This study aims to investigate the optimum proportion of coconut fibre and cement suitable for rammed earth wall construction. Coconut fibres and cement can be easily incorporated into the soil mixture which adds strength and durability to the wall. This paper highlights the salient observations from a systematic investigation on the effect of coconut fibre on the performance of stabilized rammed earth blocks.
Stabilization of soil was done by adding Ordinary Portland Cement (2.5, 5.0, 7.5 and 10.0 per cent by weight of soil), whereas coconut fibre in length about 15 mm was added (0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8 and 1.0 per cent by weight of soil) as reinforcement. Thirty types of mixes were created by adding different proportions of cement and fibre to locally available soil and compacting the mix at constant compaction energy in three layers with Proctor rammer.
Samples were tested for compressive strength and tensile strength, and failure patterns were analysed. The use of cement and fibre increases ultimate strengths significantly up to an optimum limit of 0.8 per cent fibre content, provides a secondary benefit of keeping material bound together after failure and increases residual strength. Benefits of fibre reinforcement includes both improved ductility in comparison with raw blocks and inhibition of crack propagation after its initial formation.
After analysing the results, it is recommended to use 0.8 per cent fibre and 5-10 per cent cement by weight of soil to achieve considerable strength. This research may add a value in the areas of green and sustainable housing, waste utilization, etc.
Raj, S., Mohammad, S., Das, R. and Saha, S. (2017), "Coconut fibre-reinforced cement-stabilized rammed earth blocks", World Journal of Engineering, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 208-216. https://doi.org/10.1108/WJE-10-2016-0101
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