Seaweed biopolymers as additives for unfired clay bricks

Dove, C. A., Bradley, F. F. and Patwardhan, S. V. (2016) Seaweed biopolymers as additives for unfired clay bricks. Materials and Structures, 49(11), pp. 4463-4482. (doi: 10.1617/s11527-016-0801-0)

115069.pdf - Accepted Version



Unfired clay bricks are an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional masonry materials such as fired bricks and concrete blocks but their use is currently limited by their relatively poor mechanical and durability properties. While products like cement and lime are commonly added to earthen materials in an effort to improve their physical performance, these additives can also have a negative influence on the overall environmental impact. The purpose of this research is to investigate the use of alginate, a natural and renewable biopolymer obtained from brown seaweeds, as an admixture for unfired clay blocks. A total of 5 different alginates have been investigated and combined with 3 soil compositions to create prototype specimens which have then been characterised and compared in relation to flexural and compressive strength, microstructure, abrasive strength and hygroscopic behaviour. The results demonstrate that improvements in mechanical strength are dependent on the type of alginate used and the composition of the soil. The greatest increase in compressive strength is achieved using an alginate sourced from the Laminaria Hyperborea seaweed and offers a value more than double that of the equivalent control specimen. Increases in the alginate dosage do not necessarily lead to an increase in strength suggesting that there is an optimum concentration at which strength improvement is most effective.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bradley, Professor Fiona
Authors: Dove, C. A., Bradley, F. F., and Patwardhan, S. V.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
Journal Name:Materials and Structures
Publisher:Springer Netherlands
ISSN (Online):1871-6873
Published Online:25 March 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 RILEM
First Published:First published in Materials and Structures 49(11): 4463-4482
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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