Many thousands of years after its development, unburnt earth block masonry continues to offer an environmentally sustainable and cost-effective alternative to other conventional wall building materials, such as concrete blocks and clay fired bricks, in both developing and developed countries. However, earth is a brittle building material with low tensile strength, and as a consequence tensile cracks in response to external actions or restrained shrinkage are often observed. Ductility and tensile strength may be improved by adding binders or natural fibers to the soil mixture. In this technical note, initial findings of an ongoing study of the tensile characteristics of compacted earth blocks reinforced with natural fibers is reported. The pre- and postcracking characteristics of compacted earth blocks in direct tension were determined using a test procedure developed for this work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-98
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Materials in Civil Engineering
Issue number1
Early online date16 Jan 2004
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2004


  • Blocks
  • Building materials
  • Clays
  • Fiber reinforced materials
  • Tensile strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials


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