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Journal of Emerging Trends in Engineering and Applied Sciences (JETEAS) 3 (1): 75-80 © Scholarlink Research Institute Journals, 2012 (ISSN: 2141

-7016) jeteas.scholarlinkresearch.org Engineering and Applied Sciences (JETEAS) 3(1):75-80(ISSN: 2141-7016) Journal of Emerging Trends in

The Load Carrying Capacity of Hollow Sandcrete Blocks
J. C Ezeokonkwo and C. U Nwoji Department of Civil Engineering, University of Nigeria, Nsukka Corresponding Author: J. C Ezeokonkwo ___________________________________________________________________________
Abstract Compression tests on hollow sandcrete blocks are conventionally confined to the as-cast face neglecting the other two orthogonal faces. Also uniaxial compressive strength of hollow sandcrete blocks is defined on the basis of the apparent area of the as-cast face. The definition has made no distinction between hollow and solid sandcrete blocks. In other to examine/investigate the consequences of the above, two-cell hollow sandcrete blocks with 30%, 40.7%, 50% and 60% cavity volumes were subjected to compression test on as-cast face and as-cast side. Sand/cement ratio of 6 and water/cement ratio of 0.7 were used. The blocks were hand compacted and curing was by water sprinkling for 7 days according to Nigerian Industrial Specifications for sandcrete blocks Compressive strengths were calculated based on the apparent and effective areas of the two perpendicular surfaces. The results indicate that the effective strengths compare more favourably with the control cylinder strength than the apparent strengths. Comparison between the two perpendicular surface strengths showed a linear correlation. Therefore, the plane and smoothness of as-cast side made it a better face to define the strength of blocks by correlating it to the as-cast face strength __________________________________________________________________________________________ Keywords: hollow sandcrete blocks, effective strength, apparent strength, compressive strength, as-cast surfaces web __________________________________________________________________________________________ INTRODUCTION decided to specify 2.10 N/mm2 as the minimum Sandcrete blocks are available for the construction of compressive strength for load bearing walls of 2 or 3load bearing and non-load bearing structures (Hodge, storey building (RCRD, 1979). No distinction was 1971). They are the dominant wall construction made between hollow and solid blocks. This materials for buildings in Nigeria and sandcrete definition agrees with that in other national standard blocks are composite material made up of cement, specifications for concrete blocks (BS 2028, 1978; sand and water, moulded into different sizes (Barry, ASTM C145-75 and ASTM C90-75). 1969). In accordance with ASTM C1232-10, Standard Terminology of Masonry, the definitions for However, from ASTM C90 the compressive strength hollow and solid masonry units are: requirements were converted from a minimum gross Hollow masonry unit, n—unit whose net crossarea compressive strength to a minimum net area sectional area in any plane parallel to the surface compressive strength. Until this conversion was containing cores, cells, or deep frogs is less than 75 made, ASTM maintained two different standards for % of its gross cross-sectional area measured in the load bearing concrete masonry units: ASTM C90, for same plane. hollow units, and ASTM C145, for solid units. The Solid masonry unit, n—unit whose net crossrequirements of these two standards were effectively sectional area in any plane parallel to the surface identical, with the exception that the minimum containing cores, cells, or deep frogs is 75 % or more compressive strength required was ‘calibrated’ to of its gross cross-sectional area measured in the same account for the units being either solid or hollow. By plane. revising the minimum compressive strength requirements to be based on the net area of the unit, The Nigeria Industrial Standard (NIS 87: 2000) the need for two separate standards covering hollow defined the compressive strength of a sandcrete block and solid units was no longer necessary and ASTM as the load at failure in compression divided by the C145 was withdrawn. Today, ASTM C90 applies apparent bearing area of the block. Nigerian equally to hollow and solid load bearing concrete Industrial Standard (NIS 87: 2000) specified that the masonry units (NCMA, 2010). It has been argued that lowest compressive strength of individual load it is the solid area of the block that actually sustains 2 and transmits the load (Uzomaka, 1977). Some bearing blocks shall not be less than 2.5 N/mm and design manuals (Curtin et al., 2006 and Schneider et average compressive strength of five blocks shall not al., 1980) have also criticized the computation of 2 be less than 3.45 N/mm . Federal Ministry of Works compressive strength of hollow block based on the and Housing, during the Annual Conference in Kano apparent (gross) area. They have contended that
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University of Nigeria. The optimum value water/cement ratio of 0. 1964). These defects are minimized through treating of the as-cast face (Thomas. DeBorde. TEST DETAILS Specimen Preparation The overall dimensions of all test specimens are 450mm x 225mm x 225mm. The rough and uneven as-cast face (the surface plane parallel to the surface containing cells) of a hollow sandcrete block causes reduction and inaccuracy in the compressive strength. this paper examines the variation in compressive strength of different hollow block configurations and to study the effect of different hollow (cavity) blocks on the compressive strength. It is important to understand the behaviour of hollow sandcrete blocks under different hollow (cavity) configurations in order to properly define the compressive strength of hollow blocks considering the unevenness of the as-cast surface of the blocks. The block specimens were prepared with wooden moulds at the Department of Civil Engineering Laboratory. (c x d). To do this. compression test was carried out on the plane parallel to the surface containing cells (as-cast surface) and on the plane perpendicular to the surface containing cells (as-cast side surface).7%. Elimination of this tedious capping. These treatments are cumbersome. testing the bricks for compressive strength is essential to assess the overall behaviour of the material in construction (BIA 2004). Two samples of each block type were produced. The work of capping. 30H25. et al.Journal of Emerging Trends in Engineering and Applied Sciences (JETEAS) 3(1):75-80(ISSN: 2141-7016) compressive strength should be calculated on the basis of the solid bearing area of the hollow block. 50% and 60%. grinding or packing processes can also be done by testing the hollow blocks on the sides that are smooth and plane (Ezeokonkwo.7 has been determined for cement/sand ratio of 6 (Uzomaka. (e x g). This is to establish the relationship between the strength obtained by carrying out compression tests on the two orthogonal surfaces in order to reduce the effort involved in capping to produce an even surface. each being tamped 35 times with a standard wooden tamping rod. Curing started 24 hours after 76 casting and was by water sprinkling once a day for 7 days. Nsukka. or (m x n). 40.the dimensions of the cavity are given as (a x b). Uzomaka (1977) has further drawn attention to the tedious and costly test procedures for determining before testing by capping. Thus. Compressive strengths were calculated based on the apparent (gross area) and effective areas of the two perpendicular surfaces. 1 shows the variety of hollow blocks used in the study. 1978). and then left to mature for another 7 days inside the laboratory in accordance with NIS 87: 2000 . represents a hollow block with 30% cavity volume and end-web thickness of 25mm. 1988). grinding or packing processes. that Workers at Fourah Bay College recommended the procedure of rubbing down the test faces with carboradum plate to achieve the desired even surface (Eze-Uzomaka. (2011) noted that it is important to assess the compressive strength of bricks so that buildings designed with masonry will perform properly. with cavity volume of 30%. grinding or packing with a bedding material.Fig. grinding or packing processes to obtain smooth and plane surface for testing hollow sandcrete blocks is very tedious. Yet hollow sandcrete blocks possess smooth and plane surfaces that can be used to avoid capping. In the identification of the blocks. 1977). the definition and determination of the load carrying capacity of sandcrete blocks have considerable cost implications and are of great interest to the construction industry. Consequently. Therefore. for example. except where they are filled with grout. Compaction was done in three layers.

where the block group 60H12.92 11. is calculated as follows: Fza = Pz 1 Lx B Fze = Pz 2 LB-2ab The compressive strength when as-cast side was the bearing surface at test is calculated as follows: Fxa = Px 3 LH Fxe = Px 4 Ae Where Ae = H (2te + tc) 5 Z indicates that as-cast face was the bearing area at test.92% and 11. Standard 150mm-cylinder specimens were prepared for control.32 30H12.8 6. 1979).6 1.0 1.19. The procedure of rubbing down the test face with carboradum plate was used to achieve the desired even surface for the as-cast face. which indicate that the standard deviation and the . Nsukka. The coefficient of variation has no defined trend.2 0. Standard Deviation and Coefficient of Variation for Hollow Sandcrete Block Mean strength (N/mm2 ) Apparent area Effective area TYPE OF BLOCKS Face tested Z X 4.5-50H60 60H12.7H12.5 4.2 0. while X indicates that as-cast side was the bearing area at test ANALYSIS OF TEST RESULTS Variability of Compressive Strength Table 1 shows the dispersion coefficients for the strength of the various hollow sandcrete blocks.3 0.0 3.. in order to simulate as closely as possible the actual procedure in practice. except for the Table 1: Mean Strength.2 1.7H12. 1988 and Mirza et al.5-40.95 11.7 0.7H60 50H12.6 2. No effort was made to produce frictionless ends.4 0. This supports the observation that the strength of small specimen is on the average larger than that of the bigger specimens 77 (Ezeokonkwo.10 17.95% .1 0.4 0. It can be seen that the mean strength decreases with increase in cavity volume. University of Nigeria.2 0.7 1. when as-cast Fig.2 4. 2: Orientations and Dimensions of Hollow The compressive strength of hollow sandcrete blocks.2 Standard deviation (N/mm2) Apparent area Effective area Coefficient of variation (%) Face tested Face tested Z X 11. and 40.5-60H45 effective strength of as-cast side.32% were recorded for the two perpendicular surfaces respectively.5 5.6 2.5 – 50H60. COMPUTATION OF COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH Compressive strength was calculated on the basis of the apparent and effective bearing areas of the two perpendicular surfaces as shown in figure 2.49 10.8 0.4 2. The strength of hollow blocks.9 4.5 – 40.5 0.2 Face tested Z X 0.61 4.2 0. This confirms previous investigations. Test Procedure Each block was tested in a 2000KN capacity Dension testing machine at the Department of Civil Engineering Laboratory.61% .5 4.5-30H60 40.5 – 60H45 showed greater mean strength over block groups: 50H12.8 Face tested Z X 3.7H60.Journal of Emerging Trends in Engineering and Applied Sciences (JETEAS) 3(1):75-80(ISSN: 2141-7016) specification for curing. when as-cast face was the bearing surface at test.09 19.11.90 18.3 0.5 1. but values of 4.1 Face tested Z X 0.6 0.

Analysis of test data from four different block types gave a linear correlation.8558fxa + 0.124%. This will eliminate the danger posse by the as-cast face when used to determine the strength block. This is due to the effective bearing area of the as-cast face.7H60.650 2. 3. The most important factor militating against blocks tested on as-cast face is lack of smoothness and plane ness.518 2. correlation between the as cast face apparent strength and as-cast side apparent strength should be investigated. The control cylinder strength is 5.093 N/mm2 with standard deviation of 0.5 40. Invariably. using the as-cast face gives the realistic results for hollow sandcrete blocks. Mirza. For 30H12. In structural compression members (masonry walls) the situation is similar to that existing in blocks tested on as-cast face. Specimens of cubical or prismatic shapes are normally used in practice for expediency. Consequently. we conclude that the compressive strength of 30H12. compressive strength should be calculated on the basis of effective strength of the as-cast side surface (X). et al. With this confidence level.996 ) (4) The correlation coefficients indicate that there is 95 percent certainty that there is a linear correlation 78 From Table 2. the calculated “t” values for all the block types are less than the tabulated “t” values Table 2: t – test results HOLLOW BLOCK TYPE 30H12.005 (r = 0.7H12. If the strength of individual block is to be determined as specified in the NIS 87: 2000 then.306 9.5 – 30H60 blocks fza = 0.718 strength of as-cast face (Z).6% of load on as-cast face.0858 (r=0.5 – 40.5394fxa + 2.5 – 50H60 blocks fza = 0. The load on ascast side is about 48. Linear regression analysis between the as-cast face apparent strengths (fza) and as-cast side apparent strengths (fxa) based on the individual slope for each block type indicated the following linear equations and are shown in fig. void cavity.420 11. Any difference between the strength of hollow sandcrete block and the cylinder strength of the same sandcrete mixture is due to the effects of geometry.322 “t” tabulated 2. any block group mean strength that has calculated “t” value greater than the tabulated “t” value does not belong to the population with the cylinder strength as the mean strength.907 ) (1) For 40. In order to overcome the extra work involved in the capping operation. For 40. 1988. The linear correlation between strengths on the two perpendicular surfaces was examined using individual slope for each block type. direction of load application and the area over which the load has been transmitted.964) (2) For 50H12.4211fxa + 2.9398 (r=0.Journal of Emerging Trends in Engineering and Applied Sciences (JETEAS) 3(1):75-80(ISSN: 2141-7016) coefficient of variation are not constant for different strength levels Ezeokonkwo. Generally.624 2. This is advantageous as most available commercial hollow sandcrete blocks belong to the groups. an attempt was made to correlate the strengths on as-cast face (Z) and as-cast side (X). Table 2 shows the results of t – test analysis which deals with the estimation of a true value from a sample and the establishment of the confidence range within which the value can be said to lie. therefore.5 – 30H60 hollow sandcrete block type is better calculated on the basis of effective . It further shows that the effective strength rather than the apparent strength should be the true representative compressive strength of hollow sandcrete blocks.718 Effective strength for face (X) “t” calculated 5.821 2.5 – 40.624 2.02 significance level.821 N/mm2 and coefficient of variation of 16.0028 (r = 0.855 ) (3) For 60H12.168 “t” tabulated 2.5 – 50H60 60H12.5 – 30H60 40H12.709 2. 1975 and Florek.7H60 blocks fza = 0. This means that the block mean value is far less than the populations mean. 50H12.718 2. the compressive strength is better calculated on the basis of effective strength of the as-cast side (X). 1978). 1979.5 – 60H45 hollow sandcrete block types. Consequently. The Representative Strength for Hollow Sandcrete Blocks The best estimate of the compressive strength any material is conventionally considered to be that determined from testing a cylindrical specimen of the material.. Results of the apparent strengths on the two perpendicular surfaces of the blocks indicate that they are not part of the block strength population with the cylinder strength as their mean strength. The validity that the various hollow block groups mean strength could have come from a population with the cylinder strength as mean strength lies within 0.5 – 60H45 Effective strength for face (Z) “t” calculated 1. which is closest to the corresponding cylinder strength.7H12.5 – 50H60 and 60H12.5 – 60H45 blocks fza = 0. the representative compressive strength of a hollow sandcrete block is defined in this study to be the compressive strength value.7H60 50H12.8%-80.4133fxa + 1. single slope and pooled slope. As-Cast Face versus AS–Cast Side The crushing load on as-cast face is greater than the corresponding value on as-cast side. Capping to achieve a smooth and plane surface increases the strength by 12 – 15% and rubbing down the test faces with carboradum plate to achieve even surfaces was recommended (Eze-Uzomaka.821 2.125 2. Ibeh. 1985).969 9.

2280fxn + 2. The F-test analysis (William. a better linear correlation exists if the individual line is drawn with own slope for every sandcrete block group.7616 (r = 0. showed that although pooled slope and single slopes regression lines have moderate correlation coefficients. Then. the effective strength has better uniformity. The sum of squares of deviation from the best straight line through the set of data separately is 0.921) (5) effective strength (fxn) of as-cast side are shown in figure 5 and have the following equations.855) For 60H12.9416 (r = 0.5 .121797578. When all the individual slopes are pooled into a single slope figure 4.2279fxn + 0. For 30H12.5 – 40. It can be concluded that the linear correlation between fza and fxa can be best described by straight lines with different slope. the linear regression equation between the strength fza and fxa becomes: fza = 1.7H12. Correlation based on individual slopes between the apparent strength (fza) of the as-cast face and the The correlation coefficients shown in equations 6 . 79 . But on the other hand. i. which indicates 90 percent certainty.0021 (r= 0. The best straight line through sets.Journal of Emerging Trends in Engineering and Applied Sciences (JETEAS) 3(1):75-80(ISSN: 2141-7016) except in 50 percent cavity blocks types.908) For 40.5 – 30H60 blocks fza = 0. it has been shown that the effective strength of the as-cast side is the true representative for the range of commercial produced blocks. while the sum of squares of deviation from the best straight line through all the data is 1.7H60 blocks fza = 0.0116 (r = 0.5 – 50H60 blocks fza = 0. and therefore the same probability level is maintained. for correlation between as-cast face crushing load (Pz) and as-cast side crushing load (Px ) is the same as shown in figure 3.1405fxn + 2. correlation between the as-cast face apparent strength (fza) and as-cast side effective strength becomes necessary.60H45 blocks fza = 0.0174fxa + 0. The only difference is the absence of criss-crossing. b) The loading direction on the hollow sandcrete block influences the standard deviation and coefficient of variation of strength.0830fxn + 1.e.9 are the same as that indicated in equations 1. The correlation coefficients are the same as that shown by strength correlation. 1969) based on 3 and 11 degree of freedom with 95 percent confidence level. each with its own slope.0849 (r = 0. CONCLUSIONS The following conclusions were reached from the study: a) The standard deviation and coefficient of variation are not constant for different strength levels.191389506.996) (6) (7) (8) (9) The correlation coefficient indicates that there is 95 percent certainty that there is a single slope linear correlation.4.965) For 50 H12. c) The effective strength has lower coefficient of variation than the apparent strength.

R. Reinforced Masonry Design. J. 63. 625. Structural Masonry Designer’s Manual.J. Bull. ST6. pp. Nsukka. William. http://www. 1978. Vol. Proceedings of Conference on Material Testing. Lagos. Eagle Wood Cliff N. Standard Specification for Load bearing Concrete Masonry Units ASTM International. (1978) “Precast Concrete Blocks”: British Standard Institution. Vol. Feb. M and MacGregor. ( G. PA. Federal Ministry of Works and Housing. A. Sc Thesis. West Conshohocken. D.. R. Control and Research. Lagos.ncma. R. L. Discussion of Reference 5: Proceedings. Appraisal of Method of Testing Some Physical properties of Sandcrete Blocks.gobrick. Hatzinikolas. Influence of the Curing Conditions and Mix Proportions on the Compressive Strength of Sandcrete Blocks. Unaxial Compressive Strength of Sandcrete Hollow Blocks And its Dependence on Geometry.unina. PA. England. O. Statistical Description of Strength of Concrete. and Easterbrook. Quality of Sandcrete Hollow Block Manufactured in Northern Nigeria. The Construction of Building. June PP. 1979. Curtin. Ibeh. 2nd Edition. O. Dawn. Individual lines best describe this linear correlation with different slope for each set of hollow blocks. DeBorde.pdf?FID= 11055019&CFTOKEN=7219660. M. pp. Standard Specification for solid Load–Bearing Concrete Masonry Unit. Crosby Lockwood.1.G. G.R. Proceedings. Froggmere. 80 . Brick Industry Association (BIA-2004). 11th NAMC. McGraw – Hill. R.E. Federal Ministry of Works and Housing. Inc.. ASCE.L. Journal of Structural Division. ASTM International. J...Journal of Emerging Trends in Engineering and Applied Sciences (JETEAS) 3(1):75-80(ISSN: 2141-7016) d) The effective strength is more representative of the true compressive strength of hollow sandcrete blocks than the apparent strength.. Nigerian Industrial Standard (NIS 87: 2000). V. Minneapolis USA. Institution of Civil Engineers. September. Standard Specification for hollow Load–Bearing Concrete Masonry Unit. University of Nigeria. 2006. Schneider. 1021. K. West Conshohocken. Institution of Civil Engineers.pdf Ezeokonkwo. 1988. ASTM Standard C90. Lagos. Beck. Mirza. 2009.dist. Magee. 491 – 495 . M. West Conshohocken. Part 2 . ASTM Standard C90.J.org/resources /design/Documents/ASTM%20C90%20Commentary %20Last%20Revised%20June%209%202010. University of Nigeria. B. Applied statistics for Engineers. S.L. Engr. W. p.G.pdf Barry. PA NCMA Commentary Discussions to ASTM C 90-09. 1975. J. J. 1969. Florek. A. 1985.. M. S. Specification for sandcrete Blocks. A Survey of Block-Making Industries in some Urban Centres of East Central State.A. 1969.com/BIA/technotes/t9. 102.C. Thesis. VA. 149-155. e) A linear correlation exists between strengths determined for as-cast face and for as-cast side. M. 1980. Prentice-Hall. 2010.it/proc /2011/NAMC11/data/papers/042. http://www. Standard Specification for Load bearing Concrete Masonry Units. Uzomaka. BS 2028. London. Reston.C. and Ganzerli.M. pp 5455 & 94. www. 1975. Shaw. G. No 24.1037. Effective strength of as-cast side proved to be better result for the blocks. REFERENCES ASTM Standard C145. Eze-Uzomaka. (1979). Part 2. New York. ASTM International.J. 65 . 1975. Granada Publishing. 1964. W. L. pp. Nigeria. Recommendation of Committee on Review of Decision. Manufacturing of bricks. Nsukka.639. (Accessed May 27. December 2006. 2011. (GB) Vol. and Dickey. Technical Notes on Brick Construction.B. 2010). 1977. 105 No. K.R. W.B ) Vol. New Series. Standard Organization of Nigeria. Control and Research. Uniaxial Compressive Strength of Bricks Subject to Different Temperatures. Thomas. Proceeding of the Conference on Material Testing. Bray.