In recent years, the use of earth as a material applied to construction has been adapted as an attractive alternative to modern concepts. The earth construction technique takes advantage of regional natural resources, among which are earth bricks. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effect of the addition of coconut fibers and aloe vera on the mechanical properties of compressed earth blocks (CEB).
CEBs were manufactured from silty and clay soil (Altamira, Tamaulipas, Mexico) with biodegradable stabilizers of aloe vera and short coconut mesocarp fibers, which were compared with the conventional mixture with lime as stabilizer. The samples were subjected to compression tests (Mexican Standard NMX-C-404-ONNCC3-205), flexion (NMX-C083-ONNCCE.), abrasion (NTC-5324 3.4.3), water absorption (NMX-C-37-ONNCE-205), surface morphology and thermal properties (ASTM D5334-14).
It was found that the addition of coconut fibers has a 12% difference in flexural strength. The addition of 0.5% of coconut fibers decreases swelling by 2% with water and reduces the thermal conductivity of the material by 12%. Likewise, this mixture increases the abrasion resistance of CEB by 30%. When there is a pressure greater than 1,700 psi in the CEB, the addition of coconut fibers does increase the compressive strength of the material, showing a 34% improvement over the CEB without adding coconut fibers.
The authors show a new sustainable CEB production with aloe vera and coconut fiber that is possible for self-production with better mechanical properties than others, commonly produced in Mexico.
This research was supported by National Problems Project CONACYT PN-2017-5975. EJSD and JFPS thank to PRODEP program for the supporting resources. This research was developed as part of the DELFIN-2019 program.
Velasco-Aquino, A.A., Espuna-Mujica, J.A., Perez-Sanchez, J.F., Zuñiga-Leal, C., Palacio-Perez, A. and Suarez-Dominguez, E.J. (2021), "Compressed earth block reinforced with coconut fibers and stabilized with aloe vera and lime", Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 795-807. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEDT-02-2020-0055
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