rammed earth


rammed earth
a mixture of sand, loam, clay, and other ingredients rammed hard within forms as a building material. Also called pisé, pisé de terre, pisay.
[1825-35]

* * *

or pisé de terre

Building material made by compacting and drying a stiff mixture of clay, sand or other aggregate, and water.

It has been used by many civilizations. The most durable of the earth-building forms, it is formed into building blocks (see adobe) or rammed within removable wooden forms in layers or lifts to construct walls. China's Erligang (с 1600 BC) is an example of a rammed-earth fortification; it covers an area of 1.2 sq mi (3.2 sq km) and may have taken 10,000 people more than 12 years to build.

* * *

▪ building material
      building material made by compacting certain soils, used by many civilizations. The most durable of the earth-building forms, rammed earth may be used for making building blocks or for constructing whole walls (wall) in place, layer by layer. In making building blocks, the soil is rammed into a box-shaped mold. In building up whole walls, two wooden planks separated by a spacer bolt are used as a form, and the earth is rammed into this in layers; when the form is filled, it is removed and superimposed on the top of the wall and more earth is rammed in until the desired height is reached. Ironheaded rammers, roller-mounted forms, pneumatic rammers, and hydraulic, mass-production block presses have been used. The soil used must be high in sand and low in clay, 70 percent and 30 percent being the usual proportions. About 10 percent water is added in modern practice. Good compressive strength is characteristic of rammed earth.

      Wall thicknesses are usually at least 12 inches (30 cm), a mass that results in a high thermal capacity, keeping the internal conditions uniform in climates having large variations in temperature from day to night. To give it increased resistance to weather, the wall surface is often treated with plaster, bitumen, or linseed oil. Stabilizers may be added to the soil to increase weather resistance and strength; portland cement and bitumen are commonly used.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • rammed earth — rammed′ earth′ n. bui civ a mixture of sand, loam, clay, and other ingredients rammed hard within forms as a building material • Etymology: 1825–35 …   From formal English to slang

  • Rammed earth — The ruins of a Han Dynasty (202 BCE – 220 CE) Chinese watchtower made of rammed earth at Dunhuang, Gansu province, at the eastern end of the Silk Road …   Wikipedia

  • rammed earth — /ræmd ˈɜθ/ (say ramd erth) noun → pisé (def. 1). –rammed earth, adjective …   Australian English dictionary

  • rammed earth — a mixture of sand, loam, clay, and other ingredients rammed hard within forms as a building material. Also called pisé, pisé de terre, pisay. [1825 35] …   Useful english dictionary

  • rammed earth — noun A construction material made by compressing or packing earth (dirt) …   Wiktionary

  • Rammed Earth —   A construction material made by compressing earth in a form; used traditionally in many areas of the world and widely throughout North Africa and the Middle East …   Energy terms

  • earth — /errth/, n. 1. (often cap.) the planet third in order from the sun, having an equatorial diameter of 7926 mi. (12,755 km) and a polar diameter of 7900 mi. (12,714 km), a mean distance from the sun of 92.9 million mi. (149.6 million km), and a… …   Universalium

  • Earth sheltering — is the architectural practice of using earth against building walls for external thermal mass, to reduce heat loss, and to easily maintain a steady indoor air temperature. Earth sheltering is popular in modern times among advocates of passive… …   Wikipedia

  • Earth-Minbari War — The Earth Minbari War is a fictional war that formed a major part of the back story of the science fiction television series, Babylon 5 . The war was fought between the Earth Alliance and the Minbari, an older alien race that overwhelmingly… …   Wikipedia

  • Earth Alliance Civil War — The Earth Alliance Civil War is an armed conflict in the Babylon 5 series, in which President Clark dissolves the Earth senate and orders martial law throughout the Earth Alliance worlds. It formed a major element of the show in seasons 3 and… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.