Raw earth materials, which have found multiple uses for millennia, now offer considerable potential for helping to adapt to the changing climate, thanks to their natural ability to regulate heat and water, as well as their low-CO2 production and shaping. However, scientific advances are still needed to get a more precise understanding of these materials, up to the nanometric scale.
This thesis focuses on the link between the mechanical properties of raw earth soil materials and their nanostructure, emphasizing the roles of confined water, ions and organic substances. Two approaches, based on the expertise on nanoporous media developed at CEA, Saclay and Marcoule, will be followed: the analysis of old materials using spectroscopic and radiation scattering methods, and the development of a screening protocol to identify physicochemical parameters important for durability. This research, which ultimately aims to optimize the formulation of raw earth materials, will be carried out in collaboration with architects specialists in the field.