Henequen fibres for reinforcement of unfired earth blocks

Cesar Gonzalez Murillo, Peter J. Walker, Martin P. Ansell

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


Clay bricks are one of the main components of historic and contemporary construction technology. In this study soil and sand have been mixed with distilled water and henequen natural fibres to produce cylindrical samples by extrusion, trying to duplicate the industrial extrusion manufacturing process commonly used in UK brick production. This research aims to minimise the high power consumption processes involved in the manufacture of fired bricks, by utilizing unfired clay technologies. A manually powered extruder machine has demonstrated the feasibility of manufacturing various mixes of base clay and sand mixes together with henequen fibre additions. These materials were chosen because of their availability, their high potential for recycling and their low cost. Fibre additions of up to 1% by volume were made to a sand/soil mix suitable for the production of fired clay bricks. Fibre additions resulted in reductions in drying shrinkage of up to 36%, compressive strength of up to 33% and density of up to 3%. Quality of the extruded product was good in all cases and bending strength is expected to be improved by fibre additions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRenewable Resources and Plant Biotechnology
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781600210037
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006


  • Adobe bricks
  • Henequen fibre (Agave fourcroydes)
  • Natural fibre reinforced composite materials
  • Soil/sand matrices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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