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Yeeni Ayu Rosita Marjani 1 , Sinin Hamdan 2 , Saiful Bahari Mohd Yusoff 3

Institut Seni Kreatif dan Teknologi, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia
Fakulti Kejuruteraan, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia
Fakulti Seni Gunaan dan Kreatif, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia


This work aims to produce sago waste product as potential new organic compound to be used as a core structure for
automotive model. The sago waste as an alternative compound is aimed to produce an alternative sago block product
for automotive design students at higher learning institutions in Malaysia. Recycle sago waste compound can be used
in the production of model or any products that are compatible with the material. The initial process of producing the
material compound are filtering and squeezing the wet waste to separate liquid (which form liquid sago waste (LSW).
After that, sago waste fibre was dried in an oven at 105oC for 24 hours. After that it is grounded and sieve through
1mm mesh to produce sago waste powder (SWP). The SWP are treated with cinnamon powder for curing. LSW
mixed with starch in sago flour, commercial starch flour or corn flour to form a series of binders. SWP are mixed with
binder at a ratio of 2:1 to produce sago waste block. The sample showed the maximum compressive strength of
0.41MPa and easily carved, cut and polished by sandpaper.

Keywords: Automotive Modelling, Binders, Liquid sago waste (LSW) and Sago Waste Powder (SWP)


The proposed invention and design of sago waste compound are intended for scaled
automotive modeling process. In automotive design, during the development process
succeeding phases will require the physical 3D model fully developed to meet the aesthetic
requirements of a designer as well as all engineering and manufacturing requirements. Hence,
scale modeling is important as it is a crucial part to evaluate the physical form and validate the
designer’s idea. Now, clay material is used for automotive scale model (Jamil, & Zalay,
2016). It is found to be expensive and time consuming to produce the model (Share, 2014).
Most Malaysian automotive design students practice with floral block foam or Polyurethane
(PU) blue block foam compounds. Presently, there is no study to replace these materials. The
existing block foam products (floral foam and PU foam) are found to be dangerous to
consumer and the environment as they contain chemicals substances. Therefore, the sago
waste compound is proposed as a potentially safer compound compared to an existing block
foam. The output of this research is to produce a new compound which can improve method
of producing a block foam that are light, soft, durable, cheap, can be easily cut, shaped and
environmentally friendly.
Malaysia has the largest amount of sago cultivation. The largest sago cultivation area is
in Sarawak. Most sago plants are planted around Dalat, Pusa and Mukah. The sago planting
area is 111,383 hectares planted by smallholders while 24,531 hectares are planted by the
estate (Abner & Balitka, 1999). 75% of sago cultivation is recorded in Mukah and 50% sago
flour is produced from the cultivation. Previously, sago waste was dumped into the river.
Without strict regulation from the authority, the chances of sago waste being dumped into
river was high until now (Wan Mohammad Daud, et al., 2012). Many researchs have been
conducted related to sago waste. Sago waste was used as sound absorbing panels (Ngaini, et
al., 2013) and bioethanol production (Awg-Adeni, et al., 2012). However, there are not yet
available research that investigate transforming sago waste to materials for making model
such as car model and anything similar.


2.1 Material

a. Dried Sago Waste (DSW) Fibre

Sago waste was obtained from Herdsen Sago Mill, Pusa, Sarawak. The sago wastes are
filtered and squeezed to separate liquid sago waste (LSW) and drained sago waste (DSW).
58% of the starch content are still present in DSW although it has been dried (Awg-Adeni, et
al., 2012). DSW are dried in the oven at 105oC for 24 hours and grinded to produce sago
waste powder (SWP). After that the SWP are treated with cinnamon powder for curing or
treatment (Widiastuti, 2016).

b. Binding

Three types of binders are used to produce compound materials. The binders are
produced from LSW and starch. Three types of starch used were sago flour, commercial
starch flour and corn flour mixed (Table 1).

Table 1: Three different mixtures of binder

No Starch Mixtures of binder Name of binder
1 Sago Flour 1 litre LSW + 500g sago Liquid sago binder
flour + 4 litre plain water (LSB)
2 Commercial 1 litre LSW + 500g Liquid commercial
Starch Flour commercial starch flour + 4 starch binder (LCSB)
litre plain water
3 Corn Flour 1 litre LSW + 500g corn Liquid corn flour
flour + 4 litre plain water binder (LCFB)

2.2 Method

a. Sago Waste Powder (SWP)

The first process was done by separating sago waste (SW) into DSW and LSW. 3kg of
SW can produce 1.5kg of DSW and 1 liter of LSW. Both DSW and LSW have their own
function in the process of making material compound as a powder and binding material. After
the separation process of DSW and LSW was done, DSW will undergo a drying process to
prevent bacterial reproduction on DSW and ensure that the product can be stored for a long
time. Drying was done in an oven at 105oC for 24 hours. After drying, the DSW are blended
using grinder to produce sago waste powder (SWP) of 1mm mesh. After that, LCSB are

mixed using heavy duty mixers for 15minutes. LCSB was chosen because LCFB and LSB
produced cracked sample as shown in the results below.

b. Sago Waste Block

Sago waste block process was done by mixing SWP with LCSB. The mixture was
mixed homogeneously using heavy duty mixers, placed in a mold of 150mm x 150mm x
150mm and compressed for 24hours. The purpose of compression is to remove excess water
in the block and make the block more uniformed. After compression, the block is dried in an
oven. Figure 1 shows production process of material compound (150 mm x 150mm x

Raw Material (sago
1.5kg Dried sago waste 1 Liter Liquid sago waste
Drying 1 liter LSW + 500g
Process commercial starch flour +4
Fibre Grinding Process liter water

Material Treatment Binding are
Process produced

Sago Waste Powder (SWP) +
Mold (15cm x15cm
Product: Sago

Figure 1: Production process of material compound


3.1 The result of combined sago waste powder (SWP) with different binder

The suitability between binder and SWP can be seen through the surface of the sample
(Table 2). The final product was shown in figure 2.

Table 2: The result of combined sago waste powder (SWP) with different binder

No Binder Sample surface Result
1 Liquid sago The surface of the sample has
binder (LSB) many cracks and almost broken.

2 Liquid Sample surface has less cracking.
starch binder

3 Liquid corn The surface of the sample has
binder (LCB) many cracks

Figure 2: The final product

3.2 Compressive test

The samples are tested for its compressive strength using Shimadzu universal testing
machine. Table 3 showed the result of compressive strength of each sample. The analysis
showed the compressive strength were 0.35-0.4MPa. Sample 2 showed the highest reading of
0.41MPa as shown by the sample uniformity and homogenous. The samples can be easily
carved, cut and polished by sandpaper. Figure 3 showed the stress (y-axis) versus displacement
(x-axis) for all samples.

Figure 3: Stress (y-axis) versus displacement (x-axis)

Table 3: Compressive test result

Sample Force Displacement Stress StressN/mm2
(mm) N/mm
Sampl 9 0.10 400000 0.4


Sampl 9.28 0.15 412245.1 0.41


Sampl 7.91 0.08 351666.67 0.35


Sampl 8.62 0.07 382916.67 0.38


Sampl 8.72 0.14 390944.44 0.39



Through a study on the physical properties of sago waste, it can be concluded that
sago waste has the potential to be used as a compound material for model design purposes
and any products that are compatible with the material. This research investigates the
possibility of sago waste as a product for model design purposes. The strength of this
material are tested to ensure it is appropriate in the model making.


The authors thank Universiti Malaysia Sarawak and Kursi Tun Openg Registration Grants
support through grant (F03/TOC/1517/2017) and all facilities provided by UNIMAS in
conducting this research.

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