Volume 2, Issue 1
Use of Portland Cement and Polymer Fibers to Stabilize Very High Moisture Content Fine-Grained Soils
Very high moisture content fine-grained soils are plentiful in wetlands, river basins, and after floods. They can be problematic and require disposal facilities to be constructed in some instances. Any means of handling or re-using these materials is potentially appealing. Using chemical stabilization (e.g., Portland cement) can enhance strength, but the resulting product can be brittle. Adding polymer fibers as a secondary stabilizer can add noticeable ductility while offering at least some strength and stiffness benefits. Two fiber types and Portland cement were mixed into three soils with varying properties at elevated moisture content and tested for shear strength via: (1) unconfined compression (UC), and (2) with hand-held gages. Fiber-reinforced and non-fiber-reinforced specimens were compared in terms of shear strength, elastic modulus, and ductility. Fiber addition, in general, increased shear strength, and the level of increase was affected by soil organic content. Ductility was considerably improved by fiber addition. Correlations were developed by soil type so that conservative elastic modulus values could be calculated from shear strength, and it was observed that fibers increased elastic moduli values.