This study is on “comparing the strength of blocks made from: cement stabilized laterite blocks, cement stabilized red earth blocks and sand, red earth and laterite blocks and mud blocks dried in the kiln. This project implements the following analysis: To effect reduction to the rise in market price of sand (fine aggregate), cement blocks to substitute literate blocks. To determine the strength of the cement stabilized blocks of literate soil in the soil laboratory with a view to have an alternative in the building industry. To analyse the existing laterite soil and evaluate its suitability for use as a good building material by means of various tests.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
This project was obligated to present in one volume of the fundamental and practical information in the field of comparing the strength of blocks made from: cement and laterite soil, cement and red earth and sand, red earth and lateritic soil and mud blocks fired in the kiln which may be useful to people involved in civil and structural engineering and particularly those that found pleasure in the design and construction of buildings, bridges and culverts and related structures.
Due to high cost of sand in the market, the comparative analysis of stabilized laterite blocks, red earth blocks and sand blocks have revealed that one can definitely substitute the stabilized laterite blocks and mud blocks in place of sand blocks to reduce the cost of the entire building or used stabilized laterite blocks where there are no sand in such an area where the work is going to be sited. A great have been done throughout this work, although it is limited in scope to assess their suitability as standard concrete aggregates.
Observation has shown that many ancient buildings in Nigeria are made of clay works, presently still in existence and usable while a number of sandcrete block- made buildings have collapsed even before attaining their limit states. The fact remains that besides other factors that contribute to collapse of structures, material is a very key one that cannot be discountenanced. Sandcrete blocks seem to be an improvement over the clay bricks by cost and other factors, but does it really perfectly substitute the gradually fading clay block? Also, the frequent failure of buildings in Nigeria is a concern to all stakeholders. In the past, incessant building failures have been reported resulting in the loss of lives and properties in Nigeria (Fakereet al, 2012; Oyekan & M., 2008). With this horrendous occurrence comes the need to review building materials (basically building blocks). Cost also is one of the major factors in construction that make people resign to use of spurious materials if at all they are determined to build. It therefore means that the review of materials such that a low-cost one be prescribed for users even without compromising standards is going to be a resourceful venture. Also, the need for locally manufactured building materials has been emphasized in many countries of the world. There is imbalance between the expensive conventional building materials coupled with depletion of traditional building materials. To address this situation, attention has been focused on low-cost alternative building materials (Agbede and Manasseh, 2008).
The composition of a sandcrete block is usually (1:6) mix of cement and sand moistened with water and allowed to dry naturally (Anosike andOyebande, 2012). It is a composite material made up of cement, sand and water, moulded into different sizes (NIS 87, 2000). Sandcrete blocks are the commonest and most popular masonry walling units in Nigeria. The most essential and expensive constituent of the block is cement; to minimize cost and maximize profit, commercial producers of these blocks reduce the quantity of cement needed to give acceptable quality required by various standards. (Okafor andEwa, 2012), Sandcrete blocks are the most widely used walling unit in Nigeria; accounting for 90% of houses (Baidenand Tuili, 2004). The Nigerian Industrial Standard (NIS 87, 2000), provide the range of minimum comparative strength of sandcrete blocks between 2.5N/mm2 and 3.45N/mm2.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Improper use of these blocks leads to micro cracks on the wall after construction (Anosike and Oyebande, 2012; Baidenand Tuili, 2004). Clients in Nigeria who engage in building either buy their blocks in commercial quantity or mould the blocks themselves. This is because of the fear of the poor quality of sandcrete blocks that has taken over the Nigerian building- material markets.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The objective of this study is to compare the strength as blocks made from cement and lateritic soil, cement and red earth, laterite, sand and red earth.
1.4 Significance of the Study
This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other study.
1.5 Scope of the Study
This study is on comparing the strength as blocks made from cement and lateritic soil, cement and red earth, laterite, sand and red earth.
1.6 Limitations of the study
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
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