Behavior of Reinforced Concrete Beams With Coconut Shell As Coarse Aggregates

The high cost of conventional building materials is a major factor affecting housing delivery in world. This has necessitated research into alternative materials of construction. The project paper aims at analyzing flexural and compressive strength characteristics of concrete produced using crushed, granular coconut as substitutes for conventional coarse aggregate with partial replacement using M30 grade concrete. Beams are casted, tested and their physical and mechanical properties are determined. The main objective is to encourage the use of these ‘seemingly’ waste products as construction materials in low-cost housing. It is also expected to serve the purpose of encouraging housing developers in investing these materials in house construction.

The high demand for concrete in the construction using normal weight aggregates such as gravel and granite drastically reduces the natural stone deposits and this has damaged the environment thereby causing ecological imbalance (Short and Kinniburgh, 1978).Therefore, there is a need to explore and to find out suitable replacement material to substitute the natural stone.In developed countries, the construction industries have identified many artificial and natural lightweight aggregates (LWA) that have replaced conventional aggregates thereby reducing the size of structural members. This has brought immense change in the development of high rise structures using LWC. However, in Asia the construction industry is yet to utilize the advantage of LWC in the construction of high rise structures.

Coconut Shell (CS) are not commonly used in the construction industry but are often dumped as agricultural wastes. It was concluded that the CSs were more suitable as low strength-giving lightweight aggregate when used to replace common coarse aggregate in concrete production.Gunasekaran studied the properties of concrete using coconut shell as coarse aggregate were investigated in an experimental study. Compressive, flexural, splitting tensile strengths, impact resistance and bond strength were measured and compared with the theoretical values as recommended by the standards.The bond properties were determined through pull-out test.

Coconut shell concrete can be classified under structural lightweight concrete. O.T. Olateju in this paper reports the exploratory study on the suitability of the periwinkle shells as partial or in concrete works. Physical and mechanical properties of periwinkle shell and crushed granite were determined and compared. A total of 300 concrete cubes of size 150 × 150 ×150 mm3 with different percentages by weight of crushed granite to periwinkle shells as coarse aggregate in the order 100:0, 75:25, 50:50, 25:75 and 0:100 were cast, tested and their physical and mechanical properties determined. Majid Ali in this paper presents the versatility of coconut fibres and its applications in different branches of engineering, particularly in civil engineering as a construction material.Not only the physical, chemical and mechanical properties of coconut fibres are shown; but also properties of composites (cement pastes, mortar and/or concrete etc), in which coconut fibres are used as reinforcement, are discussed. Coconut fibres reinforced composites have been used as cheap and durable non structural elements. The aim of this review is to spread awareness of coconut fibres as a construction material in civil engineering.

Test setup

The experiments were conducted on a loading frame of capacity 400 kN. The beams were tested as a simply supported beam with a clear span of 2500 mm and it is subjected to two point loading. The loading set-up consists of a load cell, hydraulic jack and a hand pump to apply the load. The experimental set-up is shown below. Steel pellets for the Demec gauge strain measurement was pasted on the compression side and tension side.


Failure mode

In the control concrete beam initial crack is 35 kN. The coconut shell 25% beam initial crack is 25 kN. The coconut shell 50% beam initial crack is 30 kN. The coconut shell 75% beam initial crack is 35 kN. The failure beams as shown in the figure.


The experimental results of four beams, two each in CS and the NWC are presented in this paper.

The comparison of mechanical properties and structural behavior of the NWC and CS beams is discussed.

The crack width, deflection, ultimate strength, concrete and steel strains are analyzed and compared for both beams.

Based on the results, the following conclusions may be drawn:The overall flexural behavior of reinforced PKSC beams used in this study closely resembles that of equivalent beam made with NWC.

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  • Raj Janorkar

    Behavior of Reinforced Concrete Beams With Coconut Shell As Coarse Aggregates

    2 years ago