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– Permanent and Temporary November 8-12 2010, Shanghai, China
Uncoated Abaca Fabric: An Alternative Natural Material for Temporary Tensile Structure
SALVADOR R. ALDECOA ASP Membran, Philippines Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Abstract This study focuses on the promising material which is abundant in the Bicol Region, Philippines, the abaca fabric. For many years, the abaca fabric has been utilized as a decorative material for export and domestic products. In the history of abaca industry, such fabric was never considered as a prime construction material. Within the framework of this study, the material strength of uncoated abaca fabric is tested for its structural use, specifically for temporary tensile structure. Fabrication and construction of a full-scale hypar form is tested and subjected to the full provisions of the National Structural Code of the Philippines concerning temporary structures. This study compares the membrane stresses generated by the ForTen 3000 software for tensile structure with the physical test results of uncoated abaca fabric supplied by the Philippine Textile Research Institute Testing Laboratory. The abaca fabric is also subjected to the effect of weathering to determine the effective life span of uncoated and untreated abaca fabric. Keywords: membrane tensile structure; abaca fabric; FORTEN 3000; hypar; form finding; cutting
In support of the growing global concern for environmental protection, it is imperative that biodegradable, eco-friendly and natural raw materials be introduced in tensile structures. This study is thus conducted in order to test the applicability and suitability of the Philippine’s premier natural fiber called “abaca.” Abaca, (musa textiles nee), is indigenous to the Philippines and its fiber is known worldwide as “Manila hemp.” The fiber is obtained from the leaf sheaths of the abaca plant which is similar to the banana plant in appearance. The abaca fiber is an export-oriented commodity and is traditionally used as cordage due to its durability, high strength, and resistance to salt-water decomposition. Its fiber is considered as the strongest among natural fibers and is three times stronger than cotton. Based on the Department of Agriculture Fiber Industry Development Authority, the Philippines produces about 70,000 metric tons of fibers from 136,000 hectares of abaca plantation in various parts of the country, 24% of which are exported as raw materials to
Eastern Visayas and Mindanao. the Pinukpok. With the help of the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). creative packaging. handwoven abaca fabric is best known for its tribal community identity. Shanghai Spatial Structures – Permanent and Temporary November 8-12 2010. Based on the data provided by the Fiber Industry Development Authority. Germany. furniture and fixtures. United Kingdom. table top accessories. lamps and lighting. Japan. France. fashion accessories. Constant beating of the fiber brings out its sheen and softness characteristic of silk fabrics. fiber crafts. Bicol. draperies. decorative accessories. an abundant source of abaca fiber in the Bicol Region awaits the outcome of this study. while the rest are locally processed. Figure 1 shows clearly that the Bicol Region is the second top producer of abaca fiber producing 20. garments and textiles. Figure 1 Abaca Production in the Philippines Local production and usage of abaca fiber are mainly concentrated on the cottage industry that makes abaca rope and twines. Shanghai. . Traditionally.Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium 2010. the old tradition of abaca fiber craft in the Philippines was transformed into a vibrant and lucrative business in the export industry. Pinukpok is an exquisite silk made from abaca fiber which is abundant in the Bicol Region. China the United States. and South Korea. This study focuses on one handwoven abaca fabric distinctively made within the Bicol Region.243 metric tons per year. It is processed by literally beating the fiber using a huge wooden mortar and pestle. The areas of abaca production and processing in the Philippines are situated in three major regions. Christmas decor. wall covering. namely.
elongation and tearing strength per fivecentimeter strip of fabric. The tensile strength of the Abuab variety ranges from 31. a full-scale hypar tensile structure was fabricated and tested using the applicable dead load. specifically. live load and wind load as specified in the National Structural Code of the Philippines. To test the validity of the uncoated handwoven abaca materials. China 1.3 Reliability of Abaca Fiber Based on the PTRI research publication.2 Scope and Limitation This study focuses on pre-selected handwoven pinukpok abaca fabric within the Bicol Region.90 kg-m/g to 35. Shanghai Spatial Structures – Permanent and Temporary November 8-12 2010. Pinukpok abaca fabrics were joined together by mechanical sewing and all seams were tested using a five-centimeter strip of fabric. this study seeks to promote the use of a biodegradable and ecofriendly abaca textile as an alternative material for temporary tensile structures. To test the validity and acceptability of pre-selected handwoven abaca fabric using a weaving reed of 30 dpi. Shanghai. materials from pre-selected handweaving cottage industries within the Bicol Region were utilized. namely. The material testing was conducted in the laboratory of the Philippine Textile Research Institute. the tensile strength. the Bicol Region produces three varieties of abaca fabric. 1.06 kg-m/g to 36.93 kg-m/g and the Tinawagang Puti variety ranges from 33.96 kg-m/g to 48. To enhance the applicability of abaca fabric in constructing lightweight structures. Primarily. 1. b. Itolaus 45 and Tinawagang Puti. Abuab.1 Study Objectives This study aims to test various handwoven abaca textiles as an alternative material for temporary tensile structure.Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium 2010. . Detailed testing of the different mechanical and physical properties based on the Testing procedures of PTRI and American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) / European Standard – International Standard Organization (EN ISO) standard were implemented. In addition.60 kg-m/g. the following sub-objectives are also considered: a. With the guidance of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI).70 kg-m/g while that of the Itolaus 45 variety ranges from 34.
Its group of stalks ranges from 6 to 15 feet high. From these regions exist several varieties.” which contains PTRI weave designs and features innovative handloom-woven products from indigenous fibers. Abuab and Musa Tex 51 for Bicol. c. A mature abaca plant consists of about 12 to 30 stalks radiating from a central root system.40% and 8. 1) namely Bicol. b. Maguino and Bongolanon for Mindanao. and Tongongon. respectively. China As a rule of thumb. The institute further standardized the quality of fabric produced in the Philippines for commercial applicability. 2.74 microns and 20. Puti).79 microns for machine and handstripped fibers.1 The Abaca Plant Abaca is a perennial plant which grows in the Bicol Region. the following requirements were faithfully followed during the selection process of the abaca fiber: a. 2.Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium 2010. Abaca practically grows all over the country. Linawaan. It contains articles pertaining to different researches and activities related to textiles. Literature Review It With the development of an indigenous fiber into textile material and the creation of the Philippine Tropical Fabric (PTF). Machine-stripped abaca conforms to the S-S2 and S-S3 designation and has an excellent fiber grading. Moisture content is 8.49mm and 4. It resembles the banana plant but is smaller in size. 2006). the institute published another related source book “Kalamata. The institute published the “Samay Bulletin. respectively. Shanghai. each bearing a frond of 3-6 feet long and about 12 inches wide (VillafuerteAbonal. d. respectively. Eastern Visayas and Mindanao. Inosa and Laylay for the Visayas. but each region has its own three major commercial varieties such as Tinawagang Puti (T. pineapple and banana.37mm for machine and hand-stripped fibers.” a technical and semi-technical publication of the Philippine Textile Research Institute. Shanghai Spatial Structures – Permanent and Temporary November 8-12 2010. the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) pioneered the research and development of a natural fabric found in abaca.64% for machine and hand stripped fibers. e. Furthermore. These stalks are made up of a central core which is encircled by overlapping leaf sheaths. Hand-stripped abaca conforms to the S2 and S3 designation and has an excellent fiber grading. Fiber length is 4. These varieties are classified based on their morphological description and cultivar . Fiber diameter is 20. but there are three main abaca-producing regions (Fig.
3. the current study is different from all the studies conducted by the Philippine Textile Research Institute. Shanghai Spatial Structures – Permanent and Temporary November 8-12 2010. China classification. testing instrument. Hand-stripping of abaca fibers is a very strenuous task. Abaca fabric samples . 2. Shanghai. Research Design This chapter is a description of the research methodology. which establishes the properties of S2 grade fiber from 12 commercial abaca varieties found in the Philippines. 2005). During the process of hand-stripping. In order to bridge the gap between the present and past research works.1 Methodology The testing of the uncoated abaca fabric was implemented at the Philippine Textile Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology. the current work is focused on the material properties of the pre-selected abaca fiber and investigated the tensile strength of hand-woven abaca fabric following the EN ISO standard for Uniaxial strip test. the weight of the fibers recovered varies from 1. loading assumptions and the computational method used in this study. this study is a pioneering work which fuses the technology developed by Frei Otto and the Institute of Lightweight Structures by using the abaca fabric (Fig. Harvesting or simply cutting down the plants involves a tedious process that requires the separation of the leaves and trunk of the abaca plant. 2. Then the stripped fibers are dried in an open area to prevent molds and weevils from affecting the quality of the fibers. After cutting the stalks. 2) as a temporary tensile structure in lieu of the tested poly vinyl chloride coated polyester fabric. the abaca stalks are cut close to the ground. The tuxy is inserted between a block and the serrated stripping knife and pulled with force from the tip end of the tuxy. 3.2 Abaca Fiber Material Conversion Process The material conversion process officially starts when the abaca plant reaches its maturity period which ranges from 18 to 24 months after it has been planted.5% to 2% of the freshly cut stalks. The fibers derived from each variety exhibit inherent characteristics distinct from or similar to the other (Hagad. Once the fibers are recovered from the leaf sheaths. It also investigated the behavior of mechanically sewed seams and determined the capacity of joined materials.3 State of the Art Except for the study conducted by Hagad (2005). During the harvesting. Furthermore. the entire leaf sheaths are separated from the stalk and flattened using a tuxying knife to extract the fiber from within. the hand stripping method is employed.Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium 2010.
Shanghai Spatial Structures – Permanent and Temporary November 8-12 2010. 3.A. Shanghai. the researcher used the FORTEN 3000 (licensed copy) – A System for Tensile Structures Design and Manufacturing software developed by Gerry D’ANZA and Baku Group DT. d. Zwick/Roell Tensile Strength Tester Z005 (CRE) with 5 kN full scale load. This involves a mathematical computation which uses one of the following: a) the force density method. The Zweigle Twist Tester D311 equipment was used to test the ten specimens. Form finding is a computer process by which the physical form of a membrane structure is generated. .0 Newton were used in the Philippine Textile Research Institute Laboratory to test the uncoated handwoven abaca fabric. Five specimens were tested using the Elmendorf Tearing Strength Tester. b) the non-linear finite element methods. 3. The determination of mass followed the ISO 3801-1977: Textiles – Woven Fabrics – Determination of Mass per Unit Length and Mass per Unit Area.Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium 2010. King Pneumatic Sample Cutter SASD-677 equipment. and c) the dynamic relaxation method.4 Form Finding and Analysis With the advent of computer-aided design software.2 EN ISO Standard for Testing Fabric Materials a. China were submitted for testing of its mechanical properties. Minimum Design Loads for Building and Other Structures. The Tensile Strength test follows the EN ISO 13934-1:1999 Textiles-Tensile Properties of Fabrics – Part 1: Determination of Maximum Force and Elongation at Maximum Force Using the Strip Method. The representative samples came from the same variety and quality of the fabric that was used in fabricating the abaca hypar temporary tensile structure. c. Five specimens were tested using the J. The Tearing Strength test followed the ASTM D1424-07: Standard Test Method for Tearing Strength of Fabrics by Falling-Pendulum Type (Elmendorf Apparatus).3 Loading Assumptions Basic loading assumptions were taken from the National Structural Code of the Philippines (NSCP C101-01) and the ANSI/ASCE 7-95. Forten 3000 software algorithm employs the static geometrical nonlinear analysis using a Newton-Raphson method for form-finding and analysis of membrane stresses. and a pretension force of 2. 3. ASTM D1059-01: Standard Test Method for Yarn Number Based on Short-Length Specimens. Four specimens with 50mm width and 200mm gauge length were tested. b. The yarn number. denier. a rate of extension of 20 mm/min.
respectively. . N/m Two samples under the same label were tested to determine the tensile strength of the fabric by strip method. while the SN 1333-08 sample yielded a breaking force on warp of 440 N and filling of 140 N. This study only tests the applicability of uncoated abaca fabric in construction industry as sun shade. Prof. Breaking Force. while sample SN 1333-08 yielded a warp strength of 15200 N/m.e.2% on the filling direction while sample SN 1333-08 yielded an elongation of 3. Tensile Strength. Average Elongation. and 3. in finding ways and means to address the growing problems encountered in Civil Engineering practices and materials development in the local construction industry. and 3.2% on the warp direction. Sample SN 1332-08 yielded a warp strength of 12800 N/m and a filling strength of 10980 N/m. Jose Ma. As a guiding principle. Shanghai. 4. the following mechanical properties of the abaca fabric were found: a. Based on the physical testing results obtained by the Philippine Textile Research Institute. 4. Shanghai Spatial Structures – Permanent and Temporary November 8-12 2010. The SN 1332-08 yielded a breaking force on warp of 410 N and filling of 380 N. the following samples shall be known as: SN 1332-08 Sinamay Fabric with Design SN 1333-08 Sinamay Fabric without Design These simplifications were necessitated to ease the evaluation of parameters and methods in the preceding sections.4%. De Castro.. c. the researcher follows the advise of his late mentor. Analysis and Interpretation The researcher would like to emphasize that this study does not in any way substitute the tested and proven materials used in tensile structures. woven glass textile coated with poly tetra fluor ethylene (PTFE) and ethyl tetra fluor ethylene (ETFE).Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium 2010. Professor Emeritus of the College of Engineering in the University of the Philippines.4% on the filling direction. and a filling strength of 4600 N/m.1 Mechanical Properties of the Abaca Fabric In order to simplify the description of the two samples that were submitted for testing at the Philippine Textile Research Institute. % Sample SN 1332-08 exhibited an elongation on the warp direction of 3. N Two samples under the label PTRI SN 1332-08 and PTRI SN 1333-08 were submitted for testing procedures. b. i. woven polyester textile coated with poly vinyl chloride (PVC). China Cutting Pattern is a module contained in the FORTEN 3000 software which produces the final layout of tensile fabric for production purposes.
Shanghai Spatial Structures – Permanent and Temporary November 8-12 2010. Since the hypar is symmetrical in its . while the live loads were computed based on the assumption of minimum live load on the tri-mesh as pressure loads of 59. e.3 Cutting Patterns To fully implement and construct the form which was generated by the software. Shanghai.08 denier on the warp direction and 261.47 kilograms and 1489.12 denier on the filling direction. g. the dead weight of the abaca membrane structure was superimposed as vector loads at 92 g/m2. Tearing Strength. Mass Per Unit Area.234 kg/m in other areas.84 kilograms.0m mast are 1465. The displacement response along Dz (Fig. while SN 1333-08 yielded a 351. a flat cutting pattern was laid out first. 6) indicates a maximum value of 84mm on both sides of the hypar structure.89 kilograms.72 denier on the warp direction. The wind loadings were taken from NSCP code for curve roof on a windward quarter load of -20.25 kg/m2.42 kilograms. g/m2 Sample SN 1332-08 yielded a mass of 92 g/m2. while the reaction forces on the two cable stays which hold the reaction forces on the other mast are 1366. and 177. while SN 13308 failed due to slippage. Yarn Number. The displacement responses along Dx and Dy were measured at a maximum value of 22mm and 20mm. mm Thickness of both materials were measured using SDL Digital Thickness Gauge. 4.75 kilograms and 1386. respectively. 4. China d. The reaction forces on the two cable stays which hold the 4. f. denier Sample SN 1332-08 yielded a 253. The reaction forces on the 4.241 kg/m near the corner plate to a value of 56. using the FORTEN 3000 software which include both a cutting pattern and production modules. and a leeward quarter load of 11. Sample SN 1332-08 yielded a 0.Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium 2010.876 kg/m near the corner plate connection and a minimum value of 22. Figure 8 represents the membrane s11 stresses with values that ranges from 671.36 denier on the filling direction. The membrane s22 stresses indicate a maximum value of 176. respectively.16 kg/m2.0m mast is 3522.109 kg/m in other areas.12 kg/m2.84mm thickness.2 Evaluation of Results With respect to the loadings. SN 1332-08 tearing occurred at the opposite direction for warp and filling. while SN 1333-08 yielded a 0. while sample SN 1333-08 yielded a mass of 60 g/m2.27 kilograms while that of the 2.32mm thickness.08 kg/m2. respectively. N Both samples SN 1332-08 and SN 1333-08 were untearable. a center half load of -18.0m mast is 2015. Thickness.
Figure 8 shows the completed and erected final abaca tensile structure. mild steel plates for corner plates and anchor base plates. This process was done so that the JPEG files can be modified by Photoshop and printed on tarpaulin media using a commercial plotter. . Figure 3 indicates the printed pattern that was cut into 18 patterns.4 Fabrication and Construction of Tensile Structure After the patterning has been completed.Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium 2010. the researcher implemented a fast track scheme to simulate the effect of weathering by sprinkling water on the abaca fabric every morning.08m to 0. which is readily available in the market. Shanghai. frame turnbuckle.11m to 8.2% were adjusted along the weft and warp directions. This cutting pattern consists of nine patterns on each side with a width ranging from 0. shackle straight “D. Joining the abaca patterns (Figure 4) through sewing was painstakingly implemented using a conventional sewing machine. The connection of stainless cable to the turnbuckle and shackle were implemented by using aluminum ferrules and a half tonne hydraulic crimper instead of using a cable clip or swagging machine. 4.79m. After two months.4% and 3. Since the researcher was unable to find a cutting machine that would have directly cut the patterns. The cable.” and wire thimble are made of stainless steel materials.65m and a length ranging from 0. a tedious process of converting all the 18 CAD drawing files into JPEG files was implemented. respectively. Tabulated coordinates of the sides and welding markers were indicated on the pattern. patterning was implemented to take into consideration the symmetry in order to ease the production and fabrication stages. It presents the finished products which served as the templates that were used to cut the abaca fabric pattern. the uncoated natural abaca fabric disintegrates as shown in Figure 9. A stretch compensation corresponding to the test results of 3. a CAD drawing of the 18 patterns was exported to JPEG files. pipes for mast. 4. Figure 3 indicates the cutting pattern for the left and right half of the hypar.5 Life Span of Abaca Fabric After completing the abaca tensile structure. China centerlines (x-axis and y-axis). The primary structures (Figure 5) were fabricated using G.I. Shanghai Spatial Structures – Permanent and Temporary November 8-12 2010.
The abaca fabric’s lifespan was observed to be more or less two months under extreme weathering condition. it is evident that the stresses and deformations exhibited in Figures 6 & 7 clearly show that it can withstand the external loadings imposed on it.234 kg/m. b. A yarn number that is equal to or higher than 253 denier can be utilized as an alternative material for temporary tensile structure. Shanghai. Shanghai Spatial Structures – Permanent and Temporary November 8-12 2010.241 kg/m. it has to be noted that this study does not cover the designed wind speed brought about by tropical typhoon that frequently enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility. the uncoated abaca fabric can be utilized as an alternative material for temporary tensile structures. e. the maximum permitted stress is 652. With regard to the sub-objectives of this study.0 for temporary structures. c.79 kg/m to 1119.40 kg/m which is slightly lower than the membrane s11 stress level of 671. With the successful construction of the first abaca tensile structure in the Philippines. while the ultimate stress of abaca fabric based on PTRI test results ranges from 1304. Therefore. Figures 4 & 5 clearly show that the pre-selected uncoated abaca fabric can be fabricated with ease and constructed as temporary tensile structures.241 kg/m to 56. the PTRI testing results. China 5. and the analysis and interpretation of results as indicated in Chapter IV. Conclusions and Recommendations Based on the outcome of the fabrication and installation of the uncoated abaca tensile structure (Figure 8). the applicability of the abaca fabric in the construction industry opens a new and promising horizon in the near future. With regard to the main objective of this study. Figure 8 clearly justifies the use of the material in the construction industry.27 kg/m. f. The membrane s11 stress levels of the abaca fabric ranges from 671. With respect to the enhancement of the applicability of the abaca fabric in the field of construction. Finally.Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium 2010. . Using a safety factor of 2. the following conclusions were deduced: a. d.
L.Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium 2010. 1-6. (2005). Editor (2005).  Aldecoa.  Blum. S. W. Materials for Textile Architecture. and Mollaert. Essen. W. European Nature Heritage Fund Publication. S. Performance evaluation of Philippine tropical fabrics as DOST office uniform. ABACA Philippines. Shanghai. Switzerland: Birkhauser Publisher. Basel. (2007). Dessau.. Unpublished Masteral Thesis. European Design Guide for Tensile Surface Structures.  Muhlbauer.  Bubner. I. F and Rasch B. Germany: Druckerei Wehlmann GmbH  De Leon.  Foster. Lightweight Construction Natural Design. Germany. (2006). (2005). B. R. (2007). Dessau. Anhalt University of Applied Sciences. (2004).V.  ________. C. Philippine Textile Research Institute Samay Bulletin 7. (1996). Germany: Institute fur Membran-und schalentechnologien e.1:110. Uncoated Abaca Fabric: An Alternative Material for Temporary Tensile Structure. Singapore: Apples of Gold Publishing. 1:6-15.M. H. China References  Abonal-Villafuerte. Germany: Axel Menges. Utilization of abaca fiber as industrial raw material. Frei Otto Complete Works. Munich. . Properties of S2 grade fiber from twelve commercial abaca varieties. (2009).  Hagad. Brussel: Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Finding Forms. (2005).  Nerdinger.  Quiros. New York: American Society of Civil Engineers. M. Pretreatment and dyeing technology for abaca fibers. Philippine Textile Research Institute Samay Bulletin 5. and Bogner-Balz. and Hutter.  Otto. M. Philippine Textile Research Institute Samay Bulletin 5. Membrankonstruktionen verbindungstechniken. Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures.1:43-48. Shanghai Spatial Structures – Permanent and Temporary November 8-12 2010.P. E. (2006). (2002).
Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium 2010. China Figure 2 – Abaca Weaving Process Figure 3 – Cutting Patterns Figure 4 – Sewing & Fabrication of Membrane Figure 5 – Installation of Abaca Hypar Figure 6 Displacement along Dz Figure 7 S11 Membrane Stresses Figure 8 Completed Structure Figure 9 Long Term Effect of Weathering . Shanghai. Shanghai Spatial Structures – Permanent and Temporary November 8-12 2010.
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