Sunday, May 7, 2017

Composite Materials Based on Hemp and Flax for Low-Energy Buildings



The article presents the results obtained in the course of a study on prospective application of flax/hemp wastes as a filling material of lime-based composites in the construction of low-energy buildings. 

The utilized filler comprised the hydrated lime with clay and Portland cement used as additives. The analysis involved evaluation of such properties as porosity, density, thermal conductivity, absorptivity, permeability, as well as compressive and flexural strength. Depending on the quantity of the filler, the properties of the composite changed. This, in turn, enabled to evaluate whether the utilized composite met the thermal requirements established for low-energy buildings. 

Afterwards, the obtained data were cross-referenced with the results gathered in the case of a room built of autoclaved aerated concrete. In order to prevent reaching the critical surface humidity, the internal surface temperature had to be calculated. Moreover, the chances of interstitial condensation occurring in the wall made of the analyzed lime–flax–hemp composite were determined as well. 

The study showed that the composite exhibits low strength, low density, low thermal conductivity, and high absorptivity. The external walls made of the lime–flax–hemp composite receive a limited exposure to condensation, but not significant enough to constitute any threat. 

The requirements established for low-energy buildings can be met by using the analyzed composite.

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Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Lublin University of Technology, 40 Nadbystrzycka Str., 20-618 Lublin, Poland
Faculty of Environmental Engineering, Lublin University of Technology, 40B Nadbystrzycka Str., 20-618 Lublin, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jorge de Brito
Received: 24 March 2017 / Revised: 18 April 2017 / Accepted: 3 May 2017 / Published: 7 May 2017

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