Characterization of an Arundo donax-based composite: a solution to improve indoor comfort

Cintura, E., Faria, P., Molari, L., Barbaresi, L., D’Orazio, D. & Nunes, L. (2023) Characterization of an Arundo donax-based composite: a solution to improve indoor comfort.

Industrial Crops and Products, 208, 117756. DOI:10.1016/j.indcrop.2023.117756 (IF2022 5,9; Q1 Agronomy)
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  • Nov, 2023


Arundo donax (giant reed or giant cane) is a widely available, perennial, invasive, non-food crop, present worldwide and employed for several uses, including building practices. Considering the increasing demand for sustainable building materials, A. donax can be an efficient solution. This study investigated its properties as a bio-aggregate mixed with a sodium silicate solution as an adhesive. A horizontal analysis that provided a general characterization of the composite was carried out. The results showed that the A. donax-based composite had an apparent density of 517 kg/m³, thermal conductivity of 0.128 W/(m.K), and high hygroscopicity, with a moisture buffering value of 4.33 g/(m² %RH), property that could be both an advantage for indoor comfort and a drawback. The uncommon sound absorption behaviour can be comparable to granular materials, with the highest sound absorption coefficient values, α, between 600 Hz and 700 Hz. Due to the range and the shape of the acoustic absorption property, this material may be helpful in acoustic treatments for speech noise. The mechanical tests defined flexural and compressive strength, respectively, 0.35 N/mm² and 0.9 N/mm², ensuring applicability. Above all, these tests opened new possible solutions for A. donax-based composite production either alone or in combination with other agro-industrial wastes and justified further tests, such as fire resistance and bio-susceptibility.