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Effect of microstructure on heat transfer through compacted cement-stabilised soils

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeomechanics from Micro to Macro, Vols I and II
EditorsK Soga, K Kumar, G Biscontin, M Kuo
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978-1-138-02707-7
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event3rd International Symposium on Geomechanics from Micro to Macro - Cambridge
Duration: 1 Sep 20143 Sep 2014


Conference3rd International Symposium on Geomechanics from Micro to Macro


Recent work has identified that the compaction of cement-stabilised soils at water contents above and below their optimum value significantly affects material strength due to the creation of contrasting microstructures. Besides strength, however, it is also likely that these materials will have different thermal properties, due to the different arrangement of particles and aggregates. These differences cannot be predicted by current methods due to their reliance on material phase volume fractions, rather than distributions. This is of particular importance to the Rammed Earth (RE) construction industry, a popular form of environmentally-friendly construction in Australia. RE is currently penalised under Australian building regulations due to its apparently-poor thermal properties. The ability to engineer, or at least better predict, the thermal properties of these materials will therefore be of significant benefit.

This paper presents results for the development and validation of the experimental equipment and procedures necessary to determine the thermal properties of Cement-Stabilised RE (CSRE) materials. The development of sensors able to be incorporated into CSRE materials is discussed and two installation methods - embedding and drilling-and-grouting - are investigated using specimens of constant microstructure as confirmed via Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) analysis. Results show that preparation techniques were able to produce consistent microstructures and that little difference is found between calculated thermal properties (thermal resistance and specific heat capacity) for either installation technique. However, calculated thermal properties differ significantly from those found by previous authors. Further testing will therefore be conducted to investigate this shortfall, prior to the extension of this work to additional materials and microstructures.

    Research areas

  • partial saturation, Suction, MICROSTRUCTURE, Rammed earth


3rd International Symposium on Geomechanics from Micro to Macro



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