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Natural fibres are considered to be ecofriendly and possess peculiar properties that preserve resources and thus rapidly emerges as novel low-cost materials in several discipline and engineering applications. Even though natural fibres demonstrate admirable potential for various applications, their physical and mechanical properties have been shown to differ with the plant source, species, location and other ecological factors. The present work investigates banana pseudostem physical and mechanical properties for potential fibre extraction from the four cultivars commonly cultivated in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. Fibres from Matoke, Ndyali, Malindi and Uganda cultivars were manually extracted and experimentally analyzed. Breaking load, elongation, modulus and tenacity which are fundamental mechanical properties for engineering materials were investigated to determine banana pseudo-stem fibre performance. Findings revealed higher average values for: Tenacity in Matoke cultivar was 67.27 gf/tex, elongation in Malindi cultivar at 3.5% and modulus in Uganda cultivar of 32.23 GPa. The highest fibre recovery was recorded from Ndyali cultivar at 1.57%. Notwithstanding the priority ranking, the study concluded that all cultivars: Matoke, Malindi and Uganda cultivated in Southern Highlands of Tanzania achieved good tensile properties for potential engineering applications.
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