Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Cross-linking of biopolymers for stabilising earthen construction materials

Muguda, S.; Hughes, P.N.; Augarde, C.E.; Perlot, C.; Bruno, A.W.; Gallipoli, D.

Cross-linking of biopolymers for stabilising earthen construction materials Thumbnail


C. Perlot

A.W. Bruno

D. Gallipoli


Biopolymers are promising potential soil stabilizers due to their ease of application and stabilization efficacy. Biopolymers are biologically occurring polymers that form hydrogels when added to soil in the presence of water. Hydrogels are three-dimensional polymer networks formed through the interaction of polymer chains with soil particles and pore water. The chemical properties of the biopolymer and external factors (like temperature) affect the physical characteristics of the hydrogels formed. Cross-linking of biopolymer chains with another monomer or biopolymer enables the development of hydrogels with enhanced physical integrity and mechanical properties. Recent studies have shown that the biopolymers, guar and xanthan gums, improve the mechanical and durability properties of soil. As a galactomannan, guar gum naturally forms cross links with xanthan gum, and the study presented here evaluates the impact of this cross-linking on plasticity, shrinkage, strength and durability. Cross-linked specimens with higher guar gum have higher plasticity indices and linear shrinkage; however, when the amount of xanthan gum is increased, these values reduce. Strength tests suggest that cross-linking addresses some of the shortcomings of each biopolymer and improves the overall mechanical behaviour of the soil. The durability performance of cross-linked specimens was found to be comparable with specimens stabilized with individual biopolymers.


Muguda, S., Hughes, P., Augarde, C., Perlot, C., Bruno, A., & Gallipoli, D. (2022). Cross-linking of biopolymers for stabilising earthen construction materials. Building Research and Information, 50(5), 502-514.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 29, 2021
Online Publication Date Nov 16, 2021
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Oct 31, 2021
Publicly Available Date Nov 25, 2021
Journal Building Research and Information
Print ISSN 0961-3218
Electronic ISSN 1466-4321
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 50
Issue 5
Pages 502-514
Public URL


Published Journal Article (3.4 Mb)

Publisher Licence URL

Copyright Statement
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group<br /> This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations