Mechanical behaviour of hypercompacted earth for building construction

Agostino Walter Bruno*, Domenico Gallipoli, Céline Perlot, Joao Mendes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates the mechanical behaviour of a hypercompacted unstabilized earth material manufactured by compressing a moist soil to very high pressures up to 100 MPa. The hypercompaction procedure increases material density, which in turn improves mechanical characteristics. Samples were manufactured at the scale of both small cylinders and masonry bricks. The effect of ambient humidity on the mechanical characteristics of the material was investigated at the scale of cylindrical samples, showing that both strength and stiffness are sensitive to environmental conditions and tend to increase as ambient humidity reduces. The strength of the bricks was instead investigated under laboratory ambient conditions by using different experimental configurations to assess the influence of sample slenderness and friction confinement. Additional tests were also performed to evaluate the influence of mortar joints and compaction-induced anisotropy. Overall, the hypercompacted earth material exhibits mechanical characteristics that are comparable with those of traditional building materials, such as fired bricks, concrete blocks or stabilized compressed earth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number160
JournalMaterials and Structures/Materiaux et Constructions
Issue number2
Early online date27 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


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