Prospects of using whole rice husk for the production of dense and hollow bricks
One of the main reasons for the continued increase in the deficit of affordable housing in Nigeria is the high cost of brick made from sand and ordinary Portland cement (OPC). Finding a replacement for cement to assure sustainability is crucial as the raw materials used in making cements which are naturally occurring are depleting. Rice husk was milled and sieved to reduce the size to 0.020 mm. The moisture content of the rice husk was 9.98%, bulk density was 609.61g cm-3 and the ash content was 18.74%. Rice husk was wetted for 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 and 21 h and mixed with slaked lime at the ratios of 1:1, 3:1, 2:3 and 3:2. The composite was molded in cylindrical and rectangular mold using mechanical and hydraulic press. The compressive strength (CS) (N/mm2) was tested at ages of 7, 14 and 21 days. The results show higher compressive strength in 1:1 as the bricks ages and also greater strength when wetted for 15 h. For 15 h wetting, 1:1 had CS (N/mm2) of 2.59, 6.07 and 11.23. If well optimized, rice husk can be an excellent material for brick production thereby presenting a good alternative to OPC.
Key words: Hollow bricks, dense bricks, rice husk, compressive strength, molds.