What is it about?

This research outlines the potential of using an enzyme (TerraZyme) along with conventional stabilisers like cement and lime to improve the strength and durability of compressed stabilised earth block. The impact of enzymes of the enzyme with time has been evaluated for better reliability.

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Why is it important?

Stabilizers play an important role in improving the engineering properties of the Compressed Stabilized Earth Blocks (CSEBs). Traditional stabilizers like cement and lime have been popularly used to improve the soil used for the preparation of CSEBs. However, due to the high energy consumption in the manufacturing of conventional stabilizers, alternative sources of stabilizers are looked upon for stabilization purposes in civil engineering applications. The use of non-traditional stabilizers like polymers, ionic stabilizers and enzymatic stabilizers as an alternative to conventional stabilizers is gaining popularity. Enzymatic stabilizers are one such method that has gained popularity in the field of road construction for their simplicity in their application and good performance in improving the soil conditions. One such commercially available product, which is effectively used in road construction is Terrazyme. Terrazyme has been used in various road projects across the world and has found to be a viable low-cost non-traditional stabilizer. With these attributes, the use of Terrazyme as a stabilizer may have a beneficial role in increasing the strength of Compressed stabilized earth blocks. In this direction, an experimental programme to study the role of Terrazyme along with cement and lime on the strength and durability of CSEBs was taken up as presented in this work.

Perspectives

Use of enzymes as an additive is a new insight into the construction of earthen building materials. Enzymes have been used as superplasticizers in concrete structures, however, their positive role for the construction of earthen buildings are yet to be understood. With the addition of enzymes, the strength and durability of earthen materials can be made competitive to that of fired bricks.

Dr Sravan Muguda Viswanath
Durham University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Potential Use of Enzymes in the Preparation of Compressed Stabilized Earth Blocks, Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, September 2017, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), DOI: 10.1061/(asce)mt.1943-5533.0001947.
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