Rethink Your Life!
Finance, health, lifestyle, environment, philosophy
The Work of Art and The Art of Work
Kiko Denzer on Art

[Cob] straw in cob or concrete?

Damon Howell dhowell at
Mon Aug 18 10:08:00 CDT 2008

Hi all,
	To Ocean: I originally posted the question about straw in concrete  
and your reply was "Instead of asking the coblist, why not float the  
idea to the concrete people - they'd probably laugh their asses  
off..."  - Thanks Ocean, but since those guys don't experiment and  
cobbers do, I figured this list would be more appreciative and  
supportive of the idea! I think I'll try it anyway as an experiment  
because I KNOW FOR A FACT the straw in cob doesn't deteriorate even  
though moisture penetrates the wall. And I also know when I add the  
straw into my clay/sand mix it gets stiff which probably means it  
works well as reinforcement (at least to keep it together in an  
earthquake). Straw doesn't give the cob compressive strength, sand  
does that. But, as I said before, straw in concrete may not work  
because concrete works chemically where cob works physically. But,  
also as I said before, soaking the straw in water/sodium chloride  
neutralizes the carbohydrates which keeps the concrete from drying.  
I'm no cob "expert" so I do like to hear from intelligent people like  
yourself Ocean. It's just that it seems to me most cobbers are  
willing to try a new idea instead of saying "oh no that won't work  
and you shouldn't even try it." We severely limit our chance of  
survival when we say there is only one way to do something.

Damon in GA