Experimental assessment of mechanical behavior of a compressed stabilized earth blocks (CSEB) and walls



The use of compacted stabilized earth blocks (CSEB) in load-bearing masonry is largely developed during these last decades. This paper reports on an experimental study of the chemical and mechanical stabilization effects on the compressive strength of earth blocks and triplet/walls. The blocks prepared with a high sandy soil mixed with rising cement and/or lime contents and compacted at 7 MPa are tested in uniaxial compression. The triplet and walls built with these CSEB units were joined with a cement/earth mortar.

Static uniaxial compression tests are typically undertaken on samples of earth mortars, on single earth blocks, on triplets of blocks with and without mortar, and lastly on masonry specimens made of CSEB. Compression tests were performed on CSEB blocks and mortar by using a video extensometer for accurate contactless strain measurement. Mechanical parameters were thus determined, including compressive strength, Poisson’s ratio, and elastic modulus. The results show that the compressive strength values of earth blocks treated with stabilizers were generally increased by rising the additive content. The increase of earth/cement blocks resistances was found more marked in comparison with those of earth/lime. It was also observed that the blocks prepared with an optimal content of lime along with cement have led to continuous increases of mechanical strength up to values greater than 5 MPa. The relationship between the blocks and triplets' compressive strengths as a function of stabilizer content (cement/lime) is linear. In the range of cement content from 6 to 8 %, the compressive strength of triplets is respectively 16 % and 20 % higher than those of walls. The observed failure of triplets and walls occurred essentially by the propagation of vertical and diagonal cracks


Earth blocks, stabilization, compaction, masonry, mechanical proprieties

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