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Behavior of Cement-Stabilized Soil Block Masonry Under Flexure

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posted on 01.07.2016, 00:00 by Adam G. Tennant
A study of cement-stabilized soil block (CSSB) masonry under flexure was carried out using an experimental, practical, and a theoretical approach. Initially, some field work was conducted, monitoring block production and use in Bangalore India. Quality control parameters were also observed such as maintaining standards of clay content, block density, and curing. The first laboratory experimental work conducted was to obtain the basic geotechnical material properties of the raw material used in producing both the blocks and the mortar. A second set of experiments were performed to ascertain the material properties of the components that make up masonry. For example, compressive strength and Young's modulus were determined for both the block and mortar to be used in making various assemblages. A variety of other parameters of the block and mortar were recorded to be later used in finite element modeling (FEM). The third and final set of experiments was performed in the form of five-block prisms and one-meter tall wallettes. The five block prisms were used for testing compressive strength, modulus of elasticity of the masonry, and the flexural bond strength. The experimental portion culminated in the wall panels tested in flexure. A practical application on the experimental data is to see if traditional masonry design codes could be used when constructing out of CSSB units. Since the structural design codes of traditional masonry buildings have been well developed over the past century, many of the same principles may be applicable to CSSB masonry buildings. Though the above research answered critical questions, uncertainty remains on how this material will perform globally. Exploring the detailed mechanical and structural behavior through a finite element model developed specifically for masonry with material parameters for CSSB is also finally explored in this research work.



Foster, Craig


Civil and Materials Engineering

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level


Committee Member

Issa, Mohsen Karpov, Eduard Wu, Chien H. Reddy, Venkatarama

Submitted date




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