(1) Associate Professor, E-mail: venkat@civil.iisc.ernet.in (corresponding author)

(2) Research Scholar, E-mail: pras_ajsh@yahoo.com

Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012, INDIA


Rammed earth is a monolithic solid wall formed by compacting processed soil in progressive layers. It is an energy efficient technique finding applications in load bearing walls. This paper presents the results of an experimental investigation dealing with compressive strength and elastic properties of cement stabilised rammed earth, and cement stabilised rammed earth brick (REB) masonry. Compressive strength and stress-strain characteristics of cement stabilised rammed earth in dry and saturated condition were evaluated and compared with the properties of REB masonry. Results indicate that the compressive strength of cement stabilised rammed earth and the stabilised REB masonry is sensitive to the moisture content of the specimen at the time of testing. The wet strength is about 60% of dry strength. Rammed earth shows 20-30% higher compressive strength when compared to the strength of REB masonry. Rammed earth specimens show shear failure as opposed to vertical splitting cracks in masonry. Cement stabilised rammed earth shows large strain bearing capacity (1.5-2%) or ductile post peak response as compared with any of the brittle materials like burnt clay brick, concrete, etc.