Effects of untreated oil-palm fruit fibre reinforcements on the strength and durability properties of non-fired pressed mud blocks
This study investigated the effects of untreated oil palm-nut fibre reinforcements on the strength and durability properties of non-fired pressed mud blocks. Different proportions of untreated oil palm-nut fibre from 1% to 5% by weight of the blocks were incorporated into already characterized soil samples and used to produce blocks. Blocks containing 0% fibre were used as the control. The effects of the incorporated fibres were examined in terms of density, water absorption ratio, and compressive strength of the produced blocks. The water absorption of the blocks increased linearly with an increase in fibre content as the control exhibited the least water absorption of 7.9%. The density of the blocks decreased with an increase in fibre content. Block sample containing 5% fibre had the least density of 1644.44kg/m3 as compared to the control with density of 1866.66 kg/m3. The addition of untreated oil palm-nut fibre reinforcements to the block increased its compressive strength up to 3% fibre addition where the maximum strength (1.91N/mm2) was observed. Beyond 3% fibre addition, the compressive strength decreased. Results obtained indicate that untreated oil palm-nut fibre reinforced earth block is a sustainable building material. This study recommends 3% fibre addition to attain optimum strength results and dissuades the use of fibres to reinforce mud blocks in high humidity environments.