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School of Housing, Building and Planning

Name:

Muhammad Hafiz bin Ahmad

Degree:

Master of Science in Building Technology

(Research Mode)

Field of Study:

Technology in Material and Construction

Title:

Fiber Lightweight Concrete lnterlocking Block

Supervisor:

Dr. Hanizam Awang

Address:

E4911L5, School of Housing, Building and

Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia 11800,

Pulau Pinang

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Research Proposal

Topic:

F iber Lig htweig ht Concrete I nterlocki ng Block

{.0lntroduction

The scope of this proposal will be on the review of the material used for the purpose of

creating a new design of lnterlocking Block for wall system. The research will cover on the effects of several types of fiber (synthetic and natural) on the type and amount of fiber on mechanical properties of foam concrete in a density. lt will also investigate on the durability

properties of fiber foam concrete. The new design of the interlocking block and material used

will be explained in detail.

2.0 Research obiective

This experimental investigation is carried out to study the effect of different type and

percentage of fibers on the durability and mechanical properties of the fiber lightweight foam concrete. The best fiber lightweight concrete will be chosen for the new proposed design of interlocking block.

3.0 Literature review

The needs of new technology are essential as it enhance the construction industry system and technology for future generation towards greener and sustainable hi-tech system. The new construction system that is cost saving, environmental friendly and more efficient end product has got a higher demand in the market from time to time as the world is inventing new systems and technologies. The new construction industry offers new technology that

involves relatively new dynamic material and system such as the usage of lightweight

concrete, new structural panels and various types of interlocking blocks. The lndustrialized building system (1BS) is slowly absorbed by the construction industries with more hitech

systems.

lndustrialized building system (lBS) has been practiced in Malaysia since the early sixties. The promising of new systems and technologies that will leads towards better construction industries has been the catalyst for the Government of Malaysia to try the new system in construction industries. Even though the IBS new system is being relatively new that people would be reluctant to apply it, the government is working hard in promotion of IBS to ensure the use of IBS widely in Malaysia. IBS has been promising the new system that is cost saving, fast track construction, environmental friendly, usage of low skilled labor towards the

construction and of course the production of the best end product. New systems and

technologies are invented as time goes by to enhance the old system. Hence, a new system of interlocking block that will turn down the use of conventional masonry block has been

created and developed for its best.

Apart of working on green and environmental friendly technologies,

lightweight block had been designed and among them are by use of

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and aerated concrete. Lightweight foamed concrete is one of the aerated concrete to

produce a lightweight block. Lightweight foamed (or cellular) concrete is normally made from mixing stable foam to slurry of mortar. This action incorporates small-enclosed air bubbles

within the mortar thereby making it lighter and possessing special properties such as low

thermal conductivity and high fire resistance. Gas-form chemicals are mixed into cement

mortar during the plastic stage, resulting to the increasing of volume and when the gas

escapes, leaving a porous structure that form aggregates (Narayanan and Ramamurthy, 2000). Foamed concrete may have densities ranging from as low as 500kg/m3 to as high as 1600kg/m3. lt therefore has a wide range of applications such as material for wall blocks or panels, floor & roof screeds, trench reinstatement, road foundations and also void filling. lt has been highlighted by many researches that the specialties of lightweight concrete, in

comparison to the normal concrete is its low density and thermal conductivity.

Nowadays, quite a large number of researches have been conducted to enhance the

effectiveness of lightweight concrete for building material. As for example, fiber lightweight concrete is one of the approaches that have been increasing in recent years. Knowledge of fiber use in cement composite, mechanisms of mechanical behavior and insulating behavior has increased substantially. Many research papers indicated various advantages of fiber in

cement composites (Raju ef. al, 1977) also found that the cube compressive strength of

concrete increased linearly with the addition of fibers. Normal concrete reinforced with less

than 2o/o of volume content of steel fibres provides better properties compared to normal concrete, especially the improvement of toughness (Chen and Liu, 2005). lt was also

reported by Sanjuan and Moragues (1997) that shrinkage and differential settlement can be inhibited or prevented effectively by using fiber reinforcement. Similarly applied to foamed

concrete it is hoped that the fiber would contribute to the load carrying capacity of the

material by shear deformation at the fiber - matrix interface thereby contributing to increased

strength.

There are two known possible source of fibers which are from synthetics and natural

resources. Both have its advantages in the matrix proportioning of cement composites.

Synthetic fibers are man-made fibers from researches and developments of textile industries.

It was first reported to be a component of construction materials in 1965. The types of fibers that have been tried in Portland cement concrete based are: acrylic, aramid, carbon, nylon,

polyester, polyethylene and polypropylene. Thus, the use of synthetic fiber reinforced

concrete is cunently exists worldwide due to its promising feature of optimizing durability and mechanical properties of the concrete. Moreover, it is proven that synthetic fibers helped to improve the post peak ductility performance, pre-crack tensile strength, and impact strength

and eliminate temperature and shrinkage cracks (Brown et. al,2OOZ).

In comparison of synthetic fibers, natural fibers are believed to be more environmental

friendly. That is why they are cunently getting a lot of attention for replacing synthetic fibers (Thielemants and Wool, 2004).lt has been stated that natural fibers have many advantages such as they have low density, recyclable and biodegradable compared to the synthetic fibers (Hatta and Akmar, 2008). Even if compressive and tensile strength of natural fibers concretes are slightly lower than the control concrete mix, their deformation behavior shows

improvement in ductility and reduced shrinkage (Ramaswamy et. al 1

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Besides that, natural fiber exhibit many advantages properties and offer significant reduction

on the cost and benefit associated with processing compared to synthetic fiber (Toledo et al.,

2003; Asasutjarit et al., 2007). Some investigations have been carried out on the properties of concrete using natural fibers from coconut coir, sugar cane, bamboo, jute, elephant grass, akwata and sisal. These investigations have shown encouraging results. Each fiber used will

have different results of properties as shown in the Table 1.

Table 1: Comparison of fiber types and properties

Cornparison of Fiber Types and Propertles

Fiber Type

Dianreter.

Specific

.001 in.

Gravity

E. ksi x1000

Steel

High Tensile

4.40

?o t.9

Stainless

4-13

7.8

Glars

Folymeric

Polypropyiene

Polyethylene

Polyester

,4-.5

2.r2 7

20.160

0.9

1.40

.1 t

0.96

13S

10

23.2

10.44-1 1.fi

NC

,775-25

,r,tEctr

Amarid

Asbeslos

Carbon

,4-,47

,0008-1.2

1.44 9.17

2,F3.4

1.9

')t

o

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Z.LT.LFI.U.EI

{

33.+55.1

Nalural

\iiood cellulose

$isal

Coir (Coaonull

o,t?

og

4-1fi

1,5

1.12-1,15

1.4S-5,8

1,89-3.77

2,76-3,77

Bamboo

2-16

15

4,79.5.8

Jule

4-8

1 02-1,04

3.7-4,64

Akwata

40.1 00

0.s0

076.46C

Elephant Grass

17

,716

Source: Ben Davis & Kurtis, (2007)

Tensile

Strain at

Slrength" ksi

Failure. t$

50-250

300

360-500

3.5

3

3.44.8

80-1 10

29-435

80-170

5?5

29-500

260-390

44-131

41.82

17-29

51-73

36-51

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Pusat Penqajian

Study on the effect of compressive strength of normal concrete has been done by

Ramaswamy et. al(1983). They stated that vegetable fiber concretes exhibited substantially

lower shrinkage compared to plain concrete mixes, while in the view of mechanical

properties, vegetable fibers had been proven to have no effecl of increasing the value. The

mechanical properties are mostly remains the same or slightly decrease compared to normal

concrete mix. Coir Fiber has almost the same compressive strength with the control mix

compared to Bamboo and Jute Fibers which the compressive strength are slightly lower than the control mix. Figure 1 shows the cube compressive strength of three fibers which are Jute, Coir and Bamboo with Plain concrete mix as the reference increasing by age in weeks.

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Figure 1. Cube compressive strength (kg/cm2)/Age in weeks

Source: Ramaswamy et al(1983)

lnterlocking block concept has been used in various types since the sixties. Apart of that,

many have come with new designs that will overcome the existing designated block

problems. However, the overall behavior and characteristics of the system is still not very well understood. ln the side of cost savings, it has beaten the conventional masonry systems

using mortar as it has the ability to stick against each other without using mortars. This saves

a considerable amount of cements usage as the adhesive material for masonry construction as the base course will still need cements course to stick the blocks up with the base. As for the other advantages such as self-alignment, it has been helpful in terms of time saving and

hence, leads to the cost saving during the construction process. The installation of this

interlocking block is also needs no high-skilled labor to construct and no high-skilled cement

for the base course

cement adhesive). Figure 2 shows the current design in market that have been

masonry labor needed during the construction process (needs

only

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Figure 2: Existing design of lnterlocking block systems for wall structure

The concept of interlocking block is a mortar less masonry system which has the capability of

self-aligning in all directions (depends on the design). lnterlocking block systems have come

with many types of design to overcome the disadvantages of the old interlocking block

design. The focus of the designated interlock is to get the most efficient effect on alignment

without the needs of high-skilled masons. The interlocking system works in a way to enhance

the effectiveness of the masonry with self alignment and the elimination of mortar layers. Two experimental test set-ups are proposed to evaluate the contact behavior of dry joints, considering the geometric imperfections in the contacting faces. The results show that the contact behavior of a dry joint is highly affected by geometric imperfections in the block bed

(Jaafar et. al20QG). More tests have shown that both single and multiple joints of interlocking

resulted in irregularity and roughness problems that lead to the contact behavior problems.

More problems occurred on multiple-joints in the test compared to single-joint.

Various design of blocks for wall such as the CSR Autoclaved Aerated Concrete Block (CSR

AAC Block) and Lightweight Ready Block has been used widely in the construction field.

However, these blocks are not an interlocking block but still in the use of the lightweight concrete. Table 2 shows the mechanical properties of the CSR AAC Block and Figure 3

shows the dimension and the design of the block. The compressive strength of the CSR AAC

Block with the working density range of 650 to 910 kg/m3 is 3 to 5 Mpa, (CSR AAC Malaysia Copyright, 2010-2011). This will be the control range of compressive strength for the new

proposed design interlocking block.

Table 2: CSR Block properties

Length x I'leight

Thickness Compressive Strength

Ultirnate Tensile Strength

\#orking Density

of

T

i

-i-

density range 650 to 910kg/m3

100 - 200mrn

0.44 - 0.55 MPa

Disahkan bahawa dokumen ini aclalah

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Figure 3: The dimemion and deslqn of the CSR AAC Btock

source: Copy ght CSR MC Malays a @ w.6raac-msia com my (2010'201 1)

Many pEdlclions oi co.crete blocks. eirher nomal or lightweight 6ncte had been

desig.ed and prcdLed However. noi much stldy has bee. conducted to produce the

nier ocking block system lslnq lighlweight @ncele w h the best and eifective des gn

This pbbem has @me into accolnt and ihe soution is io @me up with a singte-joint

nt€rocking

with lhe abilty oJ interlocking ln vanous degrees aithout the needs of castino

lsing the

halfblocks tor a 90 degroe wll conslruction. A new design witt be proposed

lighMeighl @ncr€le fiih libe. in this rcseaEh to overcome the pmbtem o@uF in previous

design lo e.hane the usage ol the inbnocking block The new prcpo*d design witl be

explained nore in delail in the melhodology seci on

h the eadier publications, iew researches on perJofran@ oi inie.ockins btock svsien bv lsng concete have been conducled snd reponed. Horever, iherc have been no speciiic

slLdies

lhal have been locusino on lhe behavior of shrink.ge ot tghMeight ntedocking

prcpedies ot ihe lightweight concrete in ditrercnl tibe6 and epta@ments lsd

block -lhe

willb€ studied with vaious fibe6 a€ taken into amount which wit be the best end omdlcr

The cha.aclerislie ol loam .onc€r€ which consisls of entrained @ment pasle and high

amou.l ol vo d @nlenls @uld end up with various types of lai uFs. Not only the strength lhal

wil be affected but also the way the haledal fails. Lack of aggregates and etativety high

emenl.ontenl rcsulled in hiah shnnkage and the delomaiion of end pbduct. However, the

use of vaaous tps of nbe6 has been prove. to r€d!€ the shnnkage behavior But it is noliced that lhe€ have been lack oi rcsearch erned oul to 3h@ the etfectteness ol libeE on bolh protein and synlhetic loams towards rhe mechani@l prcpentes and duBbitity ot the iightweiqht @nc€le. Ihese propenl€s are essental for ihe end pmdud elperiatty for the

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seomet ic imperreclion or lhe inbnocking blocns (proposed producl). TheEiore, the SEi Eg"!rd'k;s':1j

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will be focused on the shrinkage behavior and both mechanical properties and durability of

the lightweight concrete with the best fibers chosen for the mix.

4.0 Obiectives of the research

The main objective of the research is to investigate the effects of fibers (synthetic and

naturat) on the type and amount of fiber affecting the shrinkage behavior of foam concrete of different replacements for interlocking blocks and both mechanical properties and durability of the lightweight concrete are still taken into account. To be specific, the main objectives

are:

1. To investigate the effect of fibers on the physical and mechanical properties of fiber

foamed concrete.

2. To investigate the contribution of fibers as additive in lightweight concrete towards

durability.

3. To identify the most suitable type and percentage of fiber that can contribute to optimum result.

4. To come up with a new proposed design of interlocking block to enhance the usage of

interlocking block as the building material.

5.0 The importance and the benefits of the research

The advantage of using interlocking block system is it requires no cement paste for adhesive

purpose. This has saves up big amount of cement used for construction that leads to greener

and sustainable product. The interlocking blocks are also self-aligned which will save the construction time hence, saves construction cost. There is no need of high-skilled masons

during construction process (only for the base course). With the flexibility production of

interlocking block that can be produced in a small or large scale, the production can be

controlled for prevention waste product. Type of building or structure that are suitable for the interlocking block systems:

1. Commercial types of building for wall of single or double storey buildings for exterior or

interior wall.

2. High rise building for wall system exterior or interior bearing wall.

3. Basement foundation or load bearing wall.

4. Suitable for a fast track construction maybe for catastrophe victims.

6.0 Research illethodoloov

Disahkan

sarinan

The methodology to be used in this research will be by examination and analysis, material sampling and physical testing to determine the specific properties for material i.e normal

foamed concrete and foamed concrete with both synthetic and natural fiber. All the infill

materials to be used are produced locally.

ln order to maximize the effectiveness of the interlocking block system, fibers of both

synthetic and natural wlll be used as additive in the mixing of the lightweight foam concrete.

Various types of fibers (natural and synthetic) will be examined in this research that would be

the Bamboo fiber, Sugarcane fiber, Jute fiber, Polypropylene fiber and the Glass fiber to

determine its advantages towards mechanical properties and durability especially. Three

types of percentage of fibers will be used as additive for each fiber in a mix.

The properties of fiber reinforced concrete are affected by a large number of factors such as the type, geometry, form, surface of the fibers and more. One of the major factor is stated to be the mix proportioning. lt is very important to determine the best fiber content as additive in

the lightweight concrete mix in order to get the best result. Three percentages of fiber

additives have been determined and divided to three stages which are the low, medium and

highest percentage.

Low percentage of fibers for additive (around 0.1Vo) has been proven effective towards durability as low volumetric fractions (VF) of short fibers has been described as the best

measure for controlling concrete cracking (Barluenga and Hernandez-Olivarez, 2OA7). At

medium percentage (around 0.25Yo) is tested to determine effects of fiber additive in average

between the least and optimum percentage. ln addition, the percentage of fiber that shown

optimum result in fiber additive would be around 0.5% according to (Ramaswamy et. al,

1983) as they optimize the result in physical and mechanical properties of concrete.

As for density, 1000kg/m3 is chosen as the density of the lightweight concrete which is

necessarily capable of filling the requirement in compressive strength in construction field for concrete block of wall structure. The range of compressive strength of concrete blocks for

commercial purpose varies almost between 3 - 10 N/mm2 that the densities too vary

between 650 - 1400 kg/m3 (ln variation of lightweight concrete blocks densities).

As for the new proposed design of interlocking block, it has been analyzed to overcome the previous current design available in the market. Figure 4 illustrates clearly the design and

dimension of the new proposed design of interlocking block.

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7.0 Prosram of Work

There are several stages of this research to achieve the above objectives:

Staqe 1: Literature review

Study on various types of possible materials and ways to overcome current issues on

durability and mechanical properties.

Stage 2: Laboratorv works

1. Obtaining 5 materials of fibers.

2. lmmersion of fibers in alkaline medium.

3. Mixing materials i.e, normal foamed concrete and foamed concrete with natural

and synthetic fiber.

4. Testing of samples on mechanical properties: compressive test, flexural test. For

durability: shrinkage test, water absorption test and thermal test.

5. Mix design parameters using computer spreadsheets and trial mixes, placing

methods in foam concrete floor by gravity; in-situ test for semi dry foam concrete.

6. Casting interlocking block

7. Testing the system on thermal and structural

Staqe 3: Data Analvsis and Write-up

Tabling of results & analysis (Table 3 shows detail on design mix that will be use as material for casting interlocking block).

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Table 3:

NUMBER

OF MIX

Mix {

FIBER

Normal Foamed concrete

Mix

2

Foamed

concrete

with bamboo

fiber as additive

Mix

3

Foamed

concrete

with bamboo

fiber as additive

ilix 4

Foamed

concrete

with bamboo

fiber as additive

Mix

5

Foamed concrete with sugarcane fiber as additive

Mix

6

Foamed concrete with sugarcane fiber as additive

Mix

7

Foamed concrete with sugarcane fiber as additive

illix 8

Mix 9

Foamed

concrete

with jute fiber as additive

Foamed

concrete

with jute fiber as additive

Mix

10

Foamed concrete with jute fiber as additive

Mix

11

Foamed

concrete

with glass

fiber as additive

Mix

12

Foamed

concrete

with glass

fiber as additive

Mix

13

Foamed

concrete

with glass

fiber as additive

Mix

{4

Foamed concrete with polypropylene additive

fiber as

Mix

15

Foamed concrete with polypropylene fiber as additive

Itlix 16

Foamed concrete with polypropylene fiber as additive

PERCENTAGE

lY"l

DENSITY

(Ks/m3)

1000

0.10

1000

0.25

1000

0.50

1000

0.15

1000

0.20

1000

0.50

1000

0.10

1000

0.25

1000

0.50

1000

0.10

1000

0.25

1000

0.50

1000

0.15

1000

0.25

1000

trusal

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9.0 Gonclusion

As the conclusion of the studies, it is hoped that the best fiber foam concrete for the end product can be produced towards greener and sustainable product of building material and

the new design of interlocking system using lightweight concrete will be certified and used for

construction industries in Malaysia.

10.0 References

1. Barfuenga, G., Hernandez-Olivares, F. (2007). Cement and Concrete Research,

37 :1624-1638.

2. Beaudoin J.J (1982), CBD-223. Fiber-Reinforced Concrete, Canadian Building

Digest 1.
3.

4. Brown, R., Shukla, A. and Natarajan, K.R., (2002), Fiber Reinforcement of

Ben Davis and Dr. Kurtis

(2007\. CEE-8813,

Natural Fiber Reinforced Concrete.

Concrete Structures. URITC PROJECT NO. 536101.

5. Jaafar, M.S., Alwathaf, A.H, Thanoon, W.A, Noorzaei, J., AbdulKadir, M.R.

(2006). Behaviour of lnterlocking Mortarless Block
6.

Masonry.

Narayanan, N. And Ramamurthy, K (2000). Structure and properties of aerated

concrete: a review, Cement and Concrete

Composites, 22:321-329.

7. Nasrul Hatta, NairulAkmar (2008). Mechanical Properties of

P o ly stre ne/P o ly p ro py I e n e Re info rced Coco n ut a n d J ute F i b e rs.

8. Ramamurthy, K., Kunhanandan Nambiar, E. K., & lndu Siva Ranjani, G. (2009).

A classification of sfudies on properties of foam concrete. Cement and Concrete

Composite.

31(6) : 388-396.

9. Ramaswamy, H.S, Ahuja, B.M and Krishnamoorthy, S. (1983). Behaviour of Concrete Reinforced With Jute, Coir and Bamboo Fibres.

10. Romildo Dias Toledo Filho, Kuruvilla Joseph, Khosrow Ghavami and George

Leslie England (1999). The Use of Sisa/ Fibers As Reinforcement ln Cement

Based Composites.

11. Raju,N.K., Basavarajaiah, B.S. and Rao, K.J. (1977). lndian Concr. J. 51(6) :

183.

12. Chen, B. and Liu, J. (2005). Contibution of hybrid fibers on the properties of the

high-strength lightweight concrete having good wo*ability, Cement and

Concrete Research, 35: 913 - 917.

13. Sanju6n, M.A and Moragues, A (1997) , Polypropylene-fibre-reinforced

mortar

mxes; optimization to control plastic shrinkage, Composites Sciene,e and

Technology, ST : lssue 6, 655-660.

14. Thielemants, W. And Wool, R.P., (20041. Butyrated Kraft lignin as compatibilizing

agent for natural fiber reinforced thermoset composites. Compos. Part A: Applied

Sci. Manuf. 35 : 327-338. DOI: 10.1016/j.compositesa.2003.09.01 1.

Disahkan bahawa dokumen ini adalah