Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Daniel C. Jansen


This thesis investigates the tensile performance of unconfined lap splices in specimens constructed from interlocking compressed earth block (ICEB) units. All lap splice specimens were constructed from hollow ICEB half units with one side grouting channel. ICEB units used in this research were exclusively produced from the Soeng Thai Model BP6 block press. The BP6 block press is currently manufactured in Thailand under the guidance and direction of the Center of Vocational Building Technologies (CVBT). All ICEB units and grout constructed for this research were created from mix proportions of soil, sand, cement, and water. Rebar bar sizes were restricted to M10 (#3) and M13 (#4) for all lap splice specimens due to the limited area of the hollow 2-inch diameter rebar cavity of the ICEB unit. The limited size and strength of the ICEB units also made the use of larger bar diameters impractical. Three ICEB unit types of varying strengths (3.78 MPa, 7.81 MPa, and 11.38 MPa) and three grout types of varying strengths (1.35 MPa, 7.47 MPa, and 15.50 MPa) were developed and used to construct all specimens. The measured ICEB lap splice specimen strengths were compared against the predicted strength calculated from the Masonry Standards Joint Committee (MSJC). Findings suggested that the MSJC design equation did not adequately predict the lap splice strength of specimens, particularly for specimens constructed from weaker materials. The measured ICEB lap splice results were used to create a new ICEB lap splice design equation. This paper also investigates the compressive performance of fully grouted ICEB prisms constructed from the range of ICEB unit and grout strengths stated above. Findings suggested that the compressive strength of fully grouted ICEB prisms were exclusively controlled by the compressive strength of the ICEB units used to construct the prism. The strength of the grout had no discernable effect on the strength of the fully grouted prism. A design equation was proposed to calculate prism strengths based on measured strength results of ICEB units.