Effect of moisture content on the mechanical characteristics of rammed earth

Quoc Bao Bui, Jean Claude Morel, Stéphane Hans, Peter Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

97 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, influence of moisture content on the mechanical characteristics of rammed-earth has been studied. Samples from different soils (sandy, clayey, stabilised) were manufactured and tested in unconfined compression at several moisture contents. Compressive strength, elastic modulus and Poisson's ratio were determined. A simplified method to measure the suction within rammed earth samples has been developed and validated. The variation of mechanical characteristics related to moisture content and suction are presented. This paper shows that a slight increase in the moisture content of dry rammed-earth is not followed by sudden drop in wall strength. Qualitative explanations at the nano-scale are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-169
Number of pages7
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Early online date17 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2014


  • Cohesion
  • Compressive strength
  • Poisson's ratio
  • Rammed earth
  • Suction
  • Young modulus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this