AbstractThis study was conceived to develop the optimum mix for cement-stabilized bamboo fiber–reinforced clay bricks for low-cost farm settlements. The concept was concerned with the provision of houses in rural areas as incentive to encourage youth participation in farming activities and at the same time reduce rural–urban migration. The input factors for the composite development were bamboo fiber (BF), sand proportion, and cement dosage. Mixture of the input materials were carried out per experimental runs obtained by the Box-Behnken approach. Responses analyzed were apparent porosity, water absorption, and compressive and flexural strengths. The results showed that the responses were significantly affected by the experimental factors. The developed models for each response were certified statistically fit for response prediction. Also, response surface plots revealed that each response was dependent on the interactive patterns between the input factors. An optimization procedure was carried out, and the optimum mix was 0.99%–1% by weight BF, 27.24% by weight sand and 24.82% by weight cement, yielding 13.78%, 12.66%, 8.86 MPa, and 1.98 MPa for apparent porosity, water absorption, compressive strength, and flexural strength respectively. A confirmation experiment carried out yielded error < 5% for each of the parameters, validating the models. Therefore, the optimum mix can be used in the development of low-cost clay bricks with the purpose of building low-cost farm estates for improvement of agricultural activities for the purpose of engaging more youth in farming.

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