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Use of residual powders and sisal fibers for the manufacture of concrete building blocks

Grant number: 12/21541-7
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: May 01, 2013 - April 30, 2015
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Civil Engineering - Structural Engineering
Principal Investigator:Marcio Antonio Ramalho
Grantee:Marcio Antonio Ramalho
Host Institution: Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos (EESC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Indara Soto Izquierdo


The research deals with the use of new alternative materials for sustainable construction. The use of residual powder materials, from organic residue and from sugarcane mills, and sisal fibers are good examples of unconventional materials that can be used. The residues, used as raw material, could cease to be the primary cause of problems related to public health and to the environment. As for the use of sisal fiber, it could be an important support to deprived regions that economically dependent on the production and processing of this material. Therefore, the main objective of this research is to evaluate the implementation of residual powders and sisal fibers in the production of structural masonry blocks. Three traces will be studied: 1:15, 1:10 and 1:6 (poor, medium and rich), in order to produce blocks structural strength classes of 4.5, 8 and 12 MPa respectively. Thus, for each trace employed the cement will be replaced by powder organic waste at levels of 0%, 10%, 30%, 50% and 70%, and replacement of natural sand by sugarcane bagasse ash at levels of 0 %, 30%, 50%, 70% and 100%. The study will also evaluate the incorporation of sisal fiber in concrete with length 20 mm and 1% volume fraction. Some properties will be evaluated in fresh and hardened concrete and will be analyzed the durability of fibers in alkaline medium. The goal is to obtain a unit that exhibits more suitable mechanical strength characteristics, lower cement and sand consumption, greater stiffness, ductility, and post-cracking energy absorption capacity in comparison to blocks produced with plain concrete. (AU)

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