Development of a self-compacted clay based concrete - rheological, mechanical and environmental investigations
Without transport needs and infinite recycling possibilities, earth is one of the building materials with the lowest environmental impact, but its development is hindered by construction time with conventional earth construction technique. The objective of this study is to transfer technology from cement and concrete in earth construction in order to improve earth materials by providing a material that is as easy and cheap to use as current concrete products: a Self-Compacted Clay based Concrete (SCCC). This technology transfer can be done as both materials have analogies in terms of physics. Rheological and mechanical measurements performed in earth materials containing polymers and a cementitious binder show that it is possible to obtain a new earth material enough fluid to be poured in a formwork and getting a sufficient strength to be demoulded at early age. Furthermore, we show that its carbon footprint is competitive compared to the concrete block. As a conclusion, on one hand cement based construction is the mainstream construction technique but has a large environmental load. On the other hand, renowned architects are promoting earthen architecture but can’t increase its use due to construction costs. This new building material can loosen current constraints and open new possibilities for a fast, cost efficient and sustainable earth construction.