CIVIL ENGINEERING 365 ALL ABOUT CIVIL ENGINEERING



AbstractEfficient utilization of problematic soils such as soft clay by imparting additional strength using various stabilization techniques is done to improve soil properties. The application of nanomaterials in the area of soil stabilization has great potential to create a stiff skeleton, especially when blended with cementitious materials. Using the response surface method, this study focused on studying the effects of single and blended cementitious systems, comprising cement (0% to 20%), slag (0% to 20%), and nanosilica (0% to 2.4%), on the properties of soft clay in wet conditions [water-to-soil ratio (w/s) of 53% to 87%]. The mechanical [California bearing ratio (CBR), unconfined compressive strength up to 91 days] and durability (freezing-thawing durability factor) properties of stabilized clay were investigated, and the bulk trends were corroborated by thermogravimetry and microscopy analyses. Based on statistical analysis, incremental addition of cement, slag, and nanosilica led to the systematic increase in the properties of soft clay, albeit to different extents and with different mechanisms. At the low w/s (53%), superior mechanical and durability properties were obtained for soft clay stabilized with the ternary binder comprising cement, slag, and nanosilica. Numerical optimization showed that stabilizing this weak type of soft/expansive clay is possible, but the results (proportions, performance, cost) varied based on the target design criteria and application.



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