Development of fibre-based soil–cement block with low thermal conductivity
The development of a new type of soil–cement block using coconut coir with low thermal conductivity is the main purpose of this study. Various mixture ratios were considered and five specimens per sample were fabricated using local hand-made manufacturing process widely used in the country. Investigation was limited to the specimens' thermal conductivity, compressive strength, weight and bulk density. It was concluded that the use of coconut fibre as an admixture can reduce the block thermal conductivity and weight. The optimum volume ratio of soil:cement:sand to produce good properties is 5.75:1.25:2. The ratio of coconut coir is 20% of cement corresponding to 0.8 kg/block. The average specimen properties are as follows: thermal conductivity of 0.6510 W/m K, compressive strength of 39.55 kg/cm2, weight of 4.85 kg and bulk density of 1586.77 kg/m3. When compared to commercial soil–cement block, the corresponding decrease of thermal conductivity and weight are fairly significant, 54% and 750 g, respectively. Therefore, commercial development is highly promising.