CIVIL ENGINEERING 365 ALL ABOUT CIVIL ENGINEERING



AbstractThis paper describes key research on expansive soils and the methods employed to characterize them; fallacies in the current characterization of expansive soils are also explained. Novel swell characterization models that account for hydro, chemical, and mechanical behaviors of soils are introduced and used to demonstrate in case studies to improve expansive soil stabilization practices. The first two case studies present the results of expansive soils stabilized by incorporating clay mineralogy and soluble soil sulfate measurements. An innovative design method for successful stabilization of expansive soil is introduced in the first case study, which incorporated both basic clay mineralogy and unsaturated soil behaviors as well as performance-based durability studies. Sulfate soil stabilization works on medium-to-high sulfate soils, including rigorous laboratory and field validation studies, are presented in the second case study. The third case study, which involves a steep earthen embankment built with expansive clayey soils and experiencing recurring surficial slope failures and maintenance issues, is also discussed. Forensic studies explaining the causes of slope failures and their mitigation methods are also included. All case studies reveal the need for detailed data about soil chemistry, including clay mineralogy and sulfate studies, to improve the current field stabilization and infrastructure design on expansive soils. The last section summarizes recent innovations for better health monitoring and management of civil infrastructure built on expansive soils using unmanned aerial vehicle platforms and visualization tools, which will be valuable for validating the application of new materials, designs, and construction processes.



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