Mudcrete

sugarhill(7)December 8, 2005

Have any of you ever worked with mudcrete - the process where you till Portland cement into clay, add water and let it harden into an adobe looking concrete. I'm thinking this might solve my need for mowing strips around beds. This month's Georgia Gardening has an article about it, but it's a little short on how-to information. Anyone tried this for anything?

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HoneyGum_SugarBush(7)

I've heard of "papercrete" used as an alternative building material for adobes and straw bale homes but not mud. Why use mud when you can just use the real thing? A high strength masons mix is what I used for the stone edging around my planting beds and I gave it the weed whacker test and lawn mower test and so far it's held up to that abuse. I wouldn't be so sure if it wasn't as strong.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 10:14AM
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razorback33(z7)

"Mudcrete" is a process developed by an AU company and is also called "soft stone". There is no exact formula for a mix of mud, silt, soil,etc. and Portland cement. It varies with the components and the intended use.
It has been used successfully in Africa for making "mudbrick", used in housing construction, similar to the Adobe construction of the US Southwest.
I have tried it once on a short garden path(~12') to stop erosion during heavy rainfall(50/50 mix). It worked for several years, but foot traffic finally pulverized it. For that use, probably should have been thicker and contained more PC.
Guess it comes to trial and error, when using clay as one of the components.
Have you tried Hypertufa? Composed of PC, sand & milled sphagnum peat moss. Addition of a tough fiber adds strength. PC is now available with the fiber added.
Good luck!
Rb

    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 11:40AM
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HoneyGum_SugarBush(7)

What am I talking about. Of course I've heard of them using mud to build adobes. I must not have had my thinking cap on the other day.

Now I do have some information on mixing hypertufa if you're interested, I'll post it.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2005 at 10:22AM
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serenoa(z8b, FL)

Interesting topic. I had not heard of mudcrete before but it must look great with red clay. I have used Polypavement here in north Florida. It mixes well with our sandy soil to make a solid but somewhat flexible surface. I ignored the instructions, due to time constraints, and sprayed it directly on the soil (sand) surface for a temporary walking path that supported thousands of visitors for two weeks. It was cracked but largely intact several months later despite vehicle traffic. This approach served my needs but Polypavement is supposed to last for years with vehicular use when mixed with the soil and applied as instructed.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 10:45AM
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Eddie_GA(7A)

There is a big article on mudcrete in the latest issue of Georgia Gardener magazine.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 4:05PM
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soilworks(8 AZ)

I suggest considering a new product called Soiltac® Soil Stabilizer and Dust Control Agent (http://www.soiltac.com/) rather than mudcrete.
Soiltac® is highly effective for binding soil and aggregate together and dries completely transparent leaving the landscape to appear untouched.

The United States Department of Defense currently uses Soiltac® to build runways out of sand in Iraq, so it will definitely take care of your trails, driveways and parking areas.

The product is significantly less expensive than asphalt or cement and is simple and easy to apply if you are the do-it-yourself type.

Good Luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: SOILTAC® - Soil Stabilizer & Dust Control Agent

    Bookmark   December 29, 2005 at 1:14PM
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sugarhill(7)

Here's a link to something I am considering instead of mudcrete. I want mowing strips, and this might work better.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mowing strips

    Bookmark   January 4, 2006 at 12:41PM
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