Unfired Green Bricks with a Difference.

What do you get when you cross wool, seaweed and clay bricks? A salty furry brick of the future! Sounds more like the dark ages, Maybe not.

In an effort to promote locally sourced building materials & sustainable building, a team of Spanish and Scottish scientists have combined wool fibers and seaweed to produce a composite, sustainable, non-toxic environmentally friendly brick..

Composite Unfired Earth Bricks

The team added wool fibers as well as alginate – a natural polymer found in the cell walls of seaweed – to clay, creating a brick that is 37 percent stronger compared to traditional bricks made using unfired stabilized earth.

“The objective was to produce bricks reinforced with wool and to obtain a composite that was more sustainable, nontoxic, using abundant local materials and that would mechanically improve the bricks’ strength”, said Carmen Galan and Carlos Rivera, researchers at the schools of architecture in the universities of Seville in Spain and Strathclyde in Glasgow, Britain.

They analyzed the impact of strengthening different soil types with sheep’s wool and identified numerous advantages in integrating wool with clay to form compressed bricks.

“These fibers improve the strength of compressed bricks, reduce the formation of fissures and deformities as a result of contraction, reduce drying time and increase the bricks’ resistance to flexion,” they concluded.

The new brick can be manufactured without firing, which results not only in energy savings, but also makes it a sustainable alternative to conventional building materials such as baked earth bricks and concrete blocks.

The findings were recently published in the journal Construction and Building Materials.

How are Clay Bricks Made?

Tags: Brick, Building Materials, Green Brick, Sustainable Building

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