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Influence of particle grading on the hygromechanical properties of hypercompacted earth.

Cuccurullo, Alessia and Gallipoli, Domenico and Bruno, Agostino Walter and Augarde, Charles and Hughes, Paul and La Borderie, Christian (2020) 'Influence of particle grading on the hygromechanical properties of hypercompacted earth.', Journal of building pathology and rehabilitation., 5 (1). p. 2.


Civil engineering research is increasingly focusing on the development of sustainable and energy-efficient building materials. Among these materials, raw (unfired) earth constitutes a promising option for reducing the environmental impact of buildings over their entire service life from construction to demolition. Raw earth has been used since old times but only recently has acquired prominence in mainstream building practice. This is mainly because of the development of novel methods to enhance the mechanical, hygroscopic and durability properties of compacted earth without increasing carbon and energy footprints. In this context, the present paper studies the dependency of the strength, stiffness, moisture capacity and water durability of compacted earth on particle grading. Results indicate that the particle size distribution is a key variable in defining the hygromechanical characteristics of compacted earth. The effect of the particle size distribution on the hygromechanical properties of compacted earth may be as important as that of dry density or stabilisation. This study suggests that a fine and well-graded earth mix exhibits higher levels of strength, stiffness, moisture capacity and water durability than a coarse and poorly-graded one.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativeco, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Date accepted:09 November 2019
Date deposited:27 November 2019
Date of first online publication:23 November 2019
Date first made open access:27 November 2019

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