Investigating the use of volcanic as a building block binder.
Lukenge, Trevor Guliko
MetadataShow full item record
The use of concrete and mortar as building materials has been a cornerstone of civil engineering for many years. Ordinary Portland cement (OPC) is one of the most commonly used materials for building block binders due to its excellent strength and durability. However, the production of OPC is resource-intensive and environmentally damaging, and alternatives to OPC are being sought to reduce the impact of construction on the environment. This report presents the results of an investigation into the use of OPC with volcanic ash as a building block binder. The focus of this investigation is on the utilization of volcanic ash as a partial replacement for OPC, aiming to reduce the environmental impact associated with traditional cement production. The study involved partially replacing OPC with volcanic ash sourced from Rubanda district, at varying percentages of 50%, 55%, 65%, and 80%, and determining the optimum binder ratio by mixing it with standard sand and water. The proportions were carefully measured and mixed to create mortar samples for testing. Compressive strength testing was conducted on the mortar samples to evaluate the performance of the binder mixtures. This parameter served as a crucial indicator of the suitability and effectiveness of the OPC-volcanic ash combinations. The compressive strength tests were carried out according to standardized protocols to ensure accurate and reliable results. Its specific properties and characteristics were also considered in the context of binder optimization. By using locally available volcanic ash, the study aimed to assess the feasibility of utilizing regional resources for sustainable construction practices. The study found that replacing OPC with volcanic ash had a significant effect on the compressive strength of the binder, with the optimum binder ratio being 50% volcanic ash and 50% OPC. The study also found that the fineness of the volcanic ash and the pH of the mixture had a significant effect on the compressive strength of the binder. Using this optimum binder ratio, concrete blocks were made and their sturdiness and durability properties were ascertained. Based on these findings, it is recommended that volcanic ash be used as a partial replacement for OPC in building block binders, with a replacement ratio of 50% providing a suitable balance of strength and economy. Further research can be conducted into the use of volcanic ash as a building block binder, with particular emphasis on the effect of volcanic ash from different sources on the properties of the binder. In conclusion, this report underscores the significance of investigating alternative binder materials for sustainable construction. The utilization of volcanic ash from Rubanda district in south western Uganda adds regional relevance to the study. The optimized binder ratios determined through compressive strength testing provide valuable insights for future applications of OPC-volcanic ash mixtures in building block production.