Assessment of Sandcrete Blocks Quality in Imo State, Nigeria: A Brief Overview
Novel Perspectives of Engineering Research Vol. 5,
4 January 2022
Aim: This study assessed the production management practice being adopted in the manufacture of quality sandcrete blocks in selected sampled locations within Owerri municipal of Imo State, Nigeria.
Study Design: The study adopted field sampling, experimentations and work study methods to determine the compressive strength and water absorption rate properties of the selected sampled sandcrete blocks.
Place and Duration of Study: The study selected and sampled blocks manufactured within parts of Owerri Municipal in Imo State, and made use of the Central laboratory at the Main campus, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria to test and conduct the pilot experimentations between the months of May – Sept 2021.
Methodology: The field survey entailed collecting manufactured sandcrete block specimens from randomly selected block manufacturing factories for laboratory tests. The compressive strength test and water absorption test respectively, were the properties tested on the blocks sampled. Pilot laboratory- produced blocks were used as control sample. Only 450mm x 225mm x 225mm size hollow sandcrete blocks were obtained and utilized in evaluating the block samples. In other words, the total of thirty-five (35) pieces of hollow sandcrete blocks were obtained and deployed for each of the two evaluation parameters tested. A total of six (6) blocks manufacturing factories equipped with molding machines were identified in Owerri municipal, Imo State where the study was undertaken. Random sampling method was adopted to select four (67%) of the blocks manufacturers, and from each of the manufacturers selected, five (5) pieces of blocks were sampled from among their stockpiles. In addition, the study randomly selected five (5) pieces of blocks from the specimens that was produced through ‘Pilot Laboratory’ for analysis. In all, a total of twenty-five pieces of blocks specimens were obtained comprising, twenty (20) from the field factories in addition to the five (5) pieces sampled from among pilot laboratory specimens for analysis.
Results: The results obtained after the analysis reveals among others that the mean compressive strength values obtained were as low as 1.92N/mm2, and about 17% water absorption rate from all the sampled commercial blocks.
Conclusion: The results obtained did not compare favorably with the NIS specified acceptable minimum standard values. The study therefore underpinned poor production quality control practice as well as lack of impact of regulatory bodies in Imo State as among factors that contributed to the negative results obtained.
- Compressive strength
- management practice
- sandcrete block
- water absorption