A novel mechanical extraction process was developed to obtain long bamboo fibers to be used as reinforcement in structural composites. A single-fiber tensile test at four different span lengths for fibers of the bamboo species Guadua angustifolia was performed. Strength values of 800 MPa and Young's modulus of 43 GPa were obtained. Unidirectional bamboo fiber/epoxy composites (BFC) were produced with untreated and alkali-treated fibers to evaluate the effectiveness of the new reinforcing material. Flexural tests were performed with two fiber orientations (longitudinal and transverse). The longitudinal flexural strength is higher when untreated fibers are used while the treatment benefits the longitudinal flexural stiffness of the composite. Transverse strength increases at lower alkali concentrations, but the transverse three-point bending strength of untreated bamboo in epoxy is already quite high at around 33 MPa. The results illustrate that these bamboo fibers present a natural and renewable option to reinforce composites in several applications where glass fiber and traditional natural fibers are used nowadays.
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