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Durham University

Department of Engineering

Staff Profile

Publication details for Professor David Toll

Jaquin, P.A., Augarde, C.E., Gallipoli, D. & Toll, D.G. (2009). The strength of unstabilised rammed earth materials. Géotechnique 59(5): 487-490

Author(s) from Durham


Rammed earth is a manufactured material comprising
sand, gravel and clay, which is compacted between forms
to build walls. Primarily a historic method of construction,
it is now receiving considerable interest worldwide
owing to its zero reliance on materials such as cement,
and its potential for recycling. Despite its longevity, the
source of its shear strength is poorly understood. This
paper presents initial laboratory test results that point to
the main source of strength in rammed earth being
suction, and indicating that recent advances in unsaturated
soil mechanics may also be applied to this material.