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    The Effect of Heating on Engineering Properties of Clays

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    The effect of heating on gradation, specific gravity, plasticity characteristics, swelling, and shear strength properties of a kaolin and a bentonite were investigated. The test soils were heated in an electric furnace to different temperatures up to 600°C. The engineering properties were determined by following ASTM standard procedures.

    Results of the study indicate that heating the kaolin to 400°C reduces the amount of swelling drastically. Further heating to 500°C causes a formation of larger particles, a drop of specific gravity, a change into nonplastic, and a substantial increase in shear strength of the kaolin. For the bentonite, larger particles are found when heated to 600°C. Also, at 600°C, the clay becomes nonplastic and nonexpansive and undergoes a moderate strength gain. Based on the results of the investigation, it is concluded that heating can be used to stabilize soft clay deposits effectively.


    thermal stabilization, heating, clays, bentonite, kaolin, gradation, specific gravity, consistency limits, swelling, shear strength, expansive clays, soil stabilization

    Author Information:

    Wang, MC
    Professor of Civil Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

    Benway, JM
    Geotechnical engineer, Goldberg Zoino & Associates, Bridgeport, CT

    Arayssi, AM
    Geotechnical engineer, Solar Testing Laboratories, Inc., Cleveland, OH

    Committee/Subcommittee: D18.15

    DOI: 10.1520/STP23553S