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Strawbale2008

Strawbale2008

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Published by A A Adedeji
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Published by: A A Adedeji on Apr 14, 2012
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11/27/2012

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evaluating thermal resistivity of cement plastered strawbale masonry
 
Adeola Abdullah Adedeji
 
 Department of Civil Engineering, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
 
 
 
Abstract:
Cement plastered straw bale specimens of sorghum and maize strawbale thermal specimens were preparedand cured for 28 days. Thermal conductivity tests were performed on the specimens using Lee’s disc apparatus.Thermal resistivity of the plastered straw bale specimens were calculated as the reciprocal of the apparent thermalconductivity. The results of the experiment tests and calculations have shown that increase in the thickness of the plastered strawbale masonry would increase their thermal resistivity. Though, this effect varies slightly from sorghumto maize strawbale masonry, but at the thickness of 400 mm. The thermal resistivity of wood specimens measured withthe same apparatus agreed to within 1.21 of the published values.
Keywords: T
hermal resistivity, thermal conductivity, sorghum, masonry.
 
1. Introduction
 
Maize and sorghum are the 4
th
and 5
th
most important world cereals, after wheat, rice, and barley (SFCRC, 1994). Thesecrops can be grown on a wide range of soil types ranging from clay to sand. To obtain the maximum yield, the soil should be deep loamy clay with good drainage, high fertility with a pH between 5.5 and 7.5. Grain yields range from between 7 and9 t/ha when soil moisture is not a limiting factor. Sorghum, compared to other field crops, is particularly tolerant tounfavorable environmental conditions, such as drought and salinity.
 
Unlike other building construction materials and types, strawbale construction does not require the tight tolerances that most building systems demand.This project involved laboratory tests on the cement plastered bales of sorghum and maize straw materials, for comparison,and to obtain the value of their thermal resistivity Bales of the two materials were plastered with portland cement to formwall panels. Sorghum and maize stalks waste, after harvest, were examined. Thermal resistivity, which is the measure of theresistance of the material to heat flows
 
, is influenced by specimen composition. Typical compositions were represented bythe thermal specimens that were tested.
2. Strawbale Thermal Properties
 
All buildings must be energy efficient and contribute to the comfort of the occupants. These objectives are accomplished byusing insulation of one sort or another. In brick or block walls this often takes the form of expanded polystyrene, spray foam polyurethane boards, rock wool (Al-Sanea et al, 2003) installed against the blocks inside the cavity of the wall. In the caseof straw bale insulation bales are a structural component of the wall.
 
Building regulations currently require walls of domestic dwellings in UK to have a U-value of 0.45 W/m
2
K or less (Jones,2001). Straw bales with thicknesses ranging between 350 to 450 mm have U-values of about 0.13 W/m
2
K (Jones 2001,Adedeji 2003).Surface-to-surface R-value (the reciprocal of the U-value minus the film surface resistances) is another term used bydesigners to estimate the heat loss and gain through a wall. The R-value related to a unit of thickness is referred to thermalresistivity (r-value)For a 400 mm thick straw bale McCabe (1993) showed in British units R = 52 (ft
2
 
o
F hr)/(BTU in), which can be comparedwith a nominal R = 13(ft
2
 
o
F hr)/(BTU in) for 89 mm thick fiberglass. This means that after recalculation to SI unitsfiberglass has a resistivity (r-value) of about 0.026 mK/W and straw bale having r-value of 0.023 mK/WThe high insulation value of straw depends on the thickness of the bales and the type of plaster material. Straw, according toPeter (1988) is an excellent thermal insulation. As shown in Table 1 straw bale walls has a very low U-value compared toother materials.
 
Table 1 Comparison of the U-Value of Straw-Bale Walls with other Types of Walls
Materials
 
U- value
 
(W/m
2
K)
 
105mm brickwork, 75mm mineral fibre,100mm light weight concrete block, 13mmlight weight plaster:
 
0.33
 
100mm heavy weight concrete block 75mm mineral fibre, 100mm heavy weightconcrete block, 13mm light weight plaster 
 
0.40
 
100mm light weight concrete block, 75mmmineral fibre, 100mm light weight concrete block, 13mm light weight plaster.
 
0.29
 
450mm straw wall:
 
0.13
 
Source: Adedeji (2003)
 
3. History of Tests on Thermal Performance
There are different types of tests methods that can be used to determine the thermal performance of strawbale masonry. Nehemiah (2003) These include: (1) the guarded hot plate or thermal probe tests, (2) the guarded-box facility, 3) monitoringof the specimens using ambient conditions (i.e. full-scale testing of experimental houses and (4) use of known or assumed physical properties of composite materials. The first two methods allow the estimation of thermal resistance of the material.Method (3) is used to estimate the amount of heat loss through the entire envelope over a specific period of time while thelast method uses known resistances of the material components. These aforementioned methods can be compared with eachother\
 
 
Determination of the thermal resistance (R-value) of wheat and rice straw-bale masonries was first conducted by McCabe(1993) using a guarded hot plate. The result of the R-value for the rice straw-bale masonries varied between 0.419 and 0.44m
2
K/W A thermal probe test carried out by Acton (1994) using a single bale resulted in an estimated R-value of 0.478m
2
K/W.The actual R-value of strawbale masonry varied with number of factors including the type of straw used, its moisturecontent, density and the orientation of the plastered straw.
4. Methodology
 
4.1 Acquisition and quality of bale
 
The straw materials used were fully dried (sun dried, air-dried) and clean. The material was free of debris andother leaves. The matured sorghum straw used were thick, long stemmed and free of seed heads. Matured straw (sorghumand maize stalk) was manually taken bit by bit and cut into pieces, then twine was used to tie the bale together lengthwiseand transversely to achieve the desired size and dimensions.
 
Particle size distribution of sand particles
 
Sieve analysis was carried out to determine the particle-size distribution of the fine aggregate used in the mortar/plaster mixin accordance to BS410. A 1000g specimen of dry fine aggregate sample was used to obtain the results shown in Table 2.Table 2 Result of Sieve Analysis
 
Sieve size(mm)
 
Sieveweight (g)
 
SieveweightRetained(g)
 
Retainedweight(g)
 
 
PercentageRetained%
 
Cumulative percentageretained %
 
Cumulative percentage passing %
 
5
 
-
 
 
-
 
-
 
0
 
0
 
100
 
4
 
555
 
558.3
 
3.5 2
 
0.35
 
0.35
 
99.65
 
2.36
 
480
 
511.5
 
31.5
 
3.15
 
3.5
 
96.5
 
1
 
521
 
664.5
 
143.5
 
14.35
 
17.85
 
82.15
 
0.5
 
493
 
765.5
 
272.5
 
27.25
 
45.1
 
54.9
 
0.4
 
479
 
585
 
106.5
 
10.65
 
55.1
 
44.25
 

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