Jute Fiber Reinforced Compressed Earth Bricks (FR-CEB) – A Sustainable Solution

Muhammad Azhar Saleem, Safeer Abbas, Mujtaba Haider


Compressed earth bricks can play an important role in rural housing industry especially in the developing countries. To strengthen these bricks, the use of fibers is a functional and economical option. This research aims to reinforce the compressed earth brick with jute fibers in order to investigate the effect of these fibers on their compressive strength. Bricks were cast in the laboratory in similar fashion as adopted in an industrial brick fabricating plant; however, compression was applied using a compression machine. Different proportions of water and jute were added in the soil for fabricating the standard size bricks (9×4.5×3 inches). After 28 days of sun drying, the compressive strength tests were performed on the brick specimens. The result showed improved strength behavior due to jute fiber addition. Up to 2.75 times increase in compressive strength was achieved with jute fiber compared to that of bricks without fibers. Moreover, cost comparison between un-burnt fiber-reinforced bricks, un-burnt bricks without fibers and burnt bricks without fibers was also carried out in order to demonstrate the potential applicability of un-burnt fiber-reinforced compressed earth bricks in the remote areas. The results demonstrate that the compressed earth bricks incorporating jute fibers dramatically increased the strength and can prove to be more sustainable than conventional mud homes.

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