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Re: GSBN:Re: fire test -- your opinions?

On Apr 26, 2006, at 2:41 PM, Rob Tom wrote:

I say if only two walls can be tested, test one with PC/lime
plaster on
on-edge bales if you absolutely must test a PC/lime plaster, but
the other
one absitively & posolutely should be an earthen mix, preferably a mix
that is *the* best in the SB World so that the numbers that do result,
will amaze the pants off of the officials.

I think that I would have to agree with RT on this one and not simply
because of the seemingly obvious. True we use earthen plasters for
just about everything with an occasional lime plaster for fun's sake,
but there is something else that comes to mind here.  How straw bale
walls covered with earth plaster would behave in a fire is of
interest to me for several reasons.  First of all clay does
beautifully when fired as evidenced in brick, Saltillo tile, ceramic
pottery etc.  In terms of a plaster I can't help but think of the
clay ovens we build that don't disintegrate under extensive firing.
I'm sitting right next to a fireplace in my kitchen that is built out
of a cob-like mix that has a beautifully worn interior after 8 or so
years of firing.  My first thought was that perhaps the interior
earthen plaster might be something with a higher sand content than
straw etc. but after thinking about it a little sand might not be the
best performer when it comes to exposure with high levels of heat.
On the other hand my fireplace has a very high straw content in the
mix as sometimes do our ovens.  Neither have burned down as of yet.
And on the other hand once again cement plastered adobe/clay ovens
have a notorious reputation in this part of the world for rapid failure.

So perhaps, although it might not have seemed like the most obvious
and sensible choice, testing an earthen plaster might be quite a good


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