The use of natural fibers as reinforcement for cement-based composites is justified by the low cost, high availability, especially in countries like Brazil, which has developed agriculture, good soil and climatic conditions and large areas for cultivation of different crops. However, due to the high alkalinity of cement matrix has it enhanced durability compromised by the degradation of the fibers. One measure to decrease this alkaline attack is the lignin and hemicelluloses dissolution of fibers, which are less resistance under conditions of high pH, by chemical pulping, a process that individualizes the cellulosic fibers that are used as reinforcement of cementitious composites in replacement of synthetic fibers used in mill. Pulps applied for this purpose are produced by the kraft pulping process. A cleaner alternative to this process is organosolv pulping using organic reagents during cooking and provides facility for solvent recovery at the end of the process. The nanowhiskers obtained from bamboo organosolv pulp may provide improvements in mechanical and physical properties in cementitious composites, since the incorporation is possible to form bridges for the transfer of tensions between the nanowhiskers reducing the occurrence of cracking in the nano scale and improvement of the composite performance over the useful life.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: