Optimizing mortar extrusion using poplar wood sawdust for masonry building block
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The wood industry generates some 12 million tons of waste in France, 60% of which basically stems from sawmills. The reuse of this waste in the most common construction materials (e.g., concrete) may offer a sustainable solution. In the literature, the optimization of composites formulations generally focuses on aggregates plant pretreatment regardless of classical optimization parameters and the implementation process that can afford to get a high strength composite. The work presented herein is intended to optimize the mix design of a mortar made from poplar wood by-products, without involving any pretreatment. The conventional mix design parameters (i.e., paste volume, W/C ratio) have been varied. An optimal implementation technique (i.e., extrusion) was used. The wood mortar mix designs have been optimized in order to obtain composites compliant with French standard NF EN 771-3/CN, with respect to criteria regarding both dimensional tolerance and mechanical strength for structural elements (i.e., above 8 MPa at 7 days).A mortar mix design, optimized by means of extrusion, has been used as a reference. Poplar wood particles have been introduced through substitution for the sand volume. Test results indicate that the blocks produced from two wood mortar mixes with 60 and 70% wood aggregate-for-sand substitution rates are in line with the normative requirements relative to dimensional tolerances and mechanical strength. This material compliance underscores the potential use of such blocks as load-bearing masonry elements, thus facilitating the building of structures with a limited environmental impact.
KeywordsExtrusion Sand mortars Cement-based composites Sawdust Poplar wood Buildingblocks
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The authors would like to thank the Nord-Pas de Calais Regional Council for financing this study. We are also grateful to the ASBOIS Company, BIALLAIS quarries and HOLCIM cement works in Lumbres for all their support throughout this research project.
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