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The compressive strength of modern earth masonry


Reference:

Heath, A., Lawrence, M., Walker, P. and Fourie, C., 2009. The compressive strength of modern earth masonry. In: 11th International Conference on Non-conventional Materials and Technologies, NOCMAT 2009, 2009-09-06 - 2009-09-09, Bath.

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    Abstract

    Interest in earth building materials has grown in the UK in recent years. Though the use of traditional vernacular techniques, such as cob, adobe and rammed earth, have raised the profile of earthen architecture, wider impact on modern construction is likely to come from modern innovations such as extruded unfired masonry units. A large driver behind the move to earth masonry is the significant reduction in embodied energy when compared to fired bricks and concrete blockwork, and the passive environmental control provided by clay. This paper summarises results of extensive testing on commercial mass produced extruded unfired clay bricks. The focus of this paper is to investigate the properties affecting the compressive strength of these building products. Both theoretical models and test results demonstrate that the clay content plays a large role in defining the compressive strength of these materials. The reduction in strength with increases in moisture content are similar for different material sources and these strength reductions are unlikely to cause problems under normal operating conditions, even at high relative humidity and in shower rooms.

    Details

    Item Type Conference or Workshop Items (Paper)
    CreatorsHeath, A., Lawrence, M., Walker, P. and Fourie, C.
    Uncontrolled Keywordsmoisture, strength, earth, masonry, compressive
    DepartmentsFaculty of Engineering & Design > Architecture & Civil Engineering
    Research CentresBRE Centre in Innovative Construction Materials
    RefereedYes
    StatusPublished
    ID Code16171

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