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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 23, Number 3, November10 2020, pages 227-244

A correlation between moisture and compressive strength of a damaged 15-year-old rammed soil house
Adolfo Preciado, Juan Carlos Santos, Alejandro Ramirez-Gaytan, Karla Ayala and Jose de Jesus Garcia

    Earthen structures have an excellent bioclimatic performance, but they are vulnerable against earthquakes. In order to investigate the edification process and costs, a full-scale rammed soil house was constructed in 2004. In 2016-2019, it was studied its seismic damage, durability and degradation process. During 2004-2016, the house presented a relatively good seismic performance (Mw=5.6-6.4). The damaged cover contributed in the fast deterioration of walls. In 2018 it was observed a partial collapse of one wall due to recent seismicity (Mw=5.6-6.1). The 15-year-old samples presented a reduced compressive strength (0.040 MPa) and a minimum moisture (1.38%). It is estimated that the existing house has approximately a remaining 20% of compressive strength with a degradation of about 5.4% (0.0109 MPa) per year (considering a time frame of 15 years) if compared to the new soil samples (0.2028 MPa, 3.52% of moisture). This correlation between moisture and compressive strength degradation was compared with the study of new soil samples at the same construction site and compared against the extracted samples from the 15-year-old house. At 7-14-days, the specimens presented a similar compressive strength as the degraded ones, but different moisture. Conversely, the 60-days specimens shown almost five times more strength as the existing samples for a similar moisture. It was observed in new rammed soil that the lower the water content, the higher the compressive/shear strength.
Key Words
    earthquakes; rammed soil; self-construction; decay; in-situ and laboratory testing; failure mechanisms; moisture content
Adolfo Preciado and Juan Carlos Santo: Department of Habitat and Urban Development,Western Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESO), 45604, Tlaquepaque, Jalisco, Mexico

Alejandro Ramirez-Gaytan: Department of Computational Sciences (CUCEI), University of Guadalajara (UdeG), 44430 Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

Karla Ayala: Departament of Architecture, Technological Institute of Colima (ITC), 28979, Villa de Alvarez, Mexico

Jose de Jesus Garcia: Labconstru Maza, S.A. de C.V., 82134, Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico

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