Compression, Tension, and Fracture Energy Properties of Compressed Cement-Stabilized Earth Blocks

Ethan Hall, Bora Pulatsu, Ece Erdogmus, Brian Skourup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper presents the recent experimental findings related to mechanical properties of compressed cement-stabilized earth blocks (CSEBs), prepared using indigenous soil from Hamilton County in Nebraska (United States) and manufactured using a manual model of the CINVA-Ram soil brick compression machine. A total of 56 specimens were tested to allow for a meaningful statistical assessment of the results. First, uniaxial compression tests were performed on individual blocks utilizing two materials that allow for varying degrees of lateral expansion: plywood and rubber capping. Then, the flexural tensile strength and fracture energy parameters were obtained from three-point bending testing. Under compression, capped with plywood, the blocks had an average strength of 6.09MPa, whereas the blocks capped with rubber had an average strength of 4.22 MPa, presenting a 30% reduction in estimated compressive strength when the material has allowed greater lateral expansion. Moreover, flexural testing was conducted on notched blocks with a notch-to-depth ratio of 0.5. The average flexural tensile strength (modulus of rupture) of these specimens was obtained as 1.28 MPa with an average fracture energy value of 13.98 N/m. These material properties are key to numerical modeling and analysis of individual blocks constructed with these novel and special-recipe materials, which are not adequately reported in the literature. This technical note contributes to the state-of-the-art by providing the most recent findings of strength parameters for researchers to utilize in their studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number06021005
JournalJournal of Architectural Engineering
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cement-stabilized earth blocks (CSEBs)
  • Compressive strength
  • Earth blocks
  • Fracture energy
  • Mechanical properties characterization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

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