Preliminary study of the mechanical and hygrothermal properties of hemp-magnesium phosphate cements

R. Del Valle-Zermeño, J. E. Aubert, A. Laborel-Préneron, J. Formosa, J. M. Chimenos

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52 Citations (SciVal)


The use of bio-based materials in the construction field is of great interest to society and the scientific community because of its highly sustainable character. They are formed by plant fibres and a binder, usually cement, lime or pozzolanic additives. Among the new vegetable fibres used, hemp-based biomaterials have attracted great attention in the recent years due to its excellent thermal and hygroscopic properties. However, they present a very low mechanical performance, which has intensified the search for better alternatives. In this research, the use of magnesium phosphate cement (MPC) as binder with different hemp additions (8%, 12%, 16% and 20% by weight) was evaluated. Thus, a new material made of hemp and MPC (heMPC) was developed. According to the results obtained, the heMPC could be used in floor or pre-cast structural applications since it presented enhanced mechanical (σmax = 0.714 ± 0.11 MPa with a 20 wt.% of hemp content) and thermal (λD = 0.103 W · m-1 · K-1, density = 600 kg · m-3) properties with respect other lime-based hemp biomaterials. Furthermore, the material exhibited good hygroscopic properties (water absorption by capillarity). Accordingly, this preliminary study allowed opening a new research line in the use of hemp bio-composites, in which other important properties are currently under investigation. The MPC used as a binder in this study was formulated with a by-product from the MgO industry, which increases the sustainability and recyclability criteria of the material developed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-68
Number of pages7
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2016


  • Biocomposites
  • Biomaterials
  • Hemp
  • Magnesium phosphate cement
  • MgO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science


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