Physical and thermal properties of pine-needle lightweight loam

Aslan Pedergnana, Ece
Lightweight loam (LWL) is an ancient earth-based insulation material. Different types of LWL have been developed according to the usage and the availability of materials. However, the most used is straw and LWL is better known as straw-clay or slip-straw. In Turkey, straw is a valuable material used as an animal fodder. On the other hand, pine-needles are available in large quantities in Turkey. Production of mud-bricks and traditional mud roof insulation with pine-needles has proven its compatibility with earth construction. Therefore, using pine-needles as filler in an earth-based insulation material is proposed. Two types of pine-needles and two types of soil have been used to determine the suitability of the material. Relations between soil type and viscosity of the loam, type and amount of pine-needles have been investigated for the determination of physical properties of the material. Vapor resistivity and hygro-thermal properties of 4 different pine-needle LWL and straw LWL samples have been monitored during long periods under different weather conditions. The results of the tests have been compared to establish the efficiency of the material as a humidity regulating insulation material. Pine-needle LWL shows an appropriate performance compared to other materials. Shrinkage, density and water absorption can be controlled by modifying the type of pine-needle and soil together with their proportions. More importantly, vapor and heat resistivity of pine-needle LWL compare well with straw LWL which benefits are already recognized in several countries. This research makes clear that the material could be employed for the construction of energy efficient and nature friendly buildings and help to develop an alternative to petroleum based insulation materials. However, since this thesis is only an exploratory work on some parameters of pine-needles LWL, more work is needed on its general behavior and production method.


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Citation Formats
E. Aslan Pedergnana, “Physical and thermal properties of pine-needle lightweight loam,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2015.