The purpose of this study was to evaluate the production management practises used in the fabrication of high-quality sandcrete blocks in a few tested locations in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.
The compressive strength and water absorption rate parameters of the selected samples sandcrete blocks were determined using field sampling, experiments, and work study methods.
The study used the Central laboratory at the Main campus, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria, to test and conduct the pilot experiments between the months of May and September 2021, and chose and sampled blocks manufactured in areas of Owerri Municipal in Imo State.
Methodology: For the field survey, manufactured sandcrete block specimens were collected from randomly selected block producing plants and tested in the laboratory. The qualities of the blocks sampled were examined using the compressive strength and water absorption tests, respectively. As a control sample, blocks made in a pilot laboratory were employed. Only hollow sandcrete blocks measuring 450mm x 225mm x 225mm were acquired and used to evaluate the block samples. In other words, for each of the two evaluation parameters assessed, a total of 35 pieces of hollow sandcrete blocks were obtained and deployed. In Owerri municipal, Imo State, where the study was conducted, a total of six (6) blocks manufacturing factories with moulding machines were identified. A random sampling approach was used to choose four (67 percent) of the block manufacturers, and five (5) pieces of blocks were sampled from each of the selected manufacturers’ stocks. In addition, the study randomly chose five (5) pieces of blocks for analysis from the specimens produced by the ‘Pilot Laboratory.’ In total, twenty-five pieces of block specimens were gathered, with twenty (20) coming from field factories and five (5) coming from pilot laboratory specimens for analysis.
The findings of the investigation revealed, among other things, that the mean compressive strength values found were as low as 1.92N/mm2, and that all of the commercial blocks analysed had a water absorption rate of roughly 17 percent.
Conclusion: The acquired results did not compare favourably to the acceptable minimum standard levels set by the NIS. Poor manufacturing quality control practises, as well as the lack of impact of regulatory authorities in Imo State, were identified as factors that contributed to the undesirable outcomes.
Nwabueze Michael Anosike
Department of Building, School of Environmental Sciences, Federal University of Technology Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.
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