Volume 2, Issue 4 (December 1979)
Small-Scale Testing of Soils for Frost Action
A method is described for convenient study of frost action, including soil heaving and needle ice formation. The apparatus is simple and small and the procedure requires only 25-cm3 soil specimens. The method could be useful for screening either large numbers or limited quantities of soils or soil additives for frost susceptibility.
The method described was used to perform a limited number of tests with several soils. The tests obtained action in the form of soil heave, ice heave, or ice needles, yielding maximum heights up to three to six times the initial 40-mm soil depth. Maximum growth rates were up to 1 to 3 mm/h for soil heaves and 3 to 7 or more mm/h for ice heaves and ice needles. Initial trials showed that thickener additives and possibly other treatments can restrict frost action.