Structural properties of ground palm kernel shell (GPKS) masonry units

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The study aims to assess how the partial replacement of sand with Ground Palm Kernel Shell (GPKS) affects the physical and other properties of masonry units. The experiment showed, the acceptable GPKS aggregate percentage that can be used for the production of masonry units, 10% - 30% GPKS aggregate replacement is acceptable for the production of 150mm thick solid masonry units and 10% - 40% GPKS aggregate replacement is acceptable for the 125mm thick solid masonry units, 150mm and 125mm thick cellular masonry unit. Also it showed that, the increasing quantity of GPKS aggregate increases the water demand of the mix and this often increased the porosity and water absorption rate of the masonry unit with 40% GPKS aggregate. Generally, porosity, water absorption and capillary action decreased with increasing sand quantity and the water absorption rate of the masonry unit with GPKS aggregate was much slower than that of masonry unit with 0% GPKS aggregate (Control sample). Again it was revealed that, the increase in water demand was as a result of the increase in GPKS aggregate which reduced the workability, hence the demand for more water. Increasing GPKS aggregate content measuring above 30% also reduced the mechanical properties of 150mm and 125mm solid masonry units with GPKS aggregate type A at the 28 days curing period. The increasing GPKS aggregate content also demand increase in water/cement ratio. The 40% GPKS aggregate type was seen to have influenced the 28 days compressive strength of 150mm and 125mm cellular masonry units. In addition, the compressive strength of all the GPKS aggregate masonry units decreased with the increase of GPKS aggregate replacement percentages as compared to the control samples (0% GPKS). With these finding, it was recommended that, GPKS aggregate percentage content of 10% is optimum as partial replacement for masonry unit production, the grinding of GPKS aggregate should be controlled in the way that the particle size distribution curve would fall within the upper and lower limits in relation to standard grading requirement and the best standard sizes that can withstand all the adverse condition was 150mm and 125mm, both solid and cellular with GPKS aggregate type B percentage content of 10%, 20% 30% and 40%
A thesis submitted to the Department of Construction Technology and Management of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in Partial Fulfillment of the requirements for the Award of Master of Philosophy Building Technology.
Cellular Masonry Units, Water absorption, Compressive Strength, Ground Palm Kernel Shell