Answers To The Most Frequently Asked Questions
- Q1. Can I use any soil with LCH Stabilised Earth Brick Machines?
- Q2. Can I mix water with the soil?
- Q3. Do I need a mixer?
- Q4. Do I have to prepare the soil before mixing in the RoadPacker Clay Brick Stabiliser?
- Q5. Can we be sure that these walls are not going to fall down?
- Q6. If there is soil movement, will the wall crack and fall down?
- Q7. How can you avoid the top bricks from being removed on a roofless structure?
- Q8. For a perimeter wall, how can you avoid reinforced columns?
- Q9. How can you fit the trusses for the roofs?
- Q10. How do you build the corner walls?
Q1. Can I use any soil with LCH Stabilised Earth Brick Machines?
A. No! Pure sand cannot be used as we must compact the mixture. We use prescribed dosage of RoadPacker Clay Brick Stabiliser to bind the soil. To achieve the compaction necessary for the strength to produce a strong brick, we need a clay soil of 10%>. If the insitu soil is too sandy, then most definitely some 'clayish' soil has to be mixed in with the existing insitu soil. A compaction test will give you a clear idea of the proper mix to work with.
Q2. Can I mix water with the soil?
A. LCH Stabilised Earth Bricks use what is called a "dry mix" which in fact uses a minimum of (10 to 15%) water . Most often the soil is wet enough to be used as is. If need be, a small amount of water can be added. The mixture must not be over wet, otherwise compaction will not be achieved.
Q3. Do I need a mixer?
A. For small projects, mixers are not used at all - but can be if so desired. We emphasise the labour intensive possibilities of LCH Stabilised Earth Bricks. If the project needs a high output of bricks, we recommend the use of a pan mixer (supplied by LCH) to improve productivity.
Q4. Do I have to prepare the soil before mixing in the RoadPacker Clay Brick Stabiliser?
A. Once again, for small projects, there is no need for mechanisation of the soil preparation. A good grid trough (into which the soil is shovelled) will eliminate stones and other big components and will produce very good results. If a higher output is required, we recommend the use of a crusher that will reduce the lumps and stones and give a very high consistent quality to the final product.
Q5. Can we be sure that these walls are not going to fall down?
A. This the most commonly asked question and where people have the most concern - who have not yet seen a LCH Stabilised Earth Brick building. The answer is simple, LCH Stabilised Earth Bricks have a patented shape that gives them the most solid interlocking feature ever. The walls are made from bricks that are interlocked with each other. It is totally impossible to remove one brick out from a wall unless a pick is used to break through it. There is no more solid wall available on the market today.
Q6. If there is soil movement, will the wall crack and fall down?
A. Here again is the very basis of the strength of the LCH Stabilised Earth Brick concept. Each and every brick in the building is interlocked to the others, but is not bonded to the them as with cement mortared bricks. Once there is a soil movement - with traditional mortar the bricks come under such strong tension that the bond eventually cracks and the wall starts a cracking process that never ends and is most difficult to correct. With LCH Stabilised Earth Bricks, each brick undergoes a minimal amount of movement and the whole wall will adjust progressively without damage or cracking.
Q7. How can you avoid the top bricks from being removed on a roofless structure?
A. If you build a wall with no top structure, then it is recommended to seal the two top layers of bricks with mortar or, better still, put a firmly fixed topping on the wall. (such as a pre-cast shaped beam, or wood trusses).
Q8. For a perimeter wall, how can you avoid reinforced columns?
A. As with any other construction method - LCH Stabilised Earth Bricks are not immune from normal external stresses and long length walls obviously have to be supported. In this case, we can very simply make a supporting column with LCH Stabilised Earth Bricks only. You still won't have to buy and transport reinforcing bars and mix concrete.
Q9. How can you fit the trusses for the roofs?
A. If simplicity and low cost is required, we can do it very easily indeed. Once the building has reached a height where there are only 3 to 4 rows of bricks to be added, then fit a flexible strapping steel and keep laying the bricks. Once the roof trusses have to be fitted, link the strapping steel with the trusses to hold them all together.
Q10. How do you build the corner walls?
A. The LCH Stabilised Earth Bricks have a top shoulder that has to be manually removed (very simply with the trowel) up to a length to allow the bricks to be cross fitted together. Alternatively, corner moulds are used.
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