Abstract

Research into low-cost housing solutions, especially for low- and middle-income countries, has grown in recent years. Greater use of natural materials, both mineral and bio-based, offers opportunities for more affordable and sustainable materials and products. In the low and middle income countries, residential buildings are too expensive for most people due to the use of the concrete in buildings. Utilisation of agricultural wastes can serve a threefold purpose: (i) minimise the impact of construction products on the environment, (ii) reduce waste, and (iii) decrease the cost. The aim of this study was to investigate fibres and stalks from the sorghum plant as potential additives in low-cost brick production. Analysis of the sorghum fibres and stalks has included microstructural examination using a scanning electron microscope and mercury intrusion porosimetry, together with tensile strength testing of fibres. Fibres and stalks did not undergo chemical pre-treatment. Sorghum stalks and fibres were found to have comparable tensile strength to fibres currently used for brick production, and the methods used to prepare stalks were not found to adversely affect their strengths. Consequently, this research has shown that fibres produced from local agricultural wastes have potential for use in low-cost housing such as one-storey residential load-bearing structures and buildings.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMaterials Circular Economy
Publication statusAcceptance date - 3 Sep 2021

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