Analysis of Thermal and Electrical Properties of Laterite, Clay and Sand Samples and Their Effects on Inhabited Buildings in Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria

A. Adekunle, E.S. Ekandem, K.E. Ibe, G.N. Ananso, E.B. Mondigha


Buildings are faced with situations bothering on effects of heat and electric current flow on occupants. Thermal comfort as well as the quantity of current expected in buildings is of paramount importance. Core materials used in erecting buildings were considered during this study.   This study is meant to analyze the thermal and electrical properties of laterite, clay and sand samples thereby picking out the most suitable for inhabited buildings. Each sample of laterite, sand and clay was placed in the sample chamber of Lee’s disc apparatus and sufficient heat was passed to the samples through the conical chamber. The in and out temperatures of the specimens were determined. The cooling curves of temperature against time were employed to determine their thermal conductivities while the resistivity was obtained through the thermocouple and multi-meter. A very low thermal conductivity of 3.5 x 101kgms-2Ɵ-1 and high resistivity of 0.0337Ωm were obtained for laterite samples. The results obtained revealed that the samples considered have different thermal conductivities, electrical resistivity and rates of cooling. The rate of cooling of laterite sample showed that it has low temperature fluctuations when it absorbs heat. The salt content of laterite sample in Ota was observed to be very minimal due to small quantity of current flowing through buildings constructed with such laterite sample analyzed. The electrical and thermal conductivity of laterites show they can easily withstand high current and intense heat much more than clay and sand. Based on the thermal and electrical properties of laterites obtained, it is therefore imperative to establish the need to embrace it as local building material while sand and clay could be used in the production of pipes, roof tiles and interior floor where the heat conductivity is of secondary concern. Laterite based buildings using NBRRI interlocking should be encouraged more in Nigeria especially those living in hot regions.

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