Using a Mexican cactus (Nopal) to improve the physical properties of cement-based mortars

Author(s): A.A. Torres-Acosta, M.R. Martínez-Vargas, M. Martínez-Madrid
Paper category: Workshop
Book title: International RILEM Workshop on Performance Based Evaluation and Indicators for Concrete Durability
Editor(s): V. Baroghel-Bouny, C. Andrade, R. Torrent, K. Scrivener
ISBN: 978-2-912143-95-2
Pages: 351 - 358
Total Pages: 8
Language: English

This paper presents results on the physical characterization of mortar cubes fabricated with natural organic additions such as Opuntia Ficus Indica (Nopal) and Aloe Vera. Fifty five mortar cubes were fabricated with and without these additions and tested for a period up to 200 days. Mortar without such additions served as controls.

Two types of cements were evaluated: CPO and CPP (CPO and CPP are Mexican nomenclatures for Ordinary Portland Cement and Pozzolanic Portland Cement, respectively). The natural organic additions, both Nopal and Aloe Vera, were mixed with CPO at different percent replacements.

To characterize the 28-day physical properties of such mixtures, four tests were performed: Total void content, compressive strength, ultrasound wave propagation, and wet electrical resistivity. Marginal improvement at 28 days was observed within the Nopal and Aloe Vera replacement mixtures. Additional testing was performed with mixtures of 2%, 1%, 0.5% and 0% replacements for 120, and 200 days after casting to determine the influence of time.

Nopal additions did increase the physical performance of the mortar with time. Conversely, the physical performance of Aloe Vera additions decreased with time, suggesting that the concentrations tested, might not be adequate. The preliminary findings suggest that adding Nopal in small concentrations might be suitable for durability enhancing applications in cement-based materials.

Online publication: 2007
Publication Type: full_text
Public price (Euros): 0.00

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