Environmental Greening through Utilization of Sawdust for Production of Bricks
16 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2012
Date Written: October 8, 2012
South Africa and the rest of the world are saddled with challenges of appropriately using the enormous amount of waste that have negative impact on the environment. The investigation of sawdust as a waste material has been conducted in many countries over many years; and received positive attention as partial component for masonry units in building construction. Owing to the availability of sawdust and its inexpensiveness in Pretoria, South Africa, the research sought to investigate the utilization of sawdust for the partial replacement of crusher sand for the production of bricks in order to enhance the greening of the environment. The sawdust used in the research was generated from the laboratory of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa, as a waste of the timber processing. While the source of the crusher sand was Hoicim-Ferro, Weltevredenpark, Pretoria, South Africa; the cement used was CEM IV/B [V] 32,5R. The methodology involved the conduct of gradation analysis on the sawdust and crusher sand used for the production of bricks. Thereafter, sawdust was used as a partial replacement of crusher sand at 1, 3 and 5 percent by volume to produce bricks at a productive site in Malelodi, Pretoria as well as cubes at the laboratory of the Department of Civil Engineering, Tshwane University of Technology. The compressive strengths of the produced bricks were determined at 7 and 28 days in line with the South African standards on masonry units. The compressive strength of the bricks showed a steady increase from the values at 7th day to that at the 28th day. Though, it was observed that there was a reduction in compressive strength with the increase of sawdust by volume. However, the compressive strength values of the bricks produced on site was less than the minimum specified in the standard; while those produced at the laboratory had satisfactory strength values that satisfied the minimum standards. The results may be due to better quality control practices in the laboratory. Therefore, the quality of the bricks produced on site may be improved. The research showed the potential of sawdust being used as a partial replacement for crusher sand in the production of bricks. Thus heaps of sawdust that would have constituted environmental nuisance could be gainfully utilized by providing solution for the waste management problems of sawdust waste and also contribution towards maximizing the strength of the bricks utilized in the building industry.
Keywords: Environmental greening, Compressive strength, Bricks, Sawdust, Crusher sand
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