Mehran University Research Journal Of Engineering &
Technology (HEC Recognized In Category "X")
Publishing Since 1982.

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Reduction of Cracking and Shrinkage in Compressed Clay Beams during Drying

Keywords: Compressed Earth Blocks, Affordable Houses, Compaction, Indigenous Clay, Drying Shrinkage and Cracks

Mehran University Research Journal of Engineering & Technology

Volume 35 ,  Issue 3



Uncontrolled evaporation of moisture from compressed clay beams can cause surface cracks, resulting in reduction of strength. This paper presents various treatments applied to clay beams during the process of casting, compacting and drying in order to curtail the possibility of cracking and to decrease percentage of drying shrinkage. Following treatments were applied to the beams during casting and drying: (i) a steel plate and double layer of plastic sheet was provided between the beam and the plank, (ii) the beam was enveloped with a propylene fabric sheet during casting and (iii) beams were covered with plastic sheet during drying. Using these treatments, the clay beams were cast and compacted at various intensities of compaction. The results show that the drying shrinkage was reduced to minimum and the cracks were curtailed. The rate of drying shrinkage was decreased depending upon the level of compaction. Thus at the higher degree of compaction, more density of clay beams was achieved, which resulted in higher degree of compressive strength in baked and unbaked state