Research Conducted by Associate Professor, Ece Erdogmus
Resilient and Sustainable Engineered Fiber-Reinforced Earthen Masonry (EFREM) for High Wind Regions
This collaborative project between the University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL), University of Florida, and University of South Carolina is funded by National Science Foundation. The project focuses on the innovation of a sustainable and resilient masonry construction technique: compressed, cement-stabilized, and fiber-reinforced earth blocks.
Under the leadership of Dr. Ece Erdogmus at the Peter Kiewit Institute, the first phase of the project is well underway, which involves the optimization of the Engineered Fiber-Reinforced Earthen Masonry (EFREM). For the optimization of EFREM, indigenous soil characteristics are analyzed (with Winnebago tribe lands in northern Nebraska as a target site), mortar and block samples are cast, and the samples are tested for compressive strength, as shown in the images.
The later stages of the project will synthesize the prior phases by assembling full-scale walls using the optimized materials and then conducting tests against in-plane, out-of-plane and projectile loads (simulating debris during high winds in order to understand the local behavior of the material against impact).