Strengthening mechanisms in cement-stabilised rammed earth

Christopher Beckett, Daniela Ciancio, Stefania Manzi, Maria-Chiara Bignozzi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


There is currently little scientific understanding of stabilised rammed earth (RE) and the relationship between water-cement ratio and compressive strength. For traditional (unstabilised) RE materials, it is standard practice to compact the soil mix at its optimum water content to achieve maximum dry density and hence maximum strength. However, this may not also apply to cement stabilised rammed earth (CSRE). A recent investigation (Beckett and Ciancio 2014) showed that CSRE samples stabilised with 5% cement and compacted at a water content lower than optimum performed better than samples compacted at optimum or higher. This seems to be in agreement with the well-known effect in concrete materials, according to which the lower the water-cement ratio, the stronger the cementitious products hence the higher the compressive strength. This paper investigates the effect of water cement ratio in CSRE samples. Results of an experimental programme are presented and used to discuss the appropriateness of the water-cement ratio for RE materials.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRammed earth construction
Subtitle of host publicationCutting-edge research on traditional and modern rammed earth
PublisherTaylor and Francis Ltd.
ISBN (Print)978-1-138-02770-1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


  • Rammed earth
  • Soil stabilisation


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