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Compressed Earth Blocks (CEB)

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 9/6/2009

The compressed earth blocks (CEB) use earth as the major ingredient, along with clay and mortar. Due to its numerous favorable characteristics, these blocks are used for security construction like blockades and blast blockers. The construction is simple requiring less skilled labor.

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    What Is Compressed Earth Block

    Compressed Earth Block (CEB) is a kind of construction material created manually or with mechanical machines that forms a mixture of dirt, clay, and an aggregate in to a compressed block. CEBs have lately exhibited exceptional functioning characteristics in areas requiring personnel safety from disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes. The excellent characteristics of fire, insect, mold, and sound resistant makes the CEBs more popular in several applications. Production of compressed earth block is different from rammed earth in that the later employs a bigger formwork into which earth is filled and packed. Rammed earth is a method used for the construction of walls using mud, chalk, gravel, and lime.

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    Advantages of Compressed Earth Blocks

    The advantages of using CEBs include consistent size ocompressed earth blocks f building components, use of materials produced locally, and decrease of transportation expenditures. Equally sized structure components can reduce wastages and the construction will be rapid. The low moisture content and the consistency of the blocks minimize the use of mortar and reduce both the material and labor costs. There will be an opportunity for the utilization of other pre-made components. Such parts as sheet metal roofing can be simply incorporated into such structures. The utilization of these components can enhance the quality of the structure. The earth used is usually subsoil that is available on site, leaving the topsoil for agricultural usage. Construction with materials that are available nearby can create employment opportunities for the local people. Pollution is reduced since natural materials are used, making the CEBs more environmentally friendly compared to other materials.

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    Applications of Compressed Earth Blocks

    In many countries there is a great requirement for single andcompressed earth block wall  multi-family houses, schools, hospitals, churches, etc. These buildings require protection from moderate earthquakes, storms and small arms fire. The use of CEBs has been exceptionally successful in such applications. The CEBs are also used in military applications like the security construction including barriers and blast blockers. They are also adequately resistant to some of the usual explosive devices. The CEBs are also used in the tapering shape in reinforced arches.

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    Improvements In Compressed Earth Blocks

    With continuous applications in numerous fields, CEBs have been improved according to the user satisfaction. The original form has been changed from a solid rectangular to those with grooves or holes in the blocks to permit bamboo or steel being fitted to resist earthquakes. Another modernization was to make interconnecting forms that do not require being located in a mortar base. Such shapes can assist to lower the expertise required for the construction of buildings. Numerous block layers can be positioned at a time in the wall.