Q: What is the proper mix of soil for Stabilized Earth (SE) walls?

There is no rule-of-thumb for proper mix ratios in SE walls. It is a process of testing various mixes and curing processes. Mix ratios depend upon what kind of soil you have locally, as well as what kind of access you may have to inexpensive local materials. Typically, an SE wall will have between 5 to 15% cement with 10% being the most common ratio. Higher concentrations of cement are used for higher-load bearing walls, as well as retaining walls or basements. Road base and sand can be added to the cement along with a waterproofing agent to create a wall with PSI ranges from 1500 to 3000 PSI. Some rammed earth builders have achieved PSI ratings of 3800, stronger than commercial concrete. The science of stabilized earth is still evolving and hopefully one day will reach a stage where earth builders will be able to create near-stone like materials such as sandstone or granite using minimal amounts of energy.

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Category: Secrets of the Mix

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