• Optimum compressive strength of hardened sandcrete building blocks with steel chips

      Omoregie, Alohan; University of Bolton (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI), 2013-02)
      The recycling of steel chips into an environmentally friendly, responsive, and profitable commodity in the manufacturing and construction industries is a huge and difficult challenge. Several strategies designed for the management and processing of this waste in developed countries have been largely unsuccessful in developing countries mainly due to its capital-intensive nature. To this end, this investigation attempts to provide an alternative solution to the recycling of this material by maximizing its utility value in the building construction industry. This is to establish their influence on the compressive strength of sandcrete hollow blocks and solid cubes with the aim of specifying the range percent of steel chips for the sandcrete optimum compressive strength value. This is particularly important for developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and even Latin America where most sandcrete blocks exhibit compressive strengths far below standard requirements. Percentages of steel chips relative to the weight of cement were varied and blended with the sand in an attempt to improve the sand grading parameters. The steel chips variations were one, two, three, four, five, ten and fifteen percent respectively. It was confirmed that the grading parameters were improved and there were significant increases in the compressive strength of the blocks and cube samples. The greatest improvement was noticed at four percent steel chips and sand combination. Using the plotted profile, the margin of steel chips additions for the optimum compressive strength was also established. It is recommended that steel chip sandcrete blocks are suitable for both internal load bearing, and non-load bearing walls, in areas where they are not subjected to moisture ingress. However, for external walls, and in areas where they are liable to moisture attack after laying, the surfaces should be well rendered. Below ground level, the surfaces should be coated with a water proofing agent like bitumen and cement containing waterproofing agents be used in the manufacture, laying, and rendering of steel chip sandcrete blocks.