RESEARCH ARTICLE


Improving Water Resistance of Compressed Earth Blocks Enhanced with Different Natural Fibres



Humphrey Danso*
Department of Construction and Wood Technology, University of Education Winneba, Winneba, Ghana


© 2017 Humphrey Danso.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Construction and Wood Technology, University of Education Winneba, P. O. Box 1277, Kumasi, Ghana, Tel: +233-244592831; E-mails: hdanso@uew.edu.gh; dansohumphrey@yahoo.co.uk


Abstract

Background:

Studies have shown a great potential for the use of Compressed Earth Blocks (CEBs) as a sustainable building material due to its economic, environmental and social benefits.

Objective:

This study investigates the water resistance characteristics of CEBs reinforced with different natural fibres.

Methods:

The fibres were sourced from coconut husk, sugarcane bagasse and oil palm fruit at 1 wt% added to two soil samples. The CEB specimen size of 290 × 140 × 100 mm was made at a constant pressure of 10 MPa and dried in the sun for 21 days. Accelerated erosion test was conducted to determine the resistance of the specimen to continuous rainfall condition.

Results:

It was discovered that the fibres helped in reducing the erodibility rate of the blocks, though there were some degrees of damage. The difference between the water resistance of the unreinforced and fibre reinforced CEBs were found to be statistically significant. Furthermore, the surface of the fibre reinforced blocks eroded rapidly in depth than the internal part, and there was reduction in the depth difference of the erosion with increase time of water spraying on the specimens.

Conclusion:

The study concludes that though the addition of fibres in soil blocks does not completely prevent the block from erosion, the impact of the fibres on the blocks significantly reduces the erosion.

Keywords: Compressed earth blocks (CEBs), Natural fibres, Water resistance, Accelerated erosion test.