AIM To investigate the tensile strength of plant fibre by using pumpkin stems and compares it to tensile strength of concrete


INTRODUCTION This experiment is carried out to measure the tensile strength of plant fibre and compare ot with the strength of concrete. Tensile strength is the stress at which a material breaks or permanently deforms. Tensile strength is an intensive property and, consequently, does not depend on the size of the test specimen. However, it is dependent on the preparation of the specimen and the temperature of the test environment and material. Tensile strength is measured in units of force per unit area. In the SI system, the units are Newton per square metre (N/m²) or Pascal (Pa), with prefixes as appropriate. Tensile stress is the stress experienced by the object produced.

PROBLEM STATEMENT Are tensile strength of plant fibre stronger or weaker than the tensile strength of concrete which is 2.0 x

106 Nm-2 ?

HYPOTHESIS Plant fibre has a higher tensile strength than concrete.

APPARATUS Rubber gloves, beaker, a pair of scissors, retort stand with clamps, loads with different masses, hook.

MATERIAL Stems of mature pumpkin plant, distilled water.

A strand of dried fibre is cut into 3 cm long. Testing fibre strength 1. The fibres are then dried. . Stems are removed from water after a week and washed to remove to remove softened tissue and fungus. 3. 2. 5.PROCEDURE A. Leaves and any flowers from stems of plants are removed using a scissor. The hook is attached at the other end and observation is made whether the fibre cam withstand the load. Extracting fibres from plant stem 1. Another load of mass 2g is added if the fibre does not snap and the loads are continue to be added until the fibre snap. The stems are then left soaked for a week. 6. A piece of load with mass 2g is slipped to the hook. The total mass of loads added before the fibre snapped is recorded. The outside cuticle and epidermal layer will rub away and the central pith will be left when the fibres are peeled away. 7. Loops are made at both ends of the fibre to attached the fibre to the spring balance and hook of loads. The fibre strand is then attached to spring balance which is hanged to retort stand. 10. The fibre strand being used in experiment is placed under on a slide and the diameter is measured using the scale on eyepiece graticule. The eyepiece graticule and stage micrometer are postioned to be parallel with each other and the scale of eyepiece is calibrated. 9. 4. 4. The stem is rubbed by hand gently under running tap water to remove stem tissues around bundle to extract the fibres. The tensile strength of fibre strand is calculated using this formula. 6. B. 7. 11. 3. 8. The fibres are separated using hands into single fibres. 5. The stems are then place in a beaker and let them fully immerse in water. Light microscope is set up and stage micrometer is placed on the stage of micrometer. 2.

   12. The data obtained are recorded in a table. This experiment is repeated for another 2 times. . 13.

22 N Radius = 8.022 kg x 9.14 x (7.1304 x 10-8 Tensile strength =   7 = 2.5 x 10-5m Cross-sectional area = 3.RESULT Calculations: Fibre 1 Force = 0.76625 x 10-8 Tensile strength =   = 1.26865 x 10-8 Tensile strength = 6   = 9.022 kg x 9.5 x 10-5)² = 1.26 N Radius =6.81 ms-2 = 0.14 x (6.22 N Radius = 7.81 ms-2 = 0.5 x 10-5)² = 2.0 x 10-5 m Cross-sectional area = 3.7 x 10 Nm-2 Fibre 3 Force = 0.0 x 10-5)² = 1.026 kg x 9.81 ms-2 = 0.5 x 10-5m Cross-sectional area = 3.3 x 10 Nm-2 .25 x 107 Nm-2 Fibre 2 Force = 0.14 x (8.

1304 x 10-8 Table 2 Tensile strength of different fibres Average tensile strength of plant fibre =        = 1.085 0.26865 x 10-8 1.17 0.22 0.15 0.12 Radius (mm) 0.075 0.76625 x 10-8 2.F =mg (N) Cross-sectional area.022 0. A = r² (m²) Tensile strength (Nm2 ) 1.060 Radius (m) 7.51 × 107 Nm-2 .25 x 107 9.0 x 10-5 Table 1 Diameter and radius of each fibre Fibre Mass of loads (kg) Force.026 0.3 x 107 1 2 3 0.7 x 106 2.5 x 10-5 8.Trials 1 2 3 Diameter (mm) 0.22 0.26 1.022 0.5 x 10-5 6.

26 N.1304 x 10-8 m² cross-sectional area. For the first fibre.51 × 107 Nm-2.026 kg.7 x 106 Nm-2.25 x 107 Nm-2.76625 x 10-8 m² and this fibre has tensile strength 1.5 x 10-5 m. . Average tensile strength of fibre used in this experiment is 1. tensile strength has to be calculated. This will result in more brittleness in the fibre. Thus the fibre may snap easily even with the smallest mass of loads and give a wrong implication on their real tensile strength. Third fibre can withstand force of 0. The result shows the tensile strength of fibre with smallest diameter which is the third fibre has the highest tensile strength. Limitations As this experiment is carried out to investigate whether plant fibre under tension are stronger or weaker than concrete. From radius calculated in Table 1.81 ms-2 . the last fibre used has the smallest radius which is 6. the maximum force (N) withstand by the first fibre and second fibre is 0. First. Meanwhile. Multiplying the mass with gravitational force which is 9. cross-sectional area of each fibre can be calculated. the fibre may become over-dried. Based on Table 2. the end of fibre may have thicker diameter but thinner in the middle. the fibre strands taken from the stem have different maturity. However. The second fibre used has the 2. Other than that. its radius is 7. tensile strength of plant fibre should be more than 2.DISCUSSION Data interpretation Table 1 shows the diameter of all three fibres used in three experiments. Besides. Second fibre has the largest radius which is 8.5 x 10-5 m. in a fibre.0 x 10-5 m.26865 x 10-8 m ² of cross-sectional area and the tensile strength calculated is 9. third fibre withstands the maximum of loads of 0. Theoretically.22 N. Radius for each fibre in metre is then calculated. third fibre used has the highest tensile strength of 2. the strengths may have big variations.022 kg is added to the hook attached to the fibre.3 x 107 Nm-2 with 1. the diameter may be different at different part along the strand.0 x 106 Nm-2 which is the tensile strength of concrete. If extracted from different part or different plant but of the same species. From calculation. Crosssectional area for the first fibre is 1. there are a few limitations in this experiment. For example. when drying the fibre. This proved the relationship between cross-sectional area and tensile strength. Both first and second fibres snapped after mass of loads of 0.

When extracting the fibre. it should be handled gently and extra careful. Wikipedia : http://en.Sources of error Careless in handling is the main source of error in this experiment. C J Clegg. REFERENCES wear cloves to prevent from being stung.51 × 107 Nm-2. 3. During experiment the mass should be supported with palm and released slowly so that sudden snap can be CONCLUSION Plant fibre extracted from pumpkin plant is stronger than concrete. SAFETY PRECAUTIONS 1. 2. Plants for a Future : http://www. the force on the fibre also will be added unnecessarily. Hodder 3.pfaf. Add loads with small and constant mass in each trial so that the maximum mass withstand by the fibre can be observed more precisely. 2008 2.wikipedia. If the hook of loads swings too much.php 4. Plant Fibres : http://waynesword. Tie both ends carefully and attached the loops carefully at the force meter and hook of loads to minimize pulling force towards the fibre. Edexcel Biology for AS. As the fibre is very thin and easily snapped with a smallest external force.htm . Tie the strand well so it will no snap suddenly and preventing the loads from falling down. The tensile strength calculated in this experiment is 1.palomar.