• Muawia A Dafalla
  • Mohammed I. Al Shuraim


Polystyrene, Cement-block, Temperature, Insulation, Weather


Polystyrene insulated cement blocks emerged recently as an energy saving building material
in construction practice. Expanded polystyrene of 5cm thickness or more is introduced as a middle fill layer
within the cement block in order to improve the thermal properties of walls. This study is made to investigate
the efficiency of insulation provided by this type of treatment. Two chambers were constructed in an open
area where the walls are subjected to variable weather conditions ranging from moderate to hot weather for a
period of three months. The arid region selected was Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Temperature was found to vary
between day and night through this period from as low as 9 ºC to as high as 48 ºC. Each chamber is built in
the form of four block walls 20 cm in thickness, one meter wide and one meter high. The chambers were
founded on grade slabs with a wood board used as a roof. The two chambers are identical except for the type
of blocks; one is built using polystyrene insulated blocks and the other without insulation. Construction was
carried out the same way as used in local practice. Thin mortar layer is used for bonding blocks. 5TE sensors
and a data logger were used to record ambient temperature and temperature inside each chamber. Hourly
records throughout the testing period were used to evaluate and compare the insulated and non-insulated
blocks. It was found that the improvement provided by the polystyrene cement blocks is less efficient in hot
temperature than in moderate temperature. The insulation provided by the blocks as constructed is very poor
and heat transfer is enabled through mortar filled gaps and joints. The temperature gradient has influence on
the polystyrene insulation material.




How to Cite

Muawia A Dafalla, & Mohammed I. Al Shuraim. (2018). EFFICIENCY OF POLYSTYRENE INSULATED CEMENT BLOCKS IN ARID REGIONS. GEOMATE Journal, 13(36), 35–38. Retrieved from https://geomatejournal.com/geomate/article/view/3025