Volume 31, Issue 4 (July 2008)
Influence of Mica Content on Time Domain Reflectometry and Soil Water Characteristic Curve of Coarse Granular Materials
Elevated fractions of free mica particles in unbound granular materials, used in road constructions, are believed to reduce bearing capacity and influence the hydraulic behavior of the road structure. The objective of this investigation was to study the influence of mica content on the soil water characteristic curve and the dielectric response measured by time domain reflectometry, for coarse granular (maximum particle size 63 mm) materials. Increased fraction of mica was achieved by partly replacing the base crushed rock material smaller than 4 mm, by pure muscovite mica of similar grading, thereby keeping the overall particle size distribution unchanged. Acquired results indicated that, given equal matric suction, the water retention capacity increased with increased amount of mica. Concerning the time domain reflectometry measurements, no influence of mica content could be detected. Determined water contents required adjustment because of the nonlinear distribution of water in the sample.