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Durability and hygroscopic behaviour of biopolymer stabilised earthen construction materials.

Muguda, S. and Lucas, G. and Hughes, P.N. and Augarde, C.E. and Perlot, C. and Bruno, A.W. and Gallipoli, D. (2020) 'Durability and hygroscopic behaviour of biopolymer stabilised earthen construction materials.', Construction and building materials., 259 . p. 119725.


Earthen construction materials are often chemically stabilised in order to improve their durability against water-induced deterioration. However, chemical stabilisers like cement can negatively affect the hygroscopic behaviour and recyclability potential of the materials they are used to stabilise. This study investigates the potential of using biopolymers (namely guar and xanthan gums) as stabilisers in earthen construction materials. These biopolymers have some advantages over cement in terms of embodied energy and carbon footprint, and are widely available around the world. Previous research has suggested that these biopolymers can provide suitable mechanical properties and here we show that in addition they can provide satisfactory durability performance and improved hygroscopic behaviour. These findings suggest that biopolymers could have significant potential to be used as stabilisers for earthen construction materials.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:© 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Date accepted:29 May 2020
Date deposited:24 June 2020
Date of first online publication:23 June 2020
Date first made open access:24 June 2020

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