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A combination of SEM and EDX studies on a clay-based natural composite with animal fibre and its mechanical implications

Bradley, Fiona and Galan-Marin, Carmen and Rivera-Gomez, C (2012) A combination of SEM and EDX studies on a clay-based natural composite with animal fibre and its mechanical implications. In: EECM15, 2012-06-24 - 2012-06-28.

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Abstract

A variety of natural fibres are nowadays being utilized as soil reinforcement. Test results demonstrate the positive effects of adding natural fibres to soils, in that they decrease shrinkage, reduce curing time and enhance compressive, flexural and shear strength if an optimum reinforcement ratio can be utilised. This paper describes a study which uses a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and an Energy Diffraction Analysis of X-rays (EDX) technique on clay-based composites stabilized with natural polymer and fibres. Different dosages of fibres and several types of soils have been used in this study with the aim of determining advantageous properties for building material applications. SEM and EDX test results reveal the degree of bonding between the particles of soil and the natural fibers. This has enabled a better understanding of the micro-morphology of the natural fibers and their effect on the overall composite material structure. Microscopic analysis was combined with mechanical tests to establish the different strength characteristics of every soil.