October 8, 2010
Spanish and Scottish researchers have added wool fiber to the clay material used to make bricks and combined these with an alginate, a natural polymer extracted from seaweed. The result is a stronger more environmentally friendly brick, according to the study published recently in the journal Construction and Building Materials.
"The objective was to produce bricks reinforced with wool and to obtain a composite that was more sustainable and non-toxic using abundant local materials and that would mechanically improve the bricks' strength," said Carmen Galán and Carlos Rivera, authors of the study.
The mechanical tests carried out showed the compound to be 37-percent stronger than other bricks made using unfired stabilized earth.
This piece of research is one of the initiatives involved in efforts to promote the development of increasingly sustainable construction materials. These kinds of bricks can be manufactured without firing, which contributes to energy savings.
According to the authors, "This is a more sustainable and healthy alternative to conventional building materials such as baked earth bricks and concrete blocks."
Reprinted in part from esciencenews.com