Extraction and characterisation of the mechanical properties of cotton stalk bastfibres

  • Nkosilathi Z. Nkomo Department of Textile Technology
  • Londiwe C. Nkiwane Department of Textile Technology, National University of Science and Technology
  • David Njuguna Department of Industrial and Textile Engineering
  • Eric Oyondi Department of Industrial and Textile Engineering


Cotton stalks are a waste by-product of cotton farming anda problem to dispose of as they tend to harbour parasites such as pinkbollworm. The stalks are normally disposed of by burning, whichcontributes to the emission of harmful greenhouse gases whichpollute the environment. Cotton stalks were collected from Umguzaregion in Zimbabwe which is located 53km from Bulawayo town.The stalks were subjected to retting for 3 weeks and there after fibreextraction carried out by means of manual decortication. The fibreswere then subjected to a number of tests such as tensile strength,moisture regain, linear density, density and fibre length measurementtest. The fibres were characterised according to their position relativeto the cotton stalk and segmented as fibres from the top section,middle section and bottom section. The test results fromcharacterisation of the fibres were analysed using SPSS statisticalsoftware. The cotton stalk fibres have a light brownish colour and thefibre length was approximately 8.18cm. The moisture regain of thefibres was highest with fibres extracted from the root area havingregain of 11.14%, fibres from the top half had moisture regain of10.68% and fibres from the bottom half of 10.20%. The diameter ofthe cotton stalk fibres is 0.23mm which is similar to the diameterfound in sisal fibres. The fibres have an elongation of 1.5%. The fibreyield from the cotton stalks is 23%. The cotton stalk fibres havedensity of approximately 1.45g/cm3.These fibres have possibility invarious application which include fibreboards, for wall partitions,furniture applications and ceiling boards to replace solid woodmaterials.
May 4, 2016
How to Cite
NKOMO, Nkosilathi Z. et al. Extraction and characterisation of the mechanical properties of cotton stalk bastfibres. Proceedings of Sustainable Research and Innovation Conference, [S.l.], p. 10-16, may 2016. ISSN 2079-6226. Available at: <http://sri.jkuat.ac.ke/ojs/index.php/proceedings/article/view/391>. Date accessed: 23 sep. 2017.


Composites; cotton stalks; extraction; fibres