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Construction and Building Materials 25 (2011) 92–98 Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Construction and

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Construction and Building Materials

journal homepage: www. elsevier.com/loc ate/conbuildmat Mechanical and bond properties of coconut shell concrete K.

Mechanical and bond properties of coconut shell concrete

K. Gunasekaran * , P.S. Kumar, M. Lakshmipathy

Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, SRM University, Kattankulathur 603 203, TamilNadu, India

article info

Article history:

Received 29 November 2009 Received in revised form 12 May 2010 Accepted 19 June 2010

Keywords:

Coconut shell

Aggregate

Lightweight concrete

Mechanical

Bond properties

abstract

The properties of concrete using coconut shell as coarse aggregate were investigated in an experimen- tal study. Compressive, flexural, splitting tensile strengths, impact resistance and bond strength were measured and compared with the theoretical values as recommended by the standards. For the selected mix, two different water–cement ratios have been considered to study the effect on the flex- ural and splitting tensile strengths and impact resistance of coconut shell concrete. The bond proper- ties were determined through pull-out test. Coconut shell concrete can be classified under structural lightweight concrete. The results showed that the experimental bond strength of coconut shell con- crete is much higher than the bond strength as estimated by BS 8110 and IS 456:2000 for the mix selected.

2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction

Lightweight aggregate concrete (LWAC) is an important and versatile material in modern construction. It has gained popularity due to its lower density and superior thermal insulation proper- ties [1] . Many architects, engineers, and contractors recognize the inherent economies and advantages offered by this material, as evidenced by the many impressive lightweight concrete (LWC) structures found throughout the world. Lightweight con- crete has strengths comparable to normal concrete; yet is typically 25–35% lighter [2] . Structural LWC offers design flexibility and cost savings due to self-weight reduction, improved seismic struc- tural response, and lower foundation costs. Lightweight concrete pre-cast elements offer reduced transportation and placement costs [3] . Pumice, scoria and other materials of volcanic origin are the lightweight aggregates available naturally. Expanded blast-furnace slag, vermiculite and clinker, which are the by-products of indus- trial processes, are man-made lightweight aggregates. The main characteristic of lightweight aggregate is its high porosity, which results in a low specific gravity. Although commercially available lightweight aggregate has been used widely for manufacture of LWC, more environmental and economical benefits can be achieved if waste materials can be used as lightweight aggregates in concrete. In view of the escalating environmental problems, the use of aggregates from by-products and/or solid waste materials

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +91 9443353507; fax: +91 44 27453903. E-mail address: gunarishi@yahoo.com (K. Gunasekaran).

0950-0618/$ - see front matter 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi: 10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2010.06.053

from different industries is highly desirable. In recent years, researchers have also paid more attention to some agriculture wastes for use as building material in construction [4–7] . One such alternative is coconut shell (CS), which is one of the most common agricultural solid wastes in many tropical countries [6] . The main coconut players in the global market for 2005 are shown in Table 1 . Eight of the ten largest producers are in the Asia Pacific region. The three main producers, Indonesia, the Philippines and India account for 75% of world production. India is the third largest coconut producing country, with an area of 1.9 million ha and annual production of 2.74 million tones copra equivalent [8] . Within India, 90% of the total production of coconut is concen- trated in South India ( www.foodmarketexchange.com ). The aver- age annual production of coconut is estimated at about 15 billion nuts in India ( www.cpcri.ernet.in ). After the coconut is scraped out, the shell is usually discarded as waste. The vast amount of this discarded CS resource is yet unutilized commercially; its use as a building material, especially in concrete, on the lines of other light- weight aggregates is an interesting topic for further studies. This coconut shell can be crushed and used as a coarse aggregate in the production of LWC. Coconut Shell Concrete (CSC) could be used in rural areas and places where coconut is abundant and may also be used where the conventional aggregates are costly. In this study, the important mechanical properties of CSC, namely compressive, flexural, splitting tensile strengths and impact resistance have been measured to assess its suitability as a lightweight aggregate. The bonding property of CS is also studied to analyze the suitability from a structural point of view. The results are produced in the fol- lowing paragraphs.

K. Gunasekaran et al. / Construction and Building Materials 25 (2011)

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93

Table 1 Selected coconut production statistics, 2005.

Country

Production (nuts)

Area

(kt)

(%)

(ha)

(%)

Indonesia Philippines India Brazil Thailand Vietnam Mexico Sri Lanka Papua New Guinea Malaysia

16,300

30.1

2670

25.0

14,797

27.3

3243

30.4

9500

17.5

1860

17.4

3034

5.6

281

2.6

1500

2.8

343

3.2

972

1.8

110

1.0

950

1.8

150

1.4

890

1.6

395

3.7

650

1.2

180

1.7

642

1.2

179

1.7

2. Materials used

2.1. Coconut shell as coarse aggregate

The freshly discarded shells were collected from the local oil mills and they were well seasoned. The seasoned CS is crushed by a mini crusher, which was developed and erected in SRM Uni- versity specifically for this purpose. The crushed edges were rough and spiky and the lengths were restricted to a maximum of 12 mm. The surface texture of the shell was fairly smooth on concave and rough on convex faces. CS aggregates used were in saturated sur- face dry (SSD) condition. The physical properties of CS were com- pared with crushed granite and oil palm shell ( Table 2 ).

2.2. Other concrete mix constituents

Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) 53 Grade conforming to Indian Standard IS 12269:1987 was used as a binder. River sand (from Pa- lar river bed) was used throughout the investigation as the fine aggregate conforming to grading zone III as per IS 383:1970. The potable water from the University was used for mixing and curing. Specimens were cast in such a way as to produce full compaction of the concrete with neither segregation nor excessive laitance. Compaction was achieved through use of a table vibrator.

3. Experiments

Table 3 shows the set of experiments and number of samples used for measuring the mechanical and bond properties of CSC. The studies on the effect of cement content and wood–cement ra- tio on CSC included the effect of water–cement ratio on the work- ability by measuring slump, densities and compressive strength. For one mix, the effect of free water–cement ratios of 0.42 and

0.44 was considered to study the flexural and splitting tensile

strengths and impact resistance of CSC. The bond strength between the concrete matrix and the steel reinforcement is one of the most important aspects in structural reinforced concrete. A perfect bond existing between concrete and steel reinforcement is one of the fundamental assumptions of reinforced concrete [9] . Therefore, an investigation was carried out by conducting pull-out test on both plain and deformed steel bars to determine the bond strength

of CSC.

3.1. Studies on cement content

It has been reported that the cement content for LWC lies be- tween 285 and 510 kg/m 3 [5] . It was proposed to achieve the target to produce structural concrete with CS as a coarse aggregate. A number of trial mixes were made using weigh batches with differ- ent cement contents varying from 300 to 510 kg/m 3 and by adjust- ing fine aggregate and coarse aggregate (coconut shell) ratios to reach the target. Water–cement ratio varied between 0.42 (510 kg/m 3 ) and 0.72 (300 kg/m 3 ). From the 33 trial mixes pre- pared, 11 mixes were selected, designated as M1 – M11. The prop- erties of the 11 mixes at 28 days are presented in Table 4 .

3.2. Studies on wood–cement ratio

Literature shows that the wood–cement composites need en-

ough cement to fully encapsulate wood materials to get a cohesive

mix

with acceptable properties [10] . A lower wood–cement ratio

will

result in weak bonds. However, if the amount of cement is

too high, the compaction ratio will be reduced, leading to a brittle

material. So wood–cement ratio strongly influences the properties of the final product. A wood–cement ratio below 0.5 had an ad- verse effect on strength of cement concrete composites [11] . Hence, it is necessary to optimize the wood–cement ratio and water–cement ratio for coconut shell aggregate concrete. For opti- mization of the wood–cement ratio to achieve the target strengths, the cement content of the CSC samples was set at 510 kg/m 3 as se- lected from the trial mix. Wood–cement ratios of 0.55, 0.60 and

0.65 have been considered for this study and fine aggregate ratios

were also adjusted appropriately. From the 27 trial mixes pre- pared, 9 mixes were selected. These are designated as CS1 – CS9

and

their properties at 28 days are given in Table 5 .

3.3.

Studies on water–cement ratio

It is not easy to specify an optimal water–cement ratio for all kinds of wood–cement concrete composites, since the properties of wood–cement composites are varying in nature [12] . It has been found that with the increase of water–cement ratio, the strength of

Table 2 Properties of coconut shell, oil palm shell, crushed granite and river sand.

Sl. No

Physical and mechanical properties

Coconut shells

Oil palm shells [4,5,19]

Crushed granite

River sand

1

Maximum size (mm)

12.5

12.5

12.5

2

Moisture content (%)

4.20

3

Water absorption (24 h) (%)

24.00

23.32

0.50

4

Specific gravity SSD a apparent

1.05–1.20

1.17

2.82

2.57

1.40–1.50

2.86

5

Impact value (%)

8.15

7.86

12.40

6

Crushing value (%)

2.58

6.30

7

Abrasion value (%)

1.63

4.80

1.85

8

Bulk density (kg/m 3 ) Compacted loose

650

590

1650

550

1450

9

Fineness modulus

6.26

6.24

6.94

2.56

10

Shell thickness (mm)

2–8

1.5–2.5

a Saturated surface dry

94

K. Gunasekaran et al. / Construction and Building Materials 25 (2011) 92–98

Table 3 Experimental programme to assess mechanical and bond properties of CSC.

Sl. No

Parameter

No. of trials

Age during test

1

To meet structural concrete criteria

33 trials, 9 cubes in each trial, total of 297 cubes 27 trials, 9 cubes in each trial, total of 243 cubes 2 trials, 3 beams in each trial, total of 6 beams 2 trials, 3 cylinders in each trial, total of 6 cylinders 2 trials, 3 specimen in each trial, total of 6 specimen 8 trials, 3 specimen in each trial, total of 24 specimen

3-days, 7-days and 28-days 3-days, 7-days and 28-days

2 To optimize the wood–cement ratio

3 Flexural strength

28-days

4 Splitting tensile strength

28-days

5 Impact strength

28-days

6 Bond properties

28-days

Table 4 Properties of selected trial mixes of CSC at 28-days.

Sl. No

Cement content (kg/m 3 )

Water–cement ratio

Mix ratio (cement:fine aggregate: CS)

Slump (mm)

Hardened density (kg/m 3 )

Compressive strength (N/mm 2 )

M1

300

0.72

1:3.27:1.34

10

1865

04.95

M2

400

0.55

1:2.05:0.84

25

1890

09.81

M3

425

0.50

1:1.93:0.79

15

1910

13.24

M4

450

0.45

1:1.83:0.75

25

1960

13.49

M5

480

0.51

1:1.37:0.75

110

1900

10.30

M6

480

0.42

1:1.67:0.69

65

1990

15.20

M7

480

0.42

1:1.52:0.75

50

1950

16.19

M8

480

0.44

1:1.60:0.80

50

1910

16.68

M9

480

0.42

1:1.60:0.80

05

1930

17.66

M10

480

0.42

1:1.60:0.70

30

1980

18.15

M11

510

0.42

1:1.47:0.65

05

1970

26.70

Table 5 Properties of CSC with at 28-days optimized wood–cement ratio (cement content 510 kg/m 3 ).

 

Sl. No

Wood–cement ratio

Water–cement ratio

Mix ratio (cement:fine aggregate:CS)

Slump (mm)

Hardened density (kg/m 3 )

Compressive strength (N/mm 2 )

CS1

0.55

0.38

1:1.82:0.55

00

2060

23.40

CS2

0.55

0.42

1:1.74:0.55

05

2040

16.72

CS3

0.55

0.48

1:1.57:0.55

140

1960

13.38

CS4

0.60

0.38

1:1.70:0.60

00

2010

19.50

CS5

0.60

0.42

1:1.60:0.60

00

1990

16.16

CS6

0.60

0.48

1:1.44:0.60

40

1980

13.38

CS7

0.65

0.38

1:1.58:0.65

00

1985

27.20

CS8

0.65

0.42

1:1.47:0.65

05

1970

26.70

CS9

0.65

0.48

1:1.32:0.65

150

1920

14.50

Table 6 Flexural and splitting tensile strengths of CSC at 28-days.

Mix ratio (cement:fine aggregate:CS:water– cement)

Compressive

Flexural

Split tensile

strength (N/

strength (N/

strength (N/

mm

2 )

mm

2 )

mm

2 )

1:1.47:0.65:0.42

26.70

4.68

2.70

1:1.47:0.65:0.44

25.95

4.26

2.38

the wood–cement concrete composites gets reduced. In this study, water–cement ratios of 0.38, 0.42 and 0.48 have been considered.

3.4. Mechanical properties

The compressive strength of 100 mm cubes was measured according to IS 516:1959 [13] . Mix CS8 (1:1.47:0.65:0.42) was used to study the flexural, splitting tensile strengths and impact resis- tance of CSC. Also, water–cement ratio was increased by 0.02 to study its influence. The 28-days flexural and splitting tensile strengths and impact resistance of CSC for the selected mix are gi- ven in Tables 6 and 7 .

3.4.1. Flexural strength test Four-point load method was adopted to measure the flexural strength of CSC. As per ASTM guidelines [14] , beams of

100 100 500 mm size as shown in Fig. 1 were adopted. The load was applied without shock and was increased until the spec- imen failed, and the maximum load applied to the specimen during the test was recorded. The appearances of the fractured faces of concrete failure were noted. The flexural strength of the specimens was calculated as follows:

Modulus of rupture; f b ¼ ð PLÞ= ðbd 2 Þ;

ð 1Þ

where P = Maximum load applied (N). L = Supported length of the specimen (mm). b = Measured width of the specimen, mm. d = Mea- sured width of the specimen at the point of failure (mm).

3.4.2. Splitting tensile strength test As per ASTM guidelines [15] , 100 mm diameter 200 mm long cylinders were used for splitting tensile strength test ( Fig. 2 ). The

Table 7 Impact resistance of CSC at 28-days.

Mix ratio

Compressive

Average number of blows for

Average number of blows for

(cement:fine

strength (N/

aggregate:CS:water–

mm

2 )

initial crack

fractured pieces

cement)

1:1.47:0.65:0.42

26.70

25

32

1:1.47:0.65:0.44

25.95

17

23

K. Gunasekaran et al. / Construction and Building Materials 25 (2011) 92–98

95

Table 8 Bond strength of CSC with plain bars (mix ratio 1:1.47:0.65:0.42).

Diameter of

Experimental bond stress (N/mm 2 )

Theoretical bond stress (N/mm 2 )

bar (mm)

IS: 456-2000

BS: 8110

8

7.49

10

6.54

12

4.99

1.40

1.36

16

3.56

test specimen was placed in the centering jig with packing strip and/or loading pieces carefully positioned along diametrically ver- tical planes at the top and bottom of the specimen. The maximum diametrical load applied was recorded. The measured splitting ten-

sile strength f sp of the specimen was calculated using the following formula:

f sp ¼ 2P = ð pDLÞ

ð 2Þ

where P = maximum load applied to the specimen (N). D = cross sectional diameter of the specimen (mm) and L = length of the spec- imen (mm).

3.4.3. Impact resistance The method developed by ACI committee 544.1R-82 for the determination of impact resistance of concrete was adopted. The test specimens used for the impact tests were 152.4 mm in diameter and 63.5 mm thick. The test equipment with the specimen is shown in Fig. 3 (as recommended by the ACI Committee 16-81). During this test, the number of blows

ACI Committee 16-81). During this test, the number of blows Fig. 1. Flexural test on CSC.

Fig. 1. Flexural test on CSC. (a) Flexural test specimen in UTM and (b) tested specimen of flexural test.

specimen in UTM and (b) tested specimen of flexural test. Fig. 2. Splitting tensile test on

Fig. 2. Splitting tensile test on CSC. (a) Splitting testing in compression testing machine (CTM) and (b) tested specimen of split tensile in CTM and Fig. 3 (c) tested specimen of split tensile.

in CTM and Fig. 3 (c) tested specimen of split tensile. Fig. 3. Impact resistance test

Fig. 3. Impact resistance test on CSC. (a) Impact resistance testing instrument. (b) Testing of specimen under impact and (c) tested specimen of impact resis tance.

96

K. Gunasekaran et al. / Construction and Building Materials 25 (2011) 92–98

was counted till the first crack appeared (initial crack) on each specimen and counting was continued till the specimen was broken into a number of pieces. The results are presented in Table 7 .

3.5. Bond properties

The bond strength was determined using the pull-out test and the specimens were prepared as per IS 2770 (part-I 1967) [16] .

were prepared as per IS 2770 (part-I 1967) [16] . Fig. 4. Pull-out test on CSC

Fig. 4. Pull-out test on CSC in UTM. (a) Bond (pull-out) testing in UTM. (b) Closure view of specially fabricated steel plates attached with UTM to conduct pull -out test.

steel plates attached with UTM to conduct pull -out test. Fig. 5. Schematic diagram of attachment

Fig. 5. Schematic diagram of attachment made with UTM. Representing a schematic diagram of specially fabricated steel plates attached to the UTM to conduct b ond (pull- out) test.

K. Gunasekaran et al. / Construction and Building Materials 25

(2011) 92–98

97

The specimens were of 100 mm diameter and 200 mm height incorporating both deformed and plain bars of 8, 10, 12 and 16 mm diameters. For each specimen, a single reinforcing bar was placed in the centre and both ends were provided with an un-bonded length of 25 mm. The un-bonded lengths were pro- vided by attaching a plastic sheathing to the bar. A short embed- ment length of 150 mm was selected to avoid yielding of the steel bar under pull-out load. To prevent excessive evaporation from the fresh concrete, the specimens were immediately covered with plastic sheets upon casting and then de-molded after 24 h.

4.4.

Compressive strength

Compressive strength of LWAC depends on both the strength of the matrix and the particle tensile strength of the aggregate. Again, the compressive strength of LWC is usually related to the cement content at a given slump and air content, rather than to water–ce- ment ratio. This is due to the difficulty in determining how much of the total mix water is absorbed by the aggregate and is thus not available for reaction with the cement [20] . However, in this study, CS coarse aggregates were used in SSD condition and the water–ce-

The

pull-out test was carried out using the Universal Testing Ma-

ment ratio was optimized to obtain desired workability. The com-

chine (UTM) of 400 kN capacity. In order to pull the steel rod from

pressive strengths of the CSC cube samples for all the trials are

the

specimen, a special attachment was made with steel plates and

shown in Tables 4 and 5 . An examination of the failure surfaces

used, as shown in Fig. 4 . A schematic diagram of the attachment along with the UTM is shown in Fig. 5 . One end of the rod was fit-

showed breakage of the CS aggregate, indicating that the individual shell strength had a strong influence on the resultant concrete

ted

with grips provided in the machine, which is movable in verti-

strength.

cal,

and load was applied by pulling the rod upward from the

specimen until failure to obtain the ultimate load [17] . The bond strength is reported as an average of three tests in each case. The experimental bond strength was computed using the following formula:

i ¼ F = ð p d l Þ

ð 3Þ

where i is the bond stress (N/mm 2 ), F the applied load (N), d the nominal bar diameter (mm) and l the embedment length (mm). The results of the pull-out test are given in Table 8 and Table 9

for plain bars and deformed bars, respectively.

4. Discussions on test results

4.1. Cement content

To satisfy the criteria of structural LWC as per ASTM [18] , min- imum 28-days compressive strength should be greater than 17 N/

mm 2 . This criterion is satisfied for the CSC mixes M9, M10 and M11

( Table 4 ). The cement content required to meet this minimum requirement lies between 480 kg/m 3 and 510 kg/m 3 . This result

also conforms to published literature [5] .

4.2. Wood–cement ratio

Referring to Table 5 , a wood–cement ratio of 0.65 may be taken as optimum for CS aggregate to satisfy the criteria of structural LWC strength as per ASTM [18] .

4.3. Workability and density

The results for workability and density are presented in Tables 4 and 5 . Coconut shell concrete probably has better workability due to the smooth surface on one side of the shells and also due to the smaller size of CS used in this study. This same trend was also re- ported by Basri [19] . For typical trial mixes, the 28-days air-dry densities of CSC are less than 2000 kg/m 3 and these are within

the range of structural LWC [7] .

Table 9 Bond strength of CSC with deformed bars (mix ratio 1:1.47:0.65:0.42).

Diameter of

Experimental bond stress (N/mm 2 )

Theoretical bond stress (N/mm 2 )

bar (mm)

IS: 456-2000

BS: 8110

8

9.84

10

7.45

12

5.93

2.24

2.42

16

4.22

4.5. Flexural strength

The flexural strength of CSC at 28-days is presented in Table 6 . For the selected mixes, the flexural strength is 4.68 N/mm 2 (17.53% of compressive strength) and 4.26 N/mm 2 (16.42% of compressive strength), respectively, for water–cement ratios of 0.42 and 0.44. For conventional concrete, the flexural strength is usually 10– 15% of compressive strength. Compared to the flexural strength as per IS 456:2000 [21] , 0.7 p f ck , where f ck is the compressive strength of conventional concrete, these values are higher by 29% and 19%, respectively. It reinforces the assumption that the behav- ior of CSC would be similar to that of conventional concrete. In con- crete with conventional aggregates, the failure in tension occurs as a result of breaking of bond between the matrix and the surface of the aggregate used or by fracture of the concrete matrix itself. Even though CS is liable to fracture unlike the conventional aggregates, this did not occur in any of the experiments when it is used as aggregate. This shows that the brittle nature of CS is not a limiting factor for its use as aggregate. When the size of the shells is re- duced, the ability to be fractured easily also probably decreases. This shows that the behavior of CSC is also similar to that of con- ventional concrete. However, further research is required on CSC to establish the co-efficient to be used to find out the flexural strength from the compressive strength. Compressive strength and flexural strength depend to some extent on the physical strength of conventional aggregates. They are also influenced by the water–cement ratio in the samples [22] . This holds true for CS also as evidenced by this study.

4.6. Splitting tensile strength

The splitting tensile strength of CSC at 28-days is presented in Table 6 . For the selected mixes, the splitting tensile strength is 2.70 N/mm 2 (10.11% of compressive strength) and 2.38 N/mm 2 (9.17% of compressive strength), respectively, for water–cement ratios of 0.42 and 0.44. Hence, it is evident that the behavior of CSC is similar to conventional concrete. A similar result is also re- ported for oil palm shell concrete [4] .

4.7. Impact resistance

The impact resistance generally increased with concrete strength both for initial crack and for failure ( Table 7 ). However, in normal concrete there appears to be an optimum value beyond which any increase in strength reduces the impact resistance both at first crack and at failure [23] . Literature shows that the number of blows required for the failure of normal aggregate concrete hav- ing compressive strength of around 45 N/mm 2 is in the range of 10–22 [23] , but in this study, for CSC having compressive strengths

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K. Gunasekaran et al. / Construction and Building Materials 25 (2011) 92–98

of 25.95 N/mm 2 and 26.70 N/mm 2 , 23–32 blows were required, nearly 50% more. This increase may be due to the fibrous nature of the CS aggregate and its high impact resistance.

4.8. Bond strength

The theoretical bond strengths were obtained using the formula as per BS 8110 [24] :

p

ffiffiffi

f bu ¼ b f cu

ð 4Þ

where f bu is the theoretical bond strength (N/mm 2 ); b the bond coefficient (0.28 for MS bars and 0.50 for RTS bars) and f cu the com- pressive strength of concrete (N/mm 2 ). The bond strength of speci- mens with plain bars ranged from 3.56 to 7.49 N/mm 2 (15–32% of compressive strength). For deformed bars, the bond strength ranged from 4.22 to 9.84 N/mm 2 (18–42% of compressive strength). The theoretical bond strengths for plain bars in conventional concrete are 1.4 and 1.36 N/mm 2 as per IS 456-2000 and BS 8110, respec- tively. The corresponding values for deformed bars are 2.24 and 2.42 N/mm 2 . In general, the bond strength of CSC is comparable to the bond strength of normal and other LWC. Similar trends were reported by Teo et al. [25] . In all the tests, plain bars failed by pulling out of the concrete whereas, deformed bars failed by concrete cover cracking and the failure was sudden with the formation of longitudinal cracks. The deformed bars had a good grip on the concrete through well-dis- tributed mechanical anchorages along their length. This showed that the projections on the surface of the deformed bars played an important role in improving the bond strength. In case of plain bars, the absence of anchorages and smooth surface on one side of the CS aggregates coupled with the continuous presence of water might have prevented good bond between the smooth bars, which contributed to the lower bond strength as compared with de- formed bars. However, even this lower bond strength value for plain bars is greater than the theoretical prediction as per stan- dards. It was also observed that for both plain and deformed bars, as the bar size increases, the bond strength decreases. This may be because the surrounding volume of concrete and hence the confin- ing pressure reduces on the reinforcing bar as the sizes increase.

5. Conclusions

Coconut shell concrete has better workability because of the smooth surface on one side of the shells and the size of CS used in this study. The 28-days air-dry densities of CS concrete of the typical mixes ranged from 1930 to 1970 kg/m 3 and these are with- in the range of structural lightweight concrete of density less than 2000 kg/m 3 [7] . The flexural strength of CSC is approximately 17.53% and 16.42% of its respective compressive strengths (26.70 N/mm 2 and 25.95 N/mm 2 ). The splitting tensile strength of CSC is approximately 10.11% and 9.17% of its respective compres- sive strengths. The impact resistance of coconut shell aggregate concrete is high when compared with conventional concrete. The experimental bond strength of CSC is much higher compared to the theoretical bond strength as stipulated by IS 456:2000 and BS 8110. In general, the bond strength of CSC is comparable to the bond strength of normal and other lightweight aggregate con- cretes. The experiments prove that coconut shells fulfill the requirements for use as lightweight aggregate. Further studies

are under way to assess its durability and suitability in structural applications.

Acknowledgements

This project is funded by SRM University, Kattankulathur, India, under Pilot Research Project Scheme (PRPS) 2008–2009. The authors wish to thank the SRM management, for their financial aid as well as the technical support and those who were directly or indirectly involved in this study.

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