Effectiveness of Banana Leaf Ash and Coconut Fiber as Admixtures in Concrete Blocks
Keywords:Civil engineering, Banana Leaf Ash, Coconut Fiber, Concrete, Admixtures
Concrete blocks are widely used in construction for their stability, strength, affordability, and practicality. However, the construction industry must prioritize quality, performance, and sustainability. Given the significant demand and high construction industry costs, this study aimed to develop more efficient blocks using banana leaf ash and coconut fiber as construction materials. Since the construction industry is known as one of the largest consumers of non-renewable resources, the potential function of these admixtures is to produce low-cost and eco-friendly blocks for construction and help reduce waste materials. Admixtures, which offer enhanced characteristics, have become essential in concrete production. This study employed an experimental and developmental approach encompassing material procurement, block construction, specimen curing, testing, and evaluation. Three tests were conducted: tensile strength, water absorption, and compressive strength. The admixtures consisted of varying percentages of banana leaf ash (5% and 10%) and a fixed 5% coconut fiber content. The blocks' durability was assessed after 28 days. Tensile strength tests revealed that blocks with 10% banana leaf ash and 5% coconut fiber exhibited the highest durability, enduring hammering cycles of 795-897 times compared to standard blocks (488-497 times). Water absorption tests indicated that blocks with 10% banana leaf ash and 5% coconut fiber had the lowest percentages of water absorption (1.72%-2.35%) compared to standard blocks (2.27%-2.64%). Compressive strength tests demonstrated that blocks with 10% banana leaf ash and 5% coconut fiber endured the highest number of drops (29-32) before breaking, outperforming both standard blocks (3-10 drops) and blocks with 5% banana leaf ash and 5% coconut fiber (23-24 drops). Incorporating 10% banana leaf ash and 5% coconut fiber admixtures enhances the durability of concrete blocks compared to standard concrete blocks. These admixtures contribute to increased tensile strength, reduced water absorption, improved breakage resistance, and enhanced concrete blocks' performance and lifespan. Furthermore, Further research should be conducted to enhance the durability and flexibility of concrete blocks. Exploring innovative and underutilized alternative materials as admixtures can significantly improve the quality and utility of these blocks.