Materiales de Construcción, Vol 68, No 332 (2018)

Mechanical behaviour of rammed earth column: A comparison between unreinforced, steel and bamboo reinforced columns

D. D. Tripura
Department of Civil Engineering, National Institute of Technology Agartala, India

K. D. Singh
Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, India


This paper presents an experimental study on the behavior of cement stabilized rammed earth (CSRE) column reinforced with steel under axial loading and its comparison with unreinforced and bamboo reinforced columns. Effects of structural parameters such as tie / stirrup spacing on the failure pattern, lateral and axial deformation of columns are studied. Test results show that the load-capacity of columns increases with increase in lateral / tie reinforcement ratio. Maximum axial and lateral deformations occur in columns with least tie spacing. Behavior of CSRE columns reinforced with close tie spacing is characterized by gradual spalling of cover at the failure zone. Steel reinforced columns perform better than other column types in terms of load-capacity; hence it may be used as structural member adjacent to walls for low-rise rammed earth houses. Proposed reinforcement technique can be adopted in the field for enhancement of greater strength and performance of columns.


Portland cement; Steel; Compressive strength; Composite; Curing

Full Text:



Easton, D. (1982) The rammed earth experience 1st Ed., Blue Mountain Press, Wilseyville, CA, (1982).

Houben, H.; Guillaud, H. (1994) Earth construction- A comprehensive guide. Intermediate Technology Publications, London (1994). PMCid:PMC1334437

Walker, P. (1995) Strength, durability and shrinkage characteristics of cement stabilised soil blocks. Cem. Con. Comp. 17 [4], 301–310.

Jayasinghe, C.; Kamaladasa, N. (2007) Compressive strength characteristics of cement stabilized rammed earth walls. Construcc. Build. Mater. 21, 1971–1976.

Ciancio, D.; Beckett, C.; Augarde, C.; Jaquin, P. (2016) First international conference on rammed earth construction: report. Proc. Institu. Civil Engrs. – Construcc. Mater. 169 [5], 271–275.

Reddy, B.V.V.; Leuzinger, G.; Sreeram, V.S. (2014) Low embodied energy cement stabilised rammed earth building—A case study. En. Build. 68, 541–546.

Bui, Q.B.; Morel, J.C.; Hans, S.; Walker, P. (2014). Effect of moisture content on the mechanical characteristics of rammed earth. Construcc. Build. Mater. 54, 163–169.

Tripura, D.; Singh, K. D. (2014a) Characteristic properties of cement-stabilized rammed earth blocks. J. Mater. Civil Eng. 27 [7].

Tripura, D.; Singh, K.D. (2014b) Behaviour of cement stabilized rammed earth circular column under axial loading. Mater. Struct. 49 [1–2], 371–382.

Tripura, D.; Singh, K. D. (2015) Axial load-capacity of rectangular cement stabilized rammed earth columns. Eng. Struct. 99, 402–412.

Hall, M.; Djerbib, Y. (2004) Rammed earth sample production: Context, recommendations and consistency. Construcc. Build. Mater. 18 [4], 281–286.

Maniatidis, V.; Walker, P. (2008) Structural capacity of rammed earth in compression. J. Mater. Civil Eng. 20 [3], 230–238.

Burroughs, S. (2008) Soil property criteria for rammed earth stabilisation. J. Mater. Civil Eng. 20 [3].

Reddy, B. V. V.; Kumar, P. P. (2011) Structural behaviour of story-high cement-stabilized rammed earth wall under compression. J. Mater. Civil Eng. 23 [3], 240–247.

Bui, Q.B.; Hans, S.; Morel, J.C.; Do, A.P. (2011) First exploratory study on dynamic characteristics of rammed earth buildings. Eng. Struct. 33 [12], 3690–3695.

Lindsay, R. (2012) Structural steel elements within stabilized rammed earth walling. –In Modern earth building-materials, engineering, construction and applications, Woodhead Publishing Series in Energy: Number 33, 461–480 (2012).

Ciancio, D.; Augarde, C. (2013) Capacity of unreinforced rammed earth walls subject to lateral wind force: elastic analysis versus ultimate strength analysis. Mater. Struct. 46 [9], 1569–1585.

Gupta, R. (2014) Characterizing material properties of cement-stabilized rammed earth to construct sustainable insulated walls. J. Case Studies Construcc. Mater. 1, 60–68.

Ngowi, A.B. (1997) Improving the traditional earth construction: a case study of Botswana. Construcc. Build. Mater. 11 [1], 1–7.

Guettala, A.; Abibsi, A.; Houari, H. (2006) Durability study of stabilized earth concrete under both laboratory and climatic conditions exposure. Construcc. Build. Mater. 20 [3], 119–127.

Tripura, D.; Das, S. (2017) Shape and size effects on the compressive strength of cement stabilised rammed earth. ASCE/Library.

Walker, P. J.; Dobson, S. (2001) Pullout test on deformed and plain rebars in cement-stabilized rammed earth. J. Mater. Civil Eng. 13 [4], 291–297.

Tripura, D.; Sharma, R. (2013) Bond behaviour of bamboo splints in cement-stabilized rammed earth blocks. Inter. J. Sustain. Eng. 7 [1], 24–33.

Miccoli, L.; Müller, U.; Fontana, P. (2014) Mechanical behavior of earthen materials: A comparison between earth block masonry, rammed earth and cob. Construcc. Build. Mater. 61, 327–339.

Ghavami, K. (2005) Bamboo as reinforcement in structural concrete elements. Cem. Conc. Comp. 27 [6], 637–649.

Agarwal, A.; Nanda, B.; Maity, D. (2014) Experimental investigation on chemically treated bamboo reinforced concrete beams and columns. Construcc. Build. Mater. 71, 610–617.

Tripura, D.; Singh, K. D. (2016) Axial load-capacity of bamboo-steel reinforced cement stabilised rammed earth column. Struct. Eng. Inter. (accepted).

Gao, Z.; Yang, X.; Tao, Z.; Chen, Z.; Jiao, C. (2009) Experimental study of rammed earth wall with bamboo cane under monotonic horizontal load. J. Kunming University Sci. Tech. 34 [2], 1–4.

NZS 4297:1998. Engineering design of earth buildings. Wellington, New Zealand.

AS HB 195:2002. Australian earth building handbook."Standards Australia, Sydney, Australia. https://

IS 2110:2002. Code of practice for in-situ construction of walls in buildings with soil-cement. New Delhi, India.

ASTM E2392/E2392M-10. Standard guide for design of earthen wall building systems. West Conshohocken, PA.

Clifton. Accessed on 18 June 2015.

IS 2720 (1995) Part 4: Specification for methods of test for soils-grain size analysis. New Delhi, India.

IS 2720 (1995) Part 5: Determination of liquid and plastic limit. New Delhi, India.

IS 2720 (2002) Part 7: Determination of water content-dry density relation using light compaction. New Delhi, India.

Bahar, R.; Benazzoung, M.; Kenai, S. (2004) Performance of compacted cement stabilized soil. Cem. Con. Comp. 26, 811–20.

NZS 4298:1998. Materials and workmanship for earth buildings. Wellington, New Zealand.

IS 8112:1989. Specification for 43 grade ordinary portland cement. New Delhi, India.

IS 1786:1985. Specification for high strength deformed steel bars and wires for concrete reinforcement. New Delhi, India.

ASTM D698-12. Standard test methods for laboratory compaction characteristics of soil using standard effort. West Conshohocken, PA.

Cusson D.; Paultre, P. (1994) High-strength concrete columns confined by rectangular ties. J. Struct. Eng. 120 [3], 783–804.

Gardner, H.J.; Jacobson, E.R. (1967) Structural behaviour of concrete filled steel tube. J. Amer. Con. Inst. 64 [7], 404–413.

Han, L.H. (2000) Test on concrete filled steel tubular columns with high slenderness ratios. Adv. Struct. Eng. Inter. J. 3 [4], 337–344.

Patton, M.L.; Singh, K.D. (2014) Finite element modelling of concrete-filled lean duplex stainless steel tubular stub columns. Inter. J. Steel Struct. 14 [3], 619–632.

Copyright (c) 2018 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Contact us

Technical support