Mechanical Properties and Seismic Performance of Wood-Concrete Composite Blocks for Building Construction

Materials (Basel). 2019 May 8;12(9):1500. doi: 10.3390/ma12091500.


Recent catastrophes that occurred during seismic events suggest the importance of developing new seismic-resistant materials for use in building construction. Ordinary concrete is one of the most common materials in buildings. However, due to its low ductility and flexural strength, its seismic behavior can be improved upon by different additives. In this regard, wood-concrete composites exhibit desirable structural properties not achievable by either wood or concrete alone, making it an interesting material from a seismic point of view. This work analyzes and compares the performance of blocks built with ordinary concrete versus blocks built using different wood additives (sawdust and wood shavings). This includes the construction of concrete blocks in a lab, determination of their construction and seismic-resistant properties, as well as an analysis of their performance in buildings with a different number of storeys. The results show how blocks with wood aggregates comply with current regulations for structural materials in a seismic country like Chile, while also considerably outperforming traditional concrete blocks in the event of an earthquake.

Keywords: concrete; materials; sawdust; seismic-resistant behavior; structures; wood shavings.