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Predicting the effect of crushed brick particle size on anisotropy, physical and mechanical properties of compressed stabilized earth blocks using ultrasonic pulse velocity


An attempt has been made to assess the quality of compressed stabilized earth blocks (CSEBs) through non-destructive testing. As a potential approach, this study analyzes the influence of crushed brick waste (CBW) particle size and replacement ratio on compressive strength and structural anisotropy of CSEBs using ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV). The correlations between UPV measurements, dry density and the compressive strength were analyzed. Furthermore, microscopic observations were undertaken to emphasize the particle interface bonding. A statistical analysis was then conducted to predict the compressive strength in terms of CBW content, dry density and anisotropy for three types of CBW. The results manifest that UPV is a complementary method to evaluate the influence of particle size on mechanical performance of CSEB. Irrespective of CBW particle size, the block compressive strength decreases as the replacement percentage reaches to 100% which is well spotted by UPV values. The effect of removal of fines has hardly any influence on UPV readings. Block density reduces by almost 25.5% compared to reference, when sand was completely replaced with CBW of particle size less than 0.15 mm. CBW particle size affects the relation between strength and UPV in different ways. However, a significant exponential correlation 0.94 was found for CSEBs produced with CBW particle size lesser than 0.15 mm. For the three types of CBW a strong correlation between dry density and UPV was established. SEM analysis showed distinct morphology of CSEBs with CBW particle size and replacement ratio. The proposed equation can predict the compressive strength with correlation coefficient (R2) of 0.87, 0.95 and 0.95 for CF, CM and CL blocks.

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The authors would like to thank National Institute of Technology Agartala for their support during the experimental program. Also the authors gratefully acknowledge the Central Instrumentation Center, Tripura University for SEM analysis.


This work was supported by Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Grant no. EEQ/2017/000001, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

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Kasinikota Pardhasaradhi: Investigation, Methodology, Formal analysis, Validation, Writing – original draft. Deb Dulal Tripura: Conceptualization, Visualization, Supervision, Resources, Writing—review & editing.

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Correspondence to Pardhasaradhi Kasinikota.

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Kasinikota, P., Tripura, D.D. Predicting the effect of crushed brick particle size on anisotropy, physical and mechanical properties of compressed stabilized earth blocks using ultrasonic pulse velocity. Mater Struct 54, 112 (2021).

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  • Compressed stabilized earth block
  • Particle size
  • Crushed brick waste
  • Ultrasonic pulse velocity
  • Anisotropy