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Re: GSBN:Jeff Ruppert and clay tests

--On Wednesday, January 8, 2003 9:08 PM -0700 Athena & Bill Steen absteen@... wrote:

One concern I have always had about this particular combination is
wondering how efficient it would be in not letting liquid moisture
pass through to the straw.  Clay obviously likes to hold onto it
and not let it go, cements, limes by themselves appear ready to
give it up at a moment's notice.

As Harry mentioned, when sufficient lime is mixed with clay, we get hydraulic limes. These are lime compounds that will set up under water and are highly water resistant. My guess is that these lime-clay mixtures would show less of the three virtues of clay plasters which don't contain lime. I think they will be less vapor permeable, will be able to absorb/store/moderate less moisture in time of need, and will transfer moisture to straw more readily, as Bill speculates above.

So, while lime-clay mixtures may have great virtues for lining canals, and many other applications, they may not be a step forward for plastering strawbale structures. We would need to test their moisture-related qualities before we can make a reliable judgement.

Derek Roff
Language Learning Center, Ortega Hall Rm 129, University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131  505/277-7368, fax 505/277-3885
Internet: derek@...