Gilbert Fritz wrote:
Is the two tons of pressure enough to make a really good brick? Most commercial rams generate much more, up to 30 tons.
Gilbert Fritz wrote:How to fill the mold so exactly that all the bricks are the same size, while still keeping the process relatively quick?
Gilbert Fritz wrote:What are the bricks supposed to be like when they come out? I was surprised at how soft they were. Various sites talk about building with them straight out of the press. Does the strength only develop with drying/ curing?
Amedean Messan wrote:I have been working for a few days on a project to construct a highly affordable method for manufacturing a CEB. If you are familiar with CEB construction than you understand that these machines can be incredibly costly which limits use. I wanted to have the option for making CEB for retaining walls or raised bed gardens so I did some research on making something good enough and affordable for those small projects. So far I am almost finished with my design but I hit a snag with the block mold. I did the press in Solidworks below.
The press should generate over two tons of force. I decided to go to Lowe's Home Improvement today and spent a little over 30 dollars in materials to construct the press. There is about 9 inches of clearance from the base to the contact board where the force is directed.
Again, the compressive force from the press pulled out the screws from the wood easily when I tried to form a block from clay soil. I wish I took a picture of the block I made but it clearly had enough compression to harden significantly which proves the viability of this economical method for constructing CEB. Here is the very basic mold I constructed.
SO this leaves me with the final design challenge which will require me to construct a mold which can be withstand the compressive forces applied by the press. I will also have to look into making an efficient process to extract the block from the mold. Obviously when the dirt is compressed it creates increased friction along the walls so in the next few days I will potentially have the mold constructed of two pieces - the outer wall to confine the internal stresses and an inner wall which will allow me to extract the block.