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  Scopus ID: 21100926589

Experimental Evaluation of the Compressive and Shear Behavior of Unstabilized Rammed Earth

Fernando Ávila , Mario Fagone, Rafael Gallego, Esther Puertas and Giovanna Ranocchiai


Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important concern for the construction sector, encouraging builders and researchers to investigate environmentally friendly construction techniques, such as rammed earth (RE). Despite this growing interest, there is still a lack of knowledge about the mechanical behavior of RE materials and specific standardized testing methods to assess their properties are yet to be developed. Considering this situation, the present study analyzes two of the main mechanical characteristics of RE, compressive and shear behavior, proposing a manufacturing and testing procedure which can be easily controlled and replicated. With this aim, uniaxial compression tests (UCT) were performed on four RE cylindrical specimens, and diagonal compression tests (DCT) were carried out on large panels. The average unconfined compressive strength obtained was equal to 1.40 MPa, with a shear strength of 0.14 MPa. The results of this study provide useful information about the mechanical behavior of unstabilized rammed earth (URE), as the assessment of the compressive and shear properties is the basis for the development, in future research, of numerical models of structures made with this technique. The manufacturing and testing procedure proposed in this study, including the use of a standardized mold and the control of the compaction energy, made it possible to significantly reduce the dispersion in the results, frequently quite high in the mechanical characterization of RE elements.

Published on: September 28, 2023
doi: 10.17756/nwj.2023-s2-038
Citation: Ávila F, Fagone M, Gallego R, Puertas E, Ranocchiai G. 2023. Experimental Evaluation of the Compressive and Shear Behavior of Unstabilized Rammed Earth. NanoWorld J 9(S2): S219-S223.

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