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The effect of clay content in sands used for cementitious materials in developing countries

V.A. Fernandes, P. Purnell, G.T. Still and T.H. Thomas

Cement and Concrete Research, Volume 37, Issue 5, May 2007, pp 751-758(8)

The cost of building materials in Less Economically Developed Countries (LEDCs) is one of the single largest contributing factors to housing costs. They are often transported over relatively large distances at considerable expense. Local sands may contain significant amounts of clay, considered by local artisans to be detrimental to concrete strength; however, in an LEDC context, there is little evidence to support this. In this study, the compressive strength and workability of representative LEDC clay-contaminated concrete was determined. Clay-cement interactions were studied using X-Ray Diffraction (XRD). Different clays appeared to have fundamentally different effects on both workability and strength. No chemical interactions were detected. It was concluded that satisfactory concrete could be made from clay-contaminated sand.

Keywords: Workability; X-Ray diffraction; Compressive strength; Clay

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