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Buildings 2017, 7(1), 11;

Thermal Conductivity of Straw Bales: Full Size Measurements Considering the Direction of the Heat Flow

Arts et Metiers ParisTech, LaBoMaP, Cluny 71250, France
Architecture et Climat, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve B-1348, Belgium
Institut de Conseil et d’Etudes en Développement Durable, Namur 5000, Belgium
Université de Liège, ArGenCo, GeMMe, Liège 4000, Belgium
Unité de mécanique et construction, Université de Liège, Gembloux 5030, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ambrose Dodoo
Received: 6 December 2016 / Revised: 20 January 2017 / Accepted: 25 January 2017 / Published: 5 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insulation Materials for Residential Buildings)
Full-Text   |   PDF [4957 KB, uploaded 5 February 2017]   |  


The thermal conductivity of straw bales is an intensively discussed topic in the international straw bale community. Straw bales are, by nature, highly heterogeneous and porous. They can have a relatively large range of density and the baling process can influence the way the fibres are organised within the bale. In addition, straw bales have a larger thickness than most of the insulating materials that can be found in the building industry. Measurement apparatus is usually not designed for such thicknesses, and most of the thermal conductivity values that can be found in the literature are defined based on samples in which the straw bales are resized. During this operation, the orientation of the fibres and the density may not be preserved. This paper starts with a literature review of straw bale thermal conductivity measurements and presents a measuring campaign performed with a specific Guarded Hot Plate, designed to measure samples up to 50 cm thick. The influence of the density is discussed thoroughly. Representative values are proposed for a large range of straw bales to support straw-bale development in the building industry. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermal conductivity; straw bale; environmental impact thermal conductivity; straw bale; environmental impact

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Costes, J.-P.; Evrard, A.; Biot, B.; Keutgen, G.; Daras, A.; Dubois, S.; Lebeau, F.; Courard, L. Thermal Conductivity of Straw Bales: Full Size Measurements Considering the Direction of the Heat Flow. Buildings 2017, 7, 11.

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