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The effect of cement stabilization on the physical and mechanical properties of compressed earth blocks: in a coastal city: the case of Douala in Cameroon

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The effect of cement stabilization on the physical and mechanical properties of compressed earth blocks: in a coastal city: the case of Douala in Cameroon
Abstract: 

Housing affordability remains a key challenge in some developing countries including Cameroon. Recent studies reveal that the use of local building materials has been considered the cornerstone of sustainable construction that can be used in providing affordable housing. Despite the cheapness and availability of local building materials as earth block, its uptake has been very slow. This has been partly due to the fact that, its technical know-how is not yet vulgarized, the potential of local building materials towards the delivery of affordable housing is still not known, and its principles and practices are not yet imbedded in the practice of the construction industry. In the other hand, the constructions made in earth suffer from pathologies due to the humidity. These alter their durability and strength compared to other materials such as cement blocks or concrete. Cement stabilization is one of the technical methods of earth blocks properties improving, as local building materials that can be used in the provision of affordable housing in Cameroon. The aim of this study to investigate the effect of the stabilization rate on earth blocks properties applied in a construction project located in Douala. It reports an ongoing laboratory investigation in which the compressive strength of stabilized earth blocks is studied under dry and wet curing conditions. Five rates of cement stabilization 0%, 4%, 6%, 8% and 10% were used on the specimens of 230 × 110 × 80 mm. At 28 days of curing, the greatest values of the wet and dry cured compressive strength obtained were 4.66 MPa and 2.56 MPa respectively, with an absorption rate of 14.67% at 14 days of curing for a 10% of cement content.

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