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Article Dans Une Revue Construction and Building Materials Année : 2014

Failure of rammed earth walls: from observations to quantifications


Nowadays, rammed earth construction is attracting renewed interest throughout the world thanks to its "green" characteristics in the context of sustainable development. Firstly, using a local material (soil on site or near the site), rammed earth constructions have very low embodied energy. Secondly, rammed earth houses have an attractive appearance and present advantageous living comfort due to substantial thermal inertia and the "natural regulator of moisture" of rammed earth walls. This is why several research studies have been carried out recently to study the mechanical and thermal characteristics of rammed earth. However, to our knowledge, there are not yet sufficient studies on the tensile strength and the shear strength of rammed earth. The tensile strength of rammed earth is neglected in general due to its very low value, but in extreme conditions (e.g., seismic conditions), knowing the tensile strength is necessary for structural design. Moreover, the shear strength is required in many cases to check the local failure of rammed earth quickly, which has been observed in old structures (especially those submitted to concentrated loads). This paper presents experimental results on tensile strengths and the Poisson ratio of rammed earth specimens. Local failure tests were also conducted on 1 m × 1 m × 0.3 m wallettes manufactured in the laboratory. The shear strength was then identified using a simple method based on compressive strength, tensile strength and Mohr's circle theory. The approach proposed was validated by tests on the wallettes. Finite Element (FE) modeling was also carried out to confirm the results. Last, the method presented was validated for stabilized rammed earth lintels presented in the literature.
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Dates et versions

hal-00918221 , version 1 (13-12-2013)


  • HAL Id : hal-00918221 , version 1


Tan Trung Bui, Quoc-Bao Bui, Ali Limam, Sandrine Maximilien. Failure of rammed earth walls: from observations to quantifications. Construction and Building Materials, 2014, pp.295-302. ⟨hal-00918221⟩
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