Influence of atmospheric conditions on the strength of unstabilized earthen constructions
Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), BATir Department, Laboratory of GeoMechanics (LGM), Brussels, Belgium
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Uniaxial compression tests and indirect tensile tests are performed on compacted clayey silt samples upon varying suctions in order to assess the influence of changes in the relative humidity conditions on the strength of unstabilized rammed earthen building materials. The results show that suction plays an important role on the strength of the material. Also the ability of the Belgian clayey silt to develop sufficient mechanical strength to be used as an unstabilized earthen construction material is demonstrated whatever the relative humidity conditions, excepted the fully water saturated state. The experimental data are interpreted in the context of unsaturated soil mechanics using the generalized effective stress concept. This constitutive framework allows defining a unified failure criterion predicting the strength of the earthen building material as a function of the environmental hygroscopic conditions.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
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