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JOMO KENYATTAUNIVERSITY

OF

AGRICULTURE AND TECHNOLOGY

Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering Department

FINAL YEAR PROJECT

TITLE:

DEVELOPMENT OF SAWDUST BLENDED CONCRETE FOR CONCRETE BLOCKS

KORIR K. GEVAS

REG NO. EN251-0234/2007

PROJECT SUPERVISOR

PROF. MAYABI

This project is submitted in partial fulfillment for the award of a Bachelor of Science degree in
Civil, construction and environmental Engineering of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture
and Technology.

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DECLARATION

I, Korir K. Gevas, do declare that this report is my original work and to the best of my
knowledge, it has not been submitted for any degree award in any University or Institution.

Signed_______________ Date ____________

CERTIFICATION

I have read this report and approve it for examination.

Signed_______________ Date_____________

Prof. Mayabi

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DEDICATION

To my parents Mr. and Mrs. Willy Serem, My siblings, Mr. Paul Serem, friends and

classmates and all who supported me to completion of this project.

Thank you

May almighty God richly bless you!

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I am indebted to many people for the outcome of this project, and I am eternally grateful to them,
especially those that will lack mention here. May God richly bless you.

I acknowledge God. He has authored and brought to completion every aspect of this project and
has allowed people to come my way to help make this project a success. To Him be all praise,
glory and honor forevermore!

I deeply appreciate my supervisor, Prof. Mayabi. He has patiently and fervently instructed me in
the course of this study, and has provided much needed guidance. I would also like to thank
other members of the teaching staff including Obadiah, Kamami and Mr.Ogeto.

My familyhas also been invaluable to me during this time, I thank them dearly. No words can
express my gratitude for their spiritual, financial and emotional support.

For helpful criticism and advice on the project, I would want to appreciate my classmatesSpecial
mention to Cheruiyot(for many a sleepless nights),Karugo,Nicholas,Amutallah, Wabuti,Edu and
all my friends.

Lastly I would like to acknowledge my best friend, Sheila for moral support and her continued
encouragement.Through it all she has been a voice of reason, hope and love.

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ABSTRACT

The construction industry in Kenya is growing at a high rate, to meet the rising need of the
various infrastructures and creating efficiency. There is a need to find a cheap local material that
meets the standards as a primary concern. This project involves investigating the potential use of
sawdust as fine aggregate in production of sawdust blended concrete block. Sawdust occurs
abundantly within tropical regions as a byproduct in sawmills and local workshops.

This project made an attempt to experimentally establish the compressive strength, density and
water absorption of sawdust blended concrete and to make comparison with view of achieving
the target compressive strength of 3N/mm2. The author also explored the performance of sawdust
as an aggregate in comparison with the ordinary sand.

The results obtained show sawdust can be used to produce economical aggregate with a lower
density of up to 353.25kg/m3. However, careful consideration of the water absorption of sawdust
should be taken in consideration to ensure that the workability of concrete during preparation is
achieved without compromising the strength.

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Table of Contents
DECLARATION ............................................................................................................................. i
DEDICATION ................................................................................................................................ ii
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ........................................................................................................... iii
ABSTRACT................................................................................................................................... iv
LIST OF FIGURES ........................................................................................................................ 3
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................. 4
1.0 Background information ....................................................................................................... 4
1.1 Problem statement ................................................................................................................. 5
1.2 Justification of the study ....................................................................................................... 5
1.3 Objectives ............................................................................................................................. 6
1.3 .1 Overall objectives ......................................................................................................... 6
1.3.2 Specific objectives ......................................................................................................... 6
1.4 Scope and limitations of the study ........................................................................................ 6
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW ................................................................................. 7
2.0Introduction ............................................................................................................................ 7
2.1Lightweight concrete block.................................................................................................... 7
2.1.1 Properties of lightweight aggregates ............................................................................ 10
2.1.2Effects of properties of aggregates on properties of concrete....................................... 10
2.2Mechanical properties of concrete blocks............................................................................ 12
2.2.1 Moisture absorption ..................................................................................................... 12
2.2.1Compressive strength .................................................................................................... 12
2.3Concrete ............................................................................................................................... 13
2.3.1 Composition ................................................................................................................. 13
CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY ..................................................................................... 15
3.0Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 15
3.2 Collection and Sampling of Materials ................................................................................ 17
3.3 Sieve Analysis ..................................................................................................................... 17
3.4 Determination of Moisture Content in Sawdust ................................................................. 17

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3.5 Determination of Bulk Density ........................................................................................... 18


3.6 Determination of optimum Sawdust Content ..................................................................... 18
3.7 Casting of sawdust blended concrete blocks ...................................................................... 19
3.8 Curing ................................................................................................................................. 20
3.9 Sawdust blended concrete block moisture absorption test. ................................................ 20
CHAPTER FOUR ......................................................................................................................... 21
4.1.1 SIEVE ANALYSIS ......................................................................................................... 21
4.1.2 SPECIFIC GRAVITY AND WATER ABSORPTION .................................................. 23
4.2 DATA ANALYSIS............................................................................................................. 27
4.2.1 Grading curves ............................................................................................................. 27
4.2.3 Bulk density of sawdust. .................................................................................................. 28
CHAPTER FIVE .......................................................................................................................... 32
5.0 DISCUSSION ..................................................................................................................... 32
5.1 Sieve analysis ...................................................................................................................... 32
5.2 Moisture content in sawdust and bulk density .................................................................... 33
5.2.1 Moisture content .......................................................................................................... 33
5.2.2Bulk density .................................................................................................................. 33
5.3 Wet density of sawdust block and its content. .................................................................... 34
5.4 Variation of compressive strength with sawdust content ................................................... 34
5.4 Variation of compressive strength with wet density. .......................................................... 35
5.5 Compressive strength. ......................................................................................................... 35
5.6 Weight reduction ................................................................................................................. 36
CHAPTER SIX: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS.............................................. 37
6.1Conclusion ........................................................................................................................... 37
6.2 Recommendations ............................................................................................................... 38
APPENDIX ................................................................................................................................... 39
PHOTOGRAPHS ......................................................................................................................... 41
REFERENCES ............................................................................................................................. 42

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LIST OF FIGURES

Table 1 block sizes ........................................................................................................................ 11


Table 2 Fine aggregates (Sawdust). .............................................................................................. 21
Table 3 Ordinary sand ................................................................................................................... 22
Table 4 specific gravity and water absorption .............................................................................. 23
Table 5 Determination of bulk density ......................................................................................... 23
Table 6 Block moisture absorption ............................................................................................... 25
Table 7 Compressive strength results ........................................................................................... 26
Table 8 Moisture Content in Sawdust ........................................................................................... 28
Table 9 0% sawdust content ......................................................................................................... 39
Table 10 5% sawdust content ....................................................................................................... 39
Table 11 7% sawdust content ....................................................................................................... 39
Table 12 9% sawdust content ....................................................................................................... 39
Table 13 12% sawdust content ..................................................................................................... 40
Table 14 15% sawdust content ..................................................................................................... 40
Table 15 18% sawdust content ..................................................................................................... 40

LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1Methodology flow chart .................................................................................................. 16
Figure 2 sieve analysis .................................................................................................................. 17
Figure 3 Hand mixing of sawdust blended concrete..................................................................... 19
Figure 4 Sawdust blended concrete block .................................................................................... 19
Figure 5Block tested for moisture absorption ............................................................................... 20
Figure 6Figure 4 development of shear cracks. ............................................................................ 35
Figure 7concrete batching and hand mixes................................................................................... 41
Figure 8 Sawdust blended concrete block .................................................................................... 41
Figure 9 compressive strength test ................................................................................................ 41

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CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.0 Background information


Housing is a basic need. In Kenya, There has been progressive growth of population of
approximately 3% p.a. This has led to demand of housing facilities in both rural and urban areas,
in turn; the construction sector has been experiencing a vibrant and dynamic growth. Engineers
have been tasked to come up with innovative and sustainable technologies which would be
environmental friendly and cost efficient with regard to building technology.

In civil engineering, projects require high strength blocks, bricks or stones. This has proven to be
a challenge because of the costs of the materials and their availability. Therefore in most projects
people have resolved to locally available materials. What is considered local varies from one
place to another and from period to period. However most local building materials are poor in
durability and therefore they have to be more frequently replaced than modern building
materials.

Our country is regionally placed within the tropics. Therefore, with continued exploitation of
forest reserves to meet the daily needs of timber products of its population, sawdust has always
been generated as a by-product; climate favors growth of both artificial and natural forest.
Measures have been put in place to ensure sustainable exploitation of forest by industries,
sawmills and local workshops.

Sawdust is a by-product of cutting, drilling or pulverizing wood with a saw or a tool and it is
composed of fine particles of wood. Its limited use as fuel for cooking and manufacture of chip
board which is not in high demand has led to its disposal majorly by open burning. If not
disposed, sawdust may collect in piles and add harmful leachates into local water system creating
an environmental hazard. Substances such as lignin and fatty acids that protects trees from
predators while they are alive can leach into water and poison wildlife. To human beings
inhalation of sawdust which may contain carcinogen can cause allergic reactions

The government through the responsible ministries and community based organization has tried
to educate the public on use of sawdust especially as fuel, but still it hasn’t been effective since
approximately 60% of urban population use gas as fuel, approximately 30% uses kerosene and

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others use charcoal, firewood and a small percentage use sawdust. Consequently, sawdust still
lies in heaps in local workshops, sawmills and industries which produces timber products.

In our country, Kenya, the most available local resource for walling is commonly burnt bricks.
This has proven to be expensive because it entails burning in the kiln which consumes a lot of
firewood leading to deforestation. Therefore the cost of acquiring bricks are on the rise, currently
a brick costs Ksh10 in rural areas. Other walling materials like stones depend on the location of
quarries which are not present in most parts of the country and more so the cost of transporting
and cutting them into required shapes makes it not to be economically feasible. More so quarries
leaves a permanent scar on the landscape and leaves the land derelict.

Concrete blocks are modern building materials which are continually replacing local materials
and are mostly used. Innovative efforts have been made to reduce unit costs of production of the
blocks which has resulted to production of hollow concrete blocks. Development of sawdust
concrete will produce lightweight blocks which can be used for both load bearing wall and load
non-bearing walls. The constituents of the sawdust concrete are hard, durable, clean quarry
waste, sawdust and cement. Sawdust should be clean, free from chips and lumps. It should then
be mixed thoroughly, preferably with mixing machines unless the quantity is very small.

1.1 Problem statement


Presence of sawdust as a byproduct in wood operations and its underutilization poses potential
threat on the environment. Therefore, it is essential to use this material in productive purposes.

The use of sawdust in developing concrete for block making will give a good approach to reduce
the cost of materials and at the same time reduce environmental health hazard caused by
neglected heaps of sawdust.

1.2 Justification of the study


The proposed study will diversify and provide knowledge of characteristics of sawdust blended
concrete blocks. Utilization of sawdust in production of these will mitigate environmental hazard
posed by their disposal and also cost effectiveness in production of blocks will be achieved.

What is needed is a concrete block, comprising of materials of low commercial value, which can
be combined with sand or quarry waste and cement to provide an equivalent concrete block or

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one with improved physical and mechanical properties. With respect to the construction industry
and engineering profession, these new materials may not only be more economically
advantageous than traditionally available materials but may also outperform them. Hence
sawdust concrete could be considered as a viable alternative.

1.3 Objectives

1.3 .1 Overall objectives


The overall objectives of the study will be to;

 To investigate the feasibility of using sawdust blended blocks in housing construction.

1.3.2 Specific objectives


 To develop an optimum mix composition for block making.

 To determine sawdust blended concrete block strength characteristics.

1.4 Scope and limitations of the study


The study is expected to investigate the properties of sawdust blended concrete block. Properties like
density, compressive strength and water absorption capacity of the block will be tested. Factors
such as durability of sawdust blended concrete block will not be covered because of limited time
available for the study.

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CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.0Introduction
Concrete blocks, constitutes a mixture of hard, durable and clean coarse and fine aggregates,
cement and water. On casting and curing, the blocks attain sufficient strength to be used as
walling units. There are two main types of concrete blocks, these include-

• Lightweight concrete blocks.


• Dense concrete blocks.

Blocks are also produced in clay and various cement/aggregate mixes, including wood chippings.

2.1Lightweight concrete block


Lightweight blocks are made either with lightweight aggregates or with aerated concrete.
Lightweight aggregates with which blocks could be made include well burned clinker, wood
sawdust, foamed slag, sintered fly ash and expanded clay. Most of these materials are by-
products of industrial production for example sawmills and others.

Aerated concrete is defined as consisting essentially of an inorganic cementing agent with or


without addition of suitable fine inorganic aggregates. The aerated structure is formed by either
generation of a gas by a chemical action within the mix prior to hardening or by chemical
incorporation of air or other gas into the mix with the aid of suitable chemical foaming agent and
mixing devices.

The strength of lightweight concrete is roughly proportional to weight, and resistance to


weathering is about the same as that of ordinary concrete, it has certain advantages and
disadvantages. Among the former decreased foundation sizes because of the decreased loads,
better fire resistance and insulation against heat and sound. The disadvantages include greater
cost (30 to 50 percent), need for more care in placing, greater porosity, and greater drying
shrinkage. Lightweight concrete may be obtained through use of lightweight aggregates.

Lightweight Concrete Blocks are produced in a face dimension of various sizes and a thickness
range of 50mm to 250mm for use in internal and external, load bearing and non-load bearing
walls.

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The following are lightweight aggregates used in concrete;

 Pulverized Fuel or Fly Ash (PFA): This is the residue of the combustion of pulverized
coal used as a fuel in thermal power stations. PFA is used in the manufacture of
lightweight aggregates in Germany and Great Britain to reduce dead loads of high rise
structures (L.J. Murdock 1991). PFA powder is pelletized with water in a rotating pan
and the pellets burnt in horizontal grate at a temperature of 1200 – 13000C. They are
then cooled and screened in different particle size fractions.

 Foamed slag: This is a by – product in the manufacture of pig iron in blast furnace. The
slag is transformed into molten state at 1400 – 15000C. Steam and compressed air is
injected in the process. This produces numerous bubbles which causes the slag to expand
so that on cooling it becomes an artificial rock like material with cellular structure –
internally porous and honey combed (The concrete society 1980). The artificial rock is
then crushed and screened to give different particle sizes.

 Sintered Glass aggregates: They are manufactured mainly north of France. The raw
material used comes from waste glass bottles. The bottles are crushed, dried and ground
in a rotary mill at a fineness of 3600cm3/g Blaine. Before grinding, 2.5% of calcium
carbonate (CaCO3) is added as an expansive agent. The powder is well homogenized
and pelletized with water in a rotary pan. According to the speed and inclination of the
pan, it is possible to obtain several diameters. The pellets are then driedR in hot air and
pre – heated up to 6800C and passed quickly through a rotary kiln at 8000C. They are
then cooled and screened (The concrete society Ci80, 1980).

 Furnace Clinker: It comes from the combustion of coal in domestic or firing systems.
The clinker is sometimes used as lightweight aggregate after being crushed and screened.
Aggregates are dark in colour with a sintered or slaggy appearance. This type of
aggregate is relatively little used due to its stability which must be verified by chemical
and physical testing. It must not contain harmful substances like burnt lime and
magnesia, sulphides, and sulphates which are deleterious in concrete.

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 Sawdust
This is a byproduct of cutting drilling or pulverizing wood with a saw or a tool, it is composed of
fine particles of wood. Due to its abundance in tropical countries, Sawdust is majorly found in
sawmilling companies and local carpentry workshops.

Sawdust has variability in;

 Density

 Color

 Chemical composition.

 Particle size and shape.

Sawdust is abundant in tropical countries. Due to rising need of timber products like furniture
and others a lot of waste results from sawing. Though much effort has been made to educate the
public on usage of sawdust as fuel for cooking and heating, still the public has not embraced the
technology basically due to smoke and bulkiness of sawdust. Therefore, disposal of sawdust is
majorly done through open burning to prevent environmental hazard that may be created by
heaps of sawdust.

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2.1.1 Properties of lightweight aggregates


Lightweight aggregate is more accurately referred to as low-density aggregate, since it is usually
compared with normal-density aggregate. However, the generally accepted industry term used is
lightweight aggregate. By definition, structural lightweight concretes have a minimum
compressive strength of 2,500 psi (17.2 Mpa) and an air-dried unit weight of 90 to 115 lbs/ft3
(1,440 to 1,850 kg/m3). Moderate strength concretes fall somewhere in between low-density and
structural lightweight concrete. For comparison, normal-weight concretes have a typical dry unit
weight of 145 to 150 lbs/ft3 (2,300 to 2,4-00 kg/m3). By adjusting the proportions of both
lightweight and normal-weight aggregate, the concrete density can be varied, depending on the
project requirements. This type of lightweight concrete is often referred to as specified-density
concrete.

Lightweight aggregates can also provide unique and potentially useful properties to concrete
besides reduced weight.

• Lightweight concrete is thermally efficient. With warmer walls, there is less risk of
condensation. In fact, it may be possible to reduce or possibly eliminate insulation layers
in sandwich panels.
• Lightweight concrete is fire-resistant. Because lightweight aggregates have already been
pre-fired, they are stable and do not decompose in high temperatures. This is ideal for
building components or refractory products.
• Lightweight concrete absorbs energy well. With the addition of fiber reinforcement and
even foaming agents, an extremely lightweight concrete could be produced and used for
such products as highway impact attenuators or sacrificial blast-resistant barriers.

2.1.2Effects of properties of aggregates on properties of concrete

Effect of size
Variation in the size of Aggregates changes the water demand, cement content, micro-cracking
(strength) in concrete. It also affects ability of concrete to be pumped and also the durability of
concrete.

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Effect of grading
Grading of aggregates depends on the proportions of coarse and fine aggregate. If grading of
aggregate is varied, it also changes cement paste content (cost economy), workability of the mix,
density and porosity.

Effect of surface texture


Surface texture of aggregates itself depends on rock hardness, grain size, porosity, previous
exposure and affects workability, paste demand, initial strength of concrete. Shape and surface
texture affects usually the properties of freshly mixed concrete. Rough-textured and elongated
particles require more cement paste to produce workable concrete mixtures, thus increasing the
cost.

Sizes and structure of blocks

Building blocks come in a variety of sizes; some being made to suit the owner’s handling
convenience. Such blocks are non-standard as they are not factory produced. Many of blocks
produced in developing countries are in this category. Commercial blocks are produced to meet
standard sizes.

Type of blocks Actual size Nominal size

Light-weight 390x150x150 400x150x150

Blocks. 440x215x140 450x225x150

140x150x215 150x150x225

Table 1 block sizes

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Blocks in this category are made in accordance with B.S 6073: parts 1 and 2: 1981 or a similar
standard.

The table above gives the dimensions of blocks. The actual dimensions are without joints while
the nominal dimensions allow for the thickness of joints. A great number of blocks are wasted
during the cutting of halves and other required pieces. To avoid this wastage, the manufactures
should be consulted so that halves, three-quarters e.t.c as would be required in the job are made
by the block works.

Concrete blocks may be produced with hollow centers to reduce weight or improve insulation.
The use of block work allows structures to be built in the traditional masonry style with layers
(or courses) of staggered blocks. Blocks come in many sizes. With an R-Value of 1.11 the most
common nominal size is 410×200×200 mm; the actual size is usually about 3⁄8 in (9.5 mm)
smaller to allow for mortar joints. In Ireland and the UK, blocks are usually 440×215×100 mm
(17×8.5×3.9 in) excluding mortar joints. In New Zealand, blocks are usually 390×190×190 mm
(15×7.5×7.5 in) excluding mortar joints.

2.2Mechanical properties of concrete blocks

2.2.1 Moisture absorption


Every walling material undergoes dimension changes with changes in temperatures, especially if
accompanied by drying and wetting. This kind of changing can cause cracking of block walls
unless adequate precautions are taken. The changes may be small but, with concrete blocks, the
problem may be aggravated due to additional non-reversible shrinkage caused by chemical
changes associated mainly with process of carbonation, hydration and curing. Strength and
durability of concrete depend on various factors, among which is the most important is the
quality and properties of aggregate, such as porosity, water absorption, specific gravity,
soundness, freezing and thawing resistance and finally compressive strength.

2.2.1Compressive strength
The importance of using aggregates with good quality cannot be overemphasized since the fine
and coarse aggregates generally occupy 60% to 75% of the concrete volume and strongly
influence the physical and mechanical properties of concrete. Among these, the compressive

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strength of hardened concrete is relatively dependent on the strength of rocks, which are the main
source of sand and gravel.

2.3Concrete
Basically, concrete is composed of sand, gravel, crushed rock, or other aggregates held together
by a harden paste of hydraulic cement and water. The thoroughly mixed ingredients, when
properly proportioned, make a plastic mass which can be cast or modeled into a predetermined
size or shape.

Upon hydration of the cement by the water, concrete becomes stone like in strength and hardness
and has utility for many purposes.

2.3.1 Composition
Cement

Portland cement is the most common type of cement in general usage. It is a basic ingredient of
concrete, mortar and plaster. It consists of a mixture of oxides of calcium, silicon and aluminum.
Portland cement and similar materials are made by heating limestone (a source of calcium) with
clay and grinding this product (called clinker)with a source of sulfate (most commonly gypsum

Water
Combining water with a cementitious material forms a cement paste by the process of hydration.
The cement paste glues the aggregate together, fills voids within it and allows it to flow more
freely.

Required amount of water in the cement paste will yield a stronger, more durable concrete; more
water will give a free-flowing concrete with higher slump, impure water used to make concrete
can cause problems when setting or in causing premature failure of the structure.

Hydration involves many different reactions, often occurring at the same time. As the reactions
proceed, the products of the cement hydration process gradually bond together the individual
sand and gravel particles and other components of the concrete, to form a solid mass.

Aggregates
Fine and coarse aggregates make up the bulk of a concrete mixture Sand, natural gravel and
crushed stone are used mainly for this purpose. Recycled aggregates (from construction,

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demolition and excavation waste) are increasingly used as partial replacements of natural
aggregates, while a number of manufactured aggregates, including air-cooled blast furnace slag
and bottom ash are also permitted.

Decorative stones such as quartzite, small river stones or crushed glass are sometimes added to
the surface of concrete for a decorative "exposed aggregate" finish, popular among landscape
designers.

The presence of aggregate greatly increases the robustness of concrete above that of cement,
which otherwise is a brittle material and thus concrete is a true composite material.

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CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY

3.0Introduction
The main objective of this project was to investigate the feasibility of using sawdust blended
concrete blocks in construction. To achieve this, an optimum mix composition for making the
blocks was developed. After the optimum mix composition was established, the mass, density
and compressive strength of the block was checked. A common concrete matrix with a w/c of
0.50 was used in all mixes.

The sawdust content of 5%, 7%, 9%, 12%, 15% and 18% were used. The maximum size of
coarse aggregate was 9mm. The percentage of replacement of fine aggregates was based on
aggregate weight.

The ratio of concrete used to cast the block was 1:5:6 and the size of the block was
390mmx150mmx150mm.

Summary of activities carried out;

1. Collection and sampling of materials.


2. Grading/ sieve analysis of materials.
3. Determination of moisture content.
4. Determination of density of sawdust.
5. Determination of optimum sawdust content.
6. Batching.
7. Casting of sawdust blended concrete blocks.
8. Curing.
9. Testing for moisture absorption of blocks
10. Establishing the compressive strength of hardened sawdust concrete blocks for 7, 14 and
28 days.

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Figure 1 Methodology flow chart

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3.2 Collection and Sampling of Materials


Sawdust was obtained from timber yard. During collection, it was ensured that sawdust was
clean, free from chips and lumps that will not pass a 5mm screen and not so fine that will pass
number 0.15 screen. River sand and ballast were also obtained in the same manner. Bags of
Ordinary Portland cement were bought from the local hardware. Care was taken to ensure that
the materials were of high quality and free of deleterious substances.

3.3 Sieve Analysis


The main aim of grading was to ensure the aggregate is suitable for production of good quality
sawdust blended concrete block. Grading therefore affects workability and w/c ratio of concrete.
Sieve analysis was done for both aggregates to BS EN 933 – 1: 1997.

Figure 2 sieve analysis

3.4 Determination of Moisture Content in Sawdust


The moisture content of sawdust was determined in terms of the weight of aggregates when
absolutely dry and when wet.

Water absorption (% of dry weight) = (Ws-Wd)/ Wd

Where; Ws=weight of aggregate in natural state.

Wd —weight of oven dry aggregate


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3.5 Determination of Bulk Density


The bulk density, defined as mass in air of oven dry particles divided by the gross volume of
aggregates was determined as follows;
ெ௔௦௦
Density =
௏௢௟௨௠௘

ெమ ି ெభ
Volume of container =
஽௘௡௦௜௧௬ ௢௙ ௪௔௧௘௥

యெ ିெ

Bulk density of sawdust =௏௢௟௨௠௘

Where;

Mass of the container, M1

Mass of container with water, M2

Mass of water present in the container, M2 - M1

Mass of container with sawdust, M3

Mass of sawdust present in the container, M3 - M1

3.6 Determination of optimum Sawdust Content


The process of selecting suitable ingredients, which was cement, sawdust, sand, ballast and
water, and determining their relative proportions to give the required strength, workability and
durability. In this project, determination of sawdust content was done according to the concrete
technology manual of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

The various proportions of concrete materials e.g. sand, coarse and fine aggregates were
determined on a weight basis.

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Batching sequence
Batching was done by weight according to the mix ratios obtained from the optimum mix results. The
various weights of each material are specified in appendix 1. An allowance was given for each mix to
allow for wastage and also for compaction.

Figure 3 Hand mixing of sawdust blended concrete

3.7 Casting of sawdust blended concrete blocks

Sawdust concrete block of size 390x150x150mm was cast. Specimens for the testing of
mechanical properties in the hardened state were prepared by placing the concrete into concrete
block machine using a shovel. Effort was made to maintain uniformity so that the final structure
will be monolithic and to ensure uniformity in all samples.

Figure 4 Sawdust blended concrete block


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3.8 Curing
Curing was done by covering the sawdust blended concrete block with sisal sacks and pouring
water over the blocks twice a day. This was done according to the British practice (BS 1881 Part
111). This was done at a constant temperature of about 20 – 220 C and relative humidity of about
90%.

3.9 Sawdust blended concrete block moisture absorption test.

Samples for the testing of water absorption properties were weighed. The absorption properties
of sawdust blended concrete was done to BS EN 1338:2003

Figure 5 Block tested for moisture absorption

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CHAPTER FOUR: DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS

4.1.1 SIEVE ANALYSIS


Particle size distribution to BS EN 933 – 1: 1997

Original weight was 400g.

SIEVE sizes mm Wt. Retained gm Wt. passing gm % Retained % passing

10 6.5 393.5 1.6 98.4

5 10.5 383 2.6 95.8

2.36 20.5 362.5 5.2 90.6

1.2 118.5 244 30.1 60.5

0.6 91 153 23.1 37.4

0.3 75 78 19.0 18.4

0.15 64 14 14.9 3.5

0.075 14 0 3.5 0

TOTAL 400 100

Table 2 Fine aggregates (Sawdust).

Original weight was 550g

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SIEVE sizes Wt. Retained Wt. passing gm % Retained % passing


mm gm

10 0 550 100 0

5 0 550 100 0

2.36 6.2 543.8 1.12 98.87

1.2 65.8 478 12 86.91

0.6 174.5 303.5 31.70 55.18

0.3 208 95.5 37.80 17.36

0.15 81.5 14 14.80 2.58

0.075 14 0 2.58 0

TOTAL 550 100

Table 3 Ordinary sand

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4.1.2 SPECIFIC GRAVITY AND WATER ABSORPTION

OBSERVATIONS

Experiment No. 1 2 3 4

Weight of et sample (w1) g. 100 100 100 100

Weight of oven dried sample (w2) g. 82 84 79 80

Loss of weight (w1 – w2 ) g. 18 16 21 20

Table 4 specific gravity and water absorption

Mass (grams)

Mass of container 1528.5

Mass of container + mass of water 3525

Mass of container + mass of sand 2203.5

Table 5 Determination of bulk density

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TYPE OF MIX AGE OF CURING DRY DENSITY WET DENSITY


(Days)
(kg/m3) (kg/m3)

7 2735 2758

Normal aggregates
14 2621 2678

28 2564 2678

7 2393 2564

Sawdust blended 14 2388 2560


block

(5% replacement of
sand) 28 2280 2484

7 2199 2450

Sawdust blended 14 2208 2446


block

(7% replacement of
sand) 28 2222 2360

7 2165 2393

Sawdust blended 14 2160 2284


block

(9% replacement of
sand) 28 2074 2279

7 2063 2336

Sawdust blended 14 2016 2239


block

(12% replacement of
sand) 28 1937 2142

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Sawdust blended 7 1880 2302


block
14 1858 2208
(15% replacement of
sand)
28 1835 2143

7 1835 2,222

Sawdust blended 14 1812 2148


block

(18% replacement of
sand) 28 1766.4 1999

Table 6 Block moisture absorption

TYPE OF MIX AGE OF CURING Average compressive Average compressive


(Days) strength ( Dry block) strength (Wet block)

(N/mm2) (N/mm2)

7 5.24 5.78

Normal aggregates 14 5.6 5.92

28 7.12 7.92

7 4.3 4.8

Sawdust blended 14 4.8 5.72


block
28 5.42 6.1
(5% Sawdust
aggregate)

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7 3.8 4.1

Sawdust blended 14 4.2 5.4


block
28 4.5 6.5
(7% Sawdust
aggregate)

7 3.35 3.8

Sawdust blended 14 3.2 3.92


block

(9% Sawdust
aggregate) 28 3.6 4.2

7 2.1 2.4

Sawdust blended 14 2.6 2.9


block

(12% Sawdust
aggregate) 28 3 3.36

7 1.33 1.6

Sawdust blended 14 1.6 1.79


block

(15% Sawdust
aggregate) 28 1.8 2.20

7 1.11 1.3

Sawdust blended 14 1.4 1.42


block

(18% Sawdust
aggregate) 28 1.6 1.62

Table 7 Compressive strength results

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4.2 DATA ANALYSIS

4.2.1 Grading curves

GRADING CURVE AND ZONING FOR FINE AGGREGATES (SAWDUST)


TO BS 882-1992 120
CUMULATIVE PERCANTAGE PASSING

100

80

60

40

20

0
0.01 0.02 0.04 0.08 0.16 0.32 0.64 1.28 2.56 5.12
TEST SIEVE SIZES (MM) ON LOGARITHMIC SCALE upper limit
lower limit

Graph 1: Sawdust grading curve

GRADING CURVE AND ENVELOPE FOR NORMAL AGREGGATE (SAND)


120

100
CUNULATIVE % PASSING

80

60

40

20

0
0.1 0.2 0.4 0.8 1.6 3.2 6.4
upper limit
TEST SIEVES (MM) ON LOGARITHMIC SCALE lower limit
% passing sieve

Graph 2 Ordinary sand grading curves

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OBSERVATIONS

Experiment no. 1 2 3 4

Weight of et sample (w1) g. 100 100 100 100

Weight of oven dried sample (w2) g. 82 84 79 80

Loss of weight (w1 – w2 ) g. 18 16 21 20

(ௐభ ି ௐమ )×ଵ଴଴ 22% 19.05% 26.6% 25%


Moisture content
ௐమ

Mean value M% 23.2%

Table 8 Moisture Content in Sawdust

From table 3: The mean of the results are expressed to the nearest 0.5%.

4.2.3 Bulk density of sawdust.


• Weight of the container ( w1) = 1528.5g

• Weight of container + water (w2) = 3525g

• Weight of container + sawdust (w3) = 2203.5g

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Mass of water= w2 - w1

= 3525 – 1528.5 = 1996.5g

ெ௔௦௦ ଵ.ଽଽ଺ହ
Density of water = Volume of container = = 0.002m3
௏௢௟௨௠௘ ଵ଴଴଴

ଶ.ଶଷହିଵ.ହଶ଼ହ
Bulk density of sawdust = = 353.25 Kg/m3
଴.଴଴ଶ

WET DENSITY OF BLOCK AGAINST SAWDUST CONTENT


3000

2500
WET DENSITY (Kg/m3)

2000

1500

1000

500

0
0% 5% 10% 15% 20%
SAWDUST CONTENT( %)
sawdust content

Graph 3 Sawdust content and wet density

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VARIATION OF COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH WITH SAWDUST CONTENT

9
8
COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH FOR 28 DAYS

7
6
5
4
(N/MM2)

3
2
1
0
0% 5% 10% 15% 20%
SAWDUST CONTENT IN PERCENTAGE compressive strength

Graph 4 Compressive strength compared to sawdust content

COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH OF SBB COMPARED TO WET DENSITY


12

10
COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH(N/mm2)

0
1800 2000 2200 2400 2600 2800 3000
3
WET DENSITY (Kg/m )
Expon. (COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH)

Graph 5 Compressive strength compared to wet density of sawdust blended block.

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COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH OF SBB COMPARED TO NORMAL CONCRETE BLOCK


8
COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH IN N/MM2

7.12
7
NORMAL
6 5.6 5.42 CONCRETE
5.24 5% SAMPLE
4.8
5 4.5
4.3 4.2 7% SAMPLE
3.8 3.6
4 3.35 3.42
3 9% SAMPLE
3 2.6
2.1 12% SAMPLE
1.6 1.4 1.8
2 1.36
1.331.11
15% SAMPLE
1
18% SAMPLE
0
7 14 28

AGE OF CONCRETE IN DAYS

Graph 6Compressive of SBCB compared to normal concrete blocks


COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH DEVELOPMENT VS AGE
8

7
COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH (N/MM2)

0
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
NORMAL CONCRETE BLOCK
5% SBB AGE IN DAYS
7% SBB
9% SBB
12% SBB
15% SBB

Graph 7.Compressive strength and its development with age

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CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION

5.0 DISCUSSION

5.1 Sieve analysis


The main aim of grading was to ensure that the aggregate is suitable for production of good
quality concrete block. Grading was observed to affect workability and w/c ratio of concrete.
Sieve analysis was done for both aggregates to BS 882:1992. From the analysis done, sawdust
and ordinary sand were observed to be of the same grade.

Grading of sawdust as an aggregate


From results, it can be observed that, sawdust has uniform particle size distribution when
compared with the grading zone for fine aggregates .However there is also a considerable
amount of fines as shown by the graph, therefore sawdust may be used as fine aggregates
because of its particle distribution.
• The sawdust was relatively well graded as compared to the grading zones i.e. it ranges
within the grading zones indicated in the graph 1above.
• The s-curve shows percentage passing the 1.2mm sieve as 58.5% and the graph shows a
good distribution for particles.

Grading of ordinary sand


From graph 2, ordinary sand is uniformly distributed within zone two limits. Sieve analysis was
done on sand to compare its particle distribution with that of sawdust. It was observed that
percentage of weight passing for ordinary sand varied comparatively with that of sawdust.

Sieve analysis was done using the standard test sieves conforming to diameters and mesh
apertures given in BS 410:1976. Grading is of importance in concrete mix design in the
determination of the proportion of fine aggregates and thus the calculation of fine and course
aggregate content. Grading also affects workability of concrete mixes. Aggregates with too fine,
course or deficient in a particular size especially the material passing 300µm sieve produce harsh
mixes which are poorly workable.

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5.2 Moisture content in sawdust and bulk density

5.2.1 Moisture content


The moisture content of sawdust from timber which is naturally dried was found to be 23.5% to
the nearest 0.5%.

 This shows the ability of sawdust to bulk or absorb moisture. The moisture content of
23.5% shows that sawdust can absorb approximately the same amount of moisture in
SBB. Therefore pretreatment would be essential to prevent dumpiness and growth of
moisture in structures.
 The moisture content also affects the workability of concrete. Sawdust will absorb a
considerable amount of water during mixing therefore reducing the workability of
concretes.
 The setting of SBB is determined by percentage of sawdust in the sample. It was
observed that SBB with 18% sawdust took three days to completely dry while that of
50% took 24 hours to dry. Therefore admixtures which increase the rate of setting would
be essential.

5.2.2Bulk density
The bulk density of aggregates is directly proportional with the compressive strength of concrete.
Sawdust was found to have bulk density of 353.5 kg/m3. This implies that sawdust would
provide lightweight sawdust blended concrete block.

Replacement of fine aggregates with sawdust was determined from the above bulk density.
Higher percentage of sawdust would to difficulty in workability of concrete. Therefore 18%
sawdust was chosen to be the highest percentage of replacement so as to achieve a high strength
SBB.

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5.3 Wet density of sawdust block and its content.

From the graph of sawdust content against wet density, density of SBB reduces exponentially
with increase in sawdust content. This is because sawdust has low bulk density and consequently
low specific gravity.

Wet density of 1,999 Kg/m3 is achieved when sawdust content is 18% in sawdust blended
concrete block. From the graph it is also observed that density of 2678Kg/m3 was achieved in
normal concrete block.

Sawdust content in SBCB reduces density of the block. Water absorption of sawdust as an
aggregate in blocks is acceptable.

From the density achieved by sawdust blended concrete blocks, SBB can be categorized as
lightweight concrete blocks.

5.4 Variation of compressive strength with sawdust content


Compressive strength reduces with increase in sawdust content. From the graph of variation of
compressive strength with sawdust content, it can be observed that;

 Normal concrete block, with 0% sawdust, has a compressive strength of 7.92N/mm2.


 With increase in sawdust content, the compressive strength reduces. 5% sawdust content
results to 6.1N/mm2. As the content reaches 18% the compressive strength has adversely
reduced to 1.62 N/mm2 this is much lower than expected 2.8N/mm2 for a lightweight
concrete block.
 12% replacement of sawdust content results to 3.36N/mm2 which is acceptable, above 2.8
N/mm2, therefore sawdust replacement up to 12% is acceptable.
 15% and 18% results to 2.2 N/mm2 and 1.62 N/mm2 respectively. This shows high
percentage of sawdust results to low compressive strength. Therefore sawdust content of
15% and 18% are very low.

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5.4 Variation of compressive strength with wet density.


Compressive strength increases exponentially with increase in density. During testing of for
compressive strength, shear cracks are observed as shown by the figure below;

Figure 6Figure 4 development of shear cracks.

3 2
 Wet density of 2678kg/m results to compressive strength of 7.92N/mm and it reduced
to 1.62 N/mm2at density of 199kg/m3.
 It was observed that inwet sawdust blended concrete block development of shear cracks
occurred gradually and failure was caused by cracking.

5.5 Compressive strength.


Analysis of compressive strengths at 28 days of curing showed that the trend for strength
development is roughly the same for all the mixes except that with 12% replacement which
exhibits a more pronounced strength development. The 5% replacement achieved a compressive
strength of 6.1N/mm2 at 28 days, 7% replacement attained 6.5 N/mm2 at 28 days, 9%
replacement attained 4.2 N/mm2 at 28 days, 12% replacement attained 3.36 N/mm2 at 28
days,15% replacement attained 2.2 N/mm2 at 28 days while 18% replacement gained 1.62N/mm2
at 28 days as compared to the control which attained 7.92 N/mm2 at 28 days.

Strengths observed in the use of sawdust as fine aggregate were lower and this may be as result
of more fines present in sawdust and hence require more cement content to enable good binding.

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The high water absorption of crushed bricks also might have contributed to the lower strengths
obtained. The target strength of 3N/mm2 at 28 days was achieved by 12% sawdust content.

Sawdust blended concrete block of 12% sawdust content will produce the required compressive
strength of 3.36N/mm2 required for lightweight concrete blocks.

5.6 Weight reduction


A part from significant compressive strengths observed, sawdust aggregates produced concrete
blocks with significantly reduced weight and densities as compared with normal concrete blocks.
The lowest density achieved with sawdust aggregate was 1766.4Kg/m3while the highest density
achieved with normal aggregates was 2735 Kg/m3. Weight reduction of up to 12% of concrete
made with normal aggregates was observed. Use of sawdust aggregates is thus advantageous in
production of blocks as the dead loads (self-weight) of a partition are substantially reduced in a
structure.

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CHAPTER SIX: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

6.1Conclusion
Clean, dry sawdust provides satisfactory aggregates which can be used to produce goodquality
sawdust blended concrete blocks of required strength. At 28 days, the compressive strength
ranging from 65 to 95% of normal concrete block can be attained. This significant strength is
attributed to the particle shape and roughness of the sawdust which provides satisfactory bond
strength.

Sawdust has comparatively medium water absorption. Therefore, pretreatment processes like
washing and sun drying would be essential.

Batching sequence influences sawdust blended properties. Mixing difficulty of concrete for
casting of block is also influenced by the batching sequence. This is basically because of the
surface texture of sawdust and its moisture absorption.

From the analysis Sawdust content of 12% and w/c of 0.51would produce good compressive
strength of 3.36N/mm2 and density of 1937kg/m3. This is adequate for walling.

Therefore sawdust is ideal filler or composite material for production of sawdust blended
concrete blocks.

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6.2 Recommendations
From the laboratory test results and analysis, I would like to recommend use of sawdust in
production of sawdust blended concrete block to be used in load bearing and non-load bearing
wall.

Use of sawdust in SBCB will result to economical construction cost and in the same time
enhance environmental conservation. This will contribute greatly in meeting the objective of
affordable housing as enshrined in Kenya’s vision 2030

Sawdust blended concrete blocks exhibits high aesthetic qualities, when soaked in water and
when dried. Therefore, effects of angle raindrops on walls which may include damping and
scouring of the surface of blocks would be sustained by the blocks.

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APPENDIX
Quantities Cement Water Fine Aggregate Coarse Aggregate
(Kg) (Kg) (Kg) (Kg)
175 145 855 1030
Per m3 (To nearest 5kg)
Per trial mix of 0.0351 m3 6 5 30 36

Table 9 0% sawdust content

Quantities Cement Water (Kg) Fine Coarse Sawdust


(Kg) Aggregate Aggregate content
(Kg) (Kg) (Kg)
Per m3 175 150 855 1030 35

Table 10 5% sawdust content

Quantities Cement Water (Kg) Fine Coarse Sawdust


(Kg) Aggregate Aggregate content
(Kg) (Kg) (Kg)
Per m3 175 145 855 1030 60

Table 11 7% sawdust content

Quantities Cement Water (Kg) Fine Coarse Sawdust


(Kg) Aggregate Aggregate content
(Kg) (Kg) (Kg)
Per m3 175 150 855 1030 80

Table 12 9% sawdust content

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Quantities Cement Water (Kg) Fine Coarse Sawdust


(Kg) Aggregate Aggregate content
(Kg) (Kg) (Kg)
Per m3 175 150 855 1030 105

Table 13 12% sawdust content

Quantities Cement Water (Kg) Fine Coarse Sawdust


(Kg) Aggregate Aggregate content
(Kg) (Kg) (Kg)
3
Per m 175 150 855 1030 130

Table 14 15% sawdust content

Quantities Cement Water (Kg) Fine Coarse Sawdust


(Kg) Aggregate Aggregate content
(Kg) (Kg) (Kg)
Per m3 175 150 855 1030 155

Table 15 18% sawdust content

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PHOTOGRAPHS

Figure 7concrete batching and hand mixes.

Figure 8 Sawdust blended concrete block

Figure 9 compressive strength test

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REFERENCES

1. A.M. NEVILLE; Properties of Concrete; Third edition, 1981, Longman publication.

2. Aggregate in Concrete: Review; Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering.

3. CraTerre/ENTPE, 1996,Compressed earth blocks: regional standards, CDI (Centre for the

Development of Industry)

4. BS 1881: Part 2: Method of Testing Fresh Concrete

5. CONCRETE INTERNATIONAL C180; Admixtures; Longman Inc, New York.

6. CONCRETE INTERNATIONAL C180; Admixtures; Longman Inc, New York

7. Eassey,A.,1997, The Effect of the Angle of Raindrops on Earth wall Buildings, Construction

Management Thesis, University of Technology Sydney.

8. GEORGE R. WHITE; Concrete Technology; Third edition Delmar Publishers Inc.

9. N. Jackson: Civil Engineering Materials, Longman, Inc, New York

10.Yttrup,P.J. Diviny, K and Sottile, F. 1981 Development of a Drip Test for the Erodibility of

Mud Bricks , Deakin University, Geelong.

11. GEORGE R. WHITE; Concrete Technology; Third edition Delmar Publishers Inc.

12. Khalafand, F.M., Devenny, A.S. (2004) Recycling of Demolished Masonry Rubble as Coarse

13.Mahmood Khayati, Performance of concrete produced with crushed bricks as the coarse and

fine aggregate, 2006.

14.N. Jackson: Civil Engineering Materials, Longman, Inc, New York

15.www.civilcrafistructures.com/materials-testing

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