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On Designing Biopolymer-Bound Soil Composites (BSC) for Peak Compressive Strength

Isamar Rosa1, Henning Roedel1, Maria I. Allende1, Michael D. Lepech1,*, David J. Loftus2

1 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
2 Division of Space Biosciences, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffet Field, CA 94035, USA

* Corresponding Author: Michael D. Lepech. Email: email

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Bio-composite Materials and Structures)

Journal of Renewable Materials 2020, 8(8), 845-861.


Biopolymer-bound Soil Composites (BSC), are a novel bio-based construction material class, produced through the mixture and desiccation of biopolymers with inorganic aggregates with applications in soil stabilization, brick creation and in situ construction on Earth and space. This paper introduces a mixture design methodology to produce maximum strength for a given soil-biopolymer combination. Twenty protein and sand mix designs were investigated, with varying amounts of biopolymer solution and compaction regimes during manufacture. The ultimate compressive strength, density, and shrinkage of BSC samples are reported. It is observed that the compressive strength of BSC materials increases proportional to tighter particle packing (soil dry bulk density) and binder content. A theory to explain this peak compressive strength phenomenon is presented.


Cite This Article

Rosa, I., Roedel, H., Allende, M. I., Lepech, M. D., Loftus, D. J. (2020). On Designing Biopolymer-Bound Soil Composites (BSC) for Peak Compressive Strength. Journal of Renewable Materials, 8(8), 845–861.


cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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