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close this bookAppropriate Building Materials: a Catalogue of Potential Solutions (SKAT; 1988; 430 pages)
View the documentPreface
Open this folder and view contentsIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsFundamental information on building materials
Open this folder and view contentsFundamental information on building elements
Open this folder and view contentsFundamental information on protective measures
Open this folder and view contentsExamples of foundation materials
Open this folder and view contentsExamples of floor materials
close this folderExamples of wall materials
View the documentStone masonry blocks walls
View the documentRammed earth walls
View the documentCompressed soil blocks walls
View the documentBamboo reinforced earth walls
View the documentBurnt clay brick walls
View the documentConcrete hollow block walls
View the documentBamboo walls
View the documentTimber panel walls
View the documentSulphur concrete walls
View the documentWalls from agro-waste
Open this folder and view contentsExamples of roof materials
Open this folder and view contentsExamples of building systems
Open this folder and view contentsAnnexes

Sulphur concrete walls


Special properties

Cheaper alternative to cement concrete walls

Economical aspects

Low to medium costs


Very good

Skills required

Experience in use of sulphur

Equipment required

Concrete mixer with heater

Resistance to earthquake

Very good

Resistance to hurricane

Very good

Resistance to rain

Very good

Resistance to insects

Very good

Climatic stability

All climates

Stage of experience



• The ingredients of sulphur concrete are elemental sulphur, send end a plasticizer. Sulphur concrete remains unaffected by impurities, such as salts, which are harmful to reinforced cement concrete.

• The most appropriate use of sulphur concrete for walls is to make hollow blocks, especially interlocking blocks, which can be assembled with great speed and accuracy.

• Block production requires some skill and experience in the use of sulphur, as the molten sulphur hardens quickly. Because of the short curing time, only few moulds are required. Any broken blocks can be remelted and recycled.

• The illustrations overleaf show a practical example of interlocking sulphur concrete block walls in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The blocks were based on the LOK BLOK system developed by Professor Bruce Etherington (see LOK BILD System) and adapted to sulphur concrete by Bernard Lefebvre.

Further information: Alvaro Ortega, Research Consultant, 3460 Peel Street, Apt. 811, Montreal P.Q., Canada; Bibl. 18.06, 18.07.

Sulphur Concrete Block Walls in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Photos: A. Ortega)

• The interlocking blocks are quickly assembled without mortar.

• The smooth, non-absorbing marble-like surfaces eliminate the need for plastering or painting, and can easily be cleaned by washing with plain water.

• Depending on the aggregates, different coloured blocks can be made, producing attractive wall surfaces.

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