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More Sustainable Mortars and Concrete with Optimal Thermal and Mechanical Efficiency
More Sustainable Mortars and Concrete with Optimal Thermal and Mechanical Efficiency.
Researchers from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Basque Country (UPV/EHU) are studying and optimising the mechanical and thermal properties of new mortars and concrete made using industrial by-products, such as lime mud from the paper industry, brass fibres and furnace slag, with the aim of reducing the consumption of energy and natural resources and fostering the circular economy.
In Normandy where I live (not renowned for a dry climate), and in many other parts of the world, unbaked earth is used for buildings. A mixture of clay, aggregate and fibres are mixed with water to make a buildable material that is recyclable and very low carbon in the first place. I have just repaired a wall of an old house I am restoring. The difference between cement mortars and 'cob' is the time needed for the material to set up (dry). As my own experiment, I added borax to the mix to deter rot and insect degradation where wood is in contact with the cob. Interestingly, salts can have strong effects on clay rheology: I wonder who is doing research on '21st century cob'? Unfortunately, it may bee seen as too unconventional to have proper science applied to it...
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