Document Type : Research Paper


Mechanical Engineering Dept., Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University-Nigeria, Benue State- Nigeria.


The characterization of raffia palm fibre (RPF) for reinforcement in polymer composite for specialized applications was studied. The fibres were treated with NaOH solution and subjected to a tensile strength test. The fibres were also subjected to spectroscopy using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), energy dispersive x-ray fluorescence (EDXRF), and x-ray diffraction (XRD). The study found that the alkaline-treated RPF presented a tensile strength of 195 MPa and Young’s modulus of 91.76 MPa. The strain at maximum stress in the fibre was found to be 2.125%. FTIR spectra of treated raffia palm fibres revealed that the fibres are characterized by O-H and C-H stretching. There is the presence of carboxylic acids, functional groups of methyl (CH3), methylene (CH2), and aliphatic saturated (CH) compounds. There was no observed peak at around 1000 cm-1 to 650 cm-1 bands characterized as the C-H “oop” bond structure of a functional group of aromatics. The absence of a peak in the range indicates that the alkaline treatment of RPF has been effective, as evidenced by the absence of smell. EDXRF showed significant Ca, Fe, and K concentrations in raffia palm fibres. The XRD results show that RPF is semi-crystalline, with the crystalline index estimated at 57.3%. Therefore, RPF can be used as potential reinforcement in polymer composite applications where moderate strength and stiffness are required. From the spectroscopy, RPF is safe for deployment as an alternative source of reinforcement in polymer composites, especially for developing biomedical applications such as prosthetics and wheelchairs.

Graphical Abstract


  • This research characterizes raffia palm fiber (RPF) for use in specialized polymer composite reinforcement.
  • The study found that the alkaline-treated RPF presented a tensile strength of 195 MPa and Young’s modulus of 91.76 MPa.
  • The XRD results show that RPF is semi-crystalline, with the crystalline index estimated at 57.3%.


Main Subjects

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