant particles. The fibers are then dried: firstly being sun dried for two days and then further oven dried at 70◦C until reaching constant weight. Afterwards, the fibers with diameters 0-0.7 mm were cut to lengths ranging from 50 to 60 mm. The DPF mesh based boards were manually manufactured, without the use of chemical binding additives.

5 ème Congres International de Thermique-AMT2018

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The transparent Plexiglas mould of volume 26.5

×26.5×4cm

3

, shown in Fig. 1, was filled with

DPF meshes and let at ambient temperature of 26°C and ambient humidity of around 30% under a constant compacting mass load of 6.000 ± 0.002 kg for about 24h. When the volume of fibers reduced, another quantity of fibers and compacting mass load were added. This operation was repeated until the volume of fibers remained unchanged in the filled Plexiglas mould under a maximum compacting mass load of 60.000 ± 0.002 kg.

5 Congres International de Thermique-AMT2018 _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ The transparent Plexiglas mould of volume 26.5 ×26.5×4cm 3 ,

Figure 1: DPF board preparation.

2.2 Thermal conductivity measurement of DPF mesh as function of water content

The thermal conductivity measurements were made by using the EI700 device which is based on two boxes method. The description of this device and thermal conductivity measurement principle were reported in Boumhaout et al. [11].

For

the

measurement

of

the thermal

conductivities of

DPF

board

measurements

were firstly done on samples at saturated state.

Then, the

water

content

of

samples was

gradually reduced by drying. Their

thermal

conductivities and water content measured after each drying step.

were

The first four drying steps were made at air ambient and the other ones performed by using an oven with temperature set at 70°C. After each drying step, the thermal conductivity of the sample was measured, then its water content determined following the procedure described here after.

For each step, the sample was weighed using an electronic balance with 2g accuracy to determine its wet mass m wet . The saturated and dry mass states are referred as m sat and m dry .

The

mass

water

content

(

is

calculated using the following equation.

 
 

(1)

The volumetric water content ( defined as:

 

)

is

 

(2)

 

Where

and

are respectively the

volume of water absorbed and the bulk volume

of

the

sample.

Neglecting

the

swilling

phenomenon due to water absorption, W v may be expressed as function of W m by:

 

(3)

 

Where

and

are the bulk density of

BB-DPF at dry state and water density ( 1000 kg.m 3 at 20 °C), respectively.

=

3. Experimental results

This section concerns the experimental investigation on determination of maximal water absorption rate and moisture content effect on thermal conductivity of BB-DPF. Experimental results are presented with the uncertainties calculated according to NF ENV 13005 [12].

3.1 DPF Board

 

The maximum water absorption rate of BB-

DPF,

, is their maximum mass water

content

reached

 

at

saturation

state.

It

is

therefore expressed as the ratio of mass water

uptake (

) to dry mass:

 
 

(4)

The Maximum water absorption rate

was

determined

at

its

saturated

state

realized

following the procedure described in section

II.1. The measured value of board was 293 ± 1%.

Ab max for DPF

3.2 Thermal conductivity as function of water content

The

procedure

used

to

carry

out

measurements of thermal conductivity of DPF-B as function of water content was described in section II.3. The thermal conductivity of BB- DPF evolution as function of volumetric water content is presented in Fig. 2.

The value of BB-DPF thermal conductivity

measured at dry state is k = 0.033 ± 0.002 W.m - 1 .K -1 . This value comes from the contribution of both air and pure fiber solid material. Indeed, at dry state, the BB-DPF may be viewed as composed by only two phases (solid and air). Air is trapped in the total pores available in the BB-DPF matrix. It is considered as a good insulator (k = 0.026 W.m -1 .K -1 ) and contributes

positively to lower the thermal conductivity of

the matrix as the solid phase constituted by the pure fiber material has a slightly greater thermal

conductivity k = 0.13 W.m Djoudi et al. [13].

-1 .K -1 , determined by

5 ème Congres International de Thermique-AMT2018

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A comparison between the BB-DPF thermal

The

wet

DPF-B

may

be

viewed

as

conductivity, at dry state, with other insulation

composed by three phases (solid, water and

materials is presented in Table 1. It can be

air). Air remains trapped

in

the closed

pores

seen that the thermal conductivity value of BB-

while it

is

gradually replaced, as the

water

DPF is in the same range as those of two

content increases, by the water

in

the board

synthetic materials (Rockwool and extruded polystyrene foam) and is lower than those of

open pores. At the saturated state, water occupies the open pores corresponding to

natural insulation boards (bagasse, husk, kenaf,

residual saturation Rs. The increase

of

the

jute, flax, technical hemp cotton stalk and straw) and those of some synthetic materials (Polyethylene foam, Fiberglass and Cellulose fibers).

thermal conductivity in the wet BB-DPF is due to the fact that the thermal conductivity of water (0.6 W.m -1 .K -1 ) is higher than the one of air (0.026 W.m -1 .K -1 ).

5 Congres International de Thermique-AMT2018 _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ A comparison between the BB-DPF thermal The wet DPF-B may

Figure 2: Variation of thermal conductivity of board made from DPF mesh as function of volumetric water content.

Fig. 2 shows that thermal conductivity, k, of wet BB-DPF increases with volumetric water content, W v , from its minimal value at dry state (k = 0.033 ± 0.002 W.m -1 .K -1 ) to its maximal value at saturated state (k = 0.147 ± 0.004 W.m -1 .K -1 ). The values of thermal conductivity of wet DPF-B come from the contribution of pure fiber solid material, water and air.

Table 1: Comparison between the BB-DPF thermal conductivity, measured at dry state, with the ones of insulation materials presented in the

literature.

Materials

Bulk density

Thermal conductivity

Ref.

(W.m -1 .K -1 )

 

(kg/m 3 )

This

BB-DPF

121 ± 3

0.033 ± 0.002

work

Cotton stalk insulation board

150450

0.0580.081

[7]

Kenaf insulation board Binderless coconut husk

150200

0.0510.058

[5]

insulation board Binderless bagasse

250350

0.0460.068

[8]

insulation board

250350

0.0490.055

[8]

Jute

26

0.046

[9]

Flax

32

0.043

[9]

Technical hemp

82

0.039

[9]

Polyethylene foam (PE) Extruded polystylene foam

50100

0.0350.045

[14]

(XPS)

2442

0.0260.035

[15]

Expanded perlite boards

78224

0.0480.062

[15]

Cellulose fibres

3080

0.0400.045

[14]

Rockwool Low-density wheat straw

80200

0.0250.035

[15]

board

150250

0.0480.052

[6]

Rice straw thermal insulation boards (RISTIB)

250

0.0510.053

[16]

Fiberglass

24120

0.0340.047

[15]

At the saturated state, thermal conductivity

-1

, which

of the sample is k = 0.147 W.m -1 .K

represents about four times its value at dry state. However, this value remains within the limits of insulation materials [17] and therefore the DPF-B can be used as insulating material in high humid environments. The BB-DPF material could be suitable for interior walls and may replace advantageously artificial materials as it presents a good structure, compatibly and may adhere very well thanks to the roughness structure of the fibers. The relationship between the thermal conductivity, k, and the volumetric water content, Wv, of the DPF-B may be expressed as a polynomial fit. The best fit obtained from Fig. 2 is,

(5)

With a correlation coefficient R 2 =0.997.

4. Conclusion

An experimental study was carried out on humidity effect on thermal conductivity of binderless board of Date Palm Fibers (BB-DPF) mesh. The obtained results show that BB-DPF is hydrophilic as their measured maximum water absorption rate is 293 ± 1 % representing

three times their dry weight. The thermal conductivity of binderless board increases with

their volumetric water content. This thermal conductivity at saturation state may reach 4 times its value at dry state. However, even when wetted, BB-DPF thermal conductivity values are still acceptable as insulating materials to be used in humid environments. The lowers its water retention capacity which is

a positive effect when considering that trapped

water increases the thermal conductivity of the

insulating materials.

Acknowledgment

This

study is

a

part

of the RafriBAT

project

financially supported

by

a

grant

from

the

Hassan II

Royal Academy of

Sciences and

Techniques, Morocco.

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