Durability studies on lightweight plaster and straw fiber based material for building thermal insulation
In this paper, the impact of freezing-thawing and wetting-drying cycles on the thermal and mechanical properties of a new straw-based composite is investigated. The material specimens used for accelerated aging were manufactured with two straw types: wheat and barley. The binder selected for the study was gypsum plaster. Only the optimized mixture was used to perform the accelerated aging tests. The durability of the insulation material was evaluated with accelerated aging through wetting-drying and freezing-thawing cycles in order to reproduce the environmental conditions of outdoor use. The non-aged specimens were characterized after constant curing conditions of temperature and humidity for one, three, and six months. Comparison of the results indicates that freezing-thawing cycles have only a slight effect on the thermo-mechanical behavior of the straw-based composite compared with drying-wetting cycles.