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Macrostructural changes in compacted earthen construction materials under loading

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-438
Number of pages16
JournalActa geotechnica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


There is increasing interest in the use of earthen materials for modern construction. The mechanical behaviour of these materials is strongly controlled by their internal macrostructures. Rammed earth (RE) is one example of these materials, created by in situ compaction of a wet soil mixture. Changes to the material structure occur on loading and during compaction; therefore, the nature of these changes needs to be understood if the effect on the material behaviour can be predicted. Here, the change in the macrostructure of RE on the application of compressive loading is investigated by using X-ray computed tomography and fractal analysis to monitor the changes in loaded RE specimens. The macrostructures of specimens comprising different layer thicknesses are also investigated in order to determine how layer thickness affects the compaction of the material. Results are used to recommend procedures for manufacturing specimens that are representative of the material found in full-scale RE structures.

    Research areas

  • Cracking, Macrostructure, Rammed earth, X-ray computed tomography, MICROSTRUCTURE, SOLID FRACTAL APPROACH, SOIL-WATER RETENTION

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