Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
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Effect of Natural Fibres Inclusion in Clay Bricks: Physico-Mechanical Properties

Authors: Chee-Ming Chan

Abstract:

In spite of the advent of new materials, clay bricks remain, arguably, the most popular construction materials today. Nevertheless the low cost and versatility of clay bricks cannot always be associated with high environmental and sustainable values, especially in terms of raw material sources and manufacturing processes. At the same time, the worldwide agricultural footprint is fast growing, with vast agricultural land cultivation and active expansion of the agro-based industry. The resulting large quantities of agricultural wastes, unfortunately, are not always well managed or utilised. These wastes can be recycled, such as by retrieving fibres from disposed leaves and fruit bunches, and then incorporated in brick-making. This way the clay bricks are made a 'greener' building material and the discarded natural wastes can be reutilised, avoiding otherwise wasteful landfill and harmful open incineration. This study examined the physical and mechanical properties of clay bricks made by adding two natural fibres to a clay-water mixture, with baked and non-baked conditions. The fibres were sourced from pineapple leaves (PF) and oil palm fruit bunch (OF), and added within the range of 0.25-0.75 %. Cement was added as a binder to the mixture at 5-15 %. Although the two fibres had different effects on the bricks produced, cement appeared to dominate the compressive strength. The non-baked bricks disintegrated when submerged in water, while the baked ones displayed cement-dependent characteristics in water-absorption and density changes. Interestingly, further increase in fibre content did not cause significant density decrease in both the baked and non-baked bricks.

Keywords: natural fibres, clay bricks, strength, water absorption, density.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1331783

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