A compressed earth block (CEB), also known as a pressed earth block or a compressed soil block, is a building material made primarily from damp soil compressed at high pressure to form blocks. Compressed earth blocks use a mechanical press to form blocks out of an appropriate mix of fairly dry inorganic subsoil, non-expansive clay and aggregate. If the blocks are made stable with a chemical binder such as Portland cement they are known as compressed stabilized earth block (CSEB) or stabilized earth block (SEB). Typically, around 3,000 psi (21 MPa) is useful in compression, and the original soil volume is reduction is by about half.
Creating compressed earth block differs from ramming earth in that the latter uses a larger formwork into which earth is poured and manually tamped down, creating larger forms such as a whole wall or more at one time rather than building blocks. compressed earth block differ from mud bricks in that the latter are not compressed and solidify through chemical changes that take place as they air dry. The compression strength of properly made CEB can meet or exceed that of typical cement or mud brick. Building standards have been are in place for CEB.
CEBs are assembled onto walls using standard bricklaying and masonry techniques. The mortar may be a simple slurry made of the same soil/clay mix without aggregate, spread between the blocks for bonding, or cement mortar may also be useful for high strength, or when construction is during freeze-thaw cycles causes stability issues. Hydraform blocks are in interlocking shape.
Facts to Note about compressed earth block
CEBs are not as a result of fire heating. They contribute to reducing the carbon emissions. Many types of earth give CEBs as a product. If mixed with a minimum of lime or cement and heavy compaction. Building with compressed earth blocks instead of fired bricks will stop the need to cut down trees for fuel for the ovens. At the same time it saves the fertile clay valleys used for food production from excavation.
Load-bearing walls, a product of CEBs. No concrete pillars and plastering necessary, saving money and building time. In general it makes the building process less complicated. Traditional form of blocks makes it easy for a bricklayers in all environment to build sustainable walls to any specifications. The regulation of the indoor climate (moister and temperature) is a natural property of earth block walls.
The blocks are identical in size and quality. Therefore, only a thin bed of earth mortar is essential to make a strong load-bearing wall.
The capacity of one machine is up to 20 small houses a month. The total building costs reduction ranges between 20-30% in comparison with fired bricks or cement blocks. The production and building uses local earth and local people. This creates jobs and reduces transport and costs. The CEB machine, a tool for the construction of low cost and comfortable shelter in rural areas. Can operate independant from an existing infrastructure.