Characterization of Thermo-Physical Properties of Cement-Based Blocks of Varied Sand Types Using Cost-Effective Enhancement Approach

The dominant property of building envelope fabric which contributes significantly to minimize electricity utilization in building is the thermophysical properties. There is inadequate literature on representative practical data of thermophysical properties of the dominant building envelope components in Ghana.

This study aims to use cost-effective approach to characterize the thermophysical properties of only cement-based mortar and concrete blocks used in Ghana for building components specifically wall design. Mixed methods research design was employed to achieving the aim. A questionnaire survey was used among sampled building fabric components manufacturers to pick representative data on thermophysical properties of their mortar and concrete blocks. Also, an experimental procedure employing a transient technique with a TCi Thermal Analyser was used to determine the thermophysical properties of selected mortar and concrete blocks from Ghana in addition to designed parametric mortar and concrete blocks with varied ratios obtained from the survey were undertaken at University of Nottingham.

From the study, a trend of decreasing thermal conductivity and thermal effusivity with corresponding decreasing sand content was observed with all the different sand types. The thermal conductivities of both mortar and concrete parametric blocks meet the range of expected standard values outlined in Chattered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Guide A. The major limitation of the work is the dimension of the sample size, which is not inconsistent with standard block size due to the experimental setup used. It is expected that, the characterization of the predominant cement-based building fabrics components will contribute to improved building performance analysis with significant savings in electricity utilization for space cooling.

This paper highlights application of the MTPS method of C-Therm's Trident Thermal Conductivity Analyzer

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