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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2017, Article ID 1953087, 12 pages
Research Article

Modelling of the Water Absorption Kinetics and Determination of the Water Diffusion Coefficient in the Pith of Raffia vinifera of Bandjoun, Cameroon

1Mechanical Laboratory and Adapted Materials (LAMMA) ENSET, University of Douala, P.O. Box 1872, Douala, Cameroon
2Laboratory of Energetic (LE) Unit for Physical Doctoral Formation and Engineering Science, University of Douala, Douala, Cameroon

Correspondence should be addressed to E. Tiaya Mbou; rf.oohay@ayaitsivle and E. Njeugna; rf.oohay@anguejn

Received 2 August 2016; Accepted 14 December 2016; Published 13 February 2017

Academic Editor: Belal F. Yousif

Copyright © 2017 E. Tiaya Mbou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The present work focuses on the study of the water absorption phenomenon through the pith of Raffia vinifera along the stem. The water absorption kinetics was studied experimentally by the gravimetric method with the discontinuous control of the sampling mass at temperature of 30°C. The samples of 70 mm × 8 mm × 4 mm were taken from twelve sampling zones of the stem of Raffia vinifera. The result shows that the percentage of water absorption of the pith of Raffia vinifera increases from the periphery to the center in the radial position and from the base to the leaves in the longitudinal position. Fick’s second law was adopted for the study of the water diffusion. Eleven models were tested for the modelling of the water absorption kinetics and the model of Sikame Tagne (2014) is the optimal model. The diffusion coefficients of two stages were determined by the solution of the Fick equation in the twelve sampling zones described by Sikame Tagne et al. (2014). The diffusion coefficients decreased from the center to the periphery in the radial position and from the base to the leaves in the longitudinal position.