Strength and Fracture of Earth-Based and Natural Fiber-Reinforced Composites
This study examined the mechanical properties of earth-based materials that are relevant to the future development of affordable housing. Earthcrete structures were produced by mixing various proportions of laterites, clay and cement, while natural fibre-reinforced composites were produced by mixing earth-based matrices with natural fibre (Straw). Mechanical testing showed that optimum performance of the various samples was obtained at a fibre content of 20% by volume, with compressive strength values of about 2.91 MPa, flexural strength values of about 34.4 MPa and fracture toughness in the range of 1.40 – 1.50 MPa. The results indicate that the mechanical performance of the composites being studied is in line with those in prior studies on natural fiber-reinforced cementious matrix composites.