Can mud bricks protect peacekeeping missions?

News - 17 September 2019 - Webredactie

In the Middle East and in Africa you find a lot of buildings we call Adobe buildings. Adobe is a building material that is made from earth or mud and organic materials such as fibres. The term is used to refer to mud brick and sometimes to any kind of earth construction. The material is around for thousands of years, but we don’t know the details of it.

Tiziano Li Piani (who defended his doctorate at TU Delft on 4 September 2019) wanted to characterise the dynamic performance of the material against high velocity impacts. How strong is the material and how does it behave under blasts and explosions? What kind of protections can adobe structures give to militaries in battle fields?  This is a very relevant question for military peace keeping operations in for example the Middle East. 

In 2018, this national Dutch collaboration including TU Delft, Dutch Military Academy, TNO and Dutch Ministry of Defense won an international call by the European Commission and as leader user of the consortium, li Piani had the opportunity to characterize the dynamic properties of the material using the unique facilities of the Joint Research Centre in Ispra. A year later the joint research project has been considered by European Commission among the very best collaborations established with national based research consortia.