1 Soil Stabilization Presented to American Sports Builders Association December 9, 2013 David A. Been, P.E.
2 Session Objective Introduce the participant to various soil stabilization techniques that can be implemented to improve the strength and workability of soils.
3 So: What is soil stabilization anyway?
4 Soil Stabilization The application of a chemical or mechanical treatment of a mass of soil to increase or maintain its stability or improve its engineering properties. McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
5 Why do we stabilize soils? Make Soils Behave Better Reduce Settlement Improve Strength Reduce Shrink/Swell Potential Reduce Rutting
6 Stabilization Methods Compaction Dewatering Chemical Admixtures Mechanical Stabilization
7 Compaction The most common geotechnical operation
8 Why compact? Make Soils Behave Better Less Compressible Stronger Reduce Permeability
9 Laboratory and Field Compaction Procedures Compaction Theory Laboratory Tests the Proctor Tests Standard Proctor (ASTM D698, AASHTO T99) lower energy test 5.5 lb hammer dropped 1 foot 25 times on three layers in the mold
10 Laboratory Tests (cont d) Modified Proctor (ASTM D1557, AASHTO T180) higher energy test 10 lb hammer dropped 1.5 feet 25 times on five layers in the mold (reflected the need to model higher energy compaction equipment produced during World War II)
11 Proctor Testing Apparatus
12 Here s the Proctor plot
13 General ideas on compaction Vibration works well on sand (cohesionless) Kneading works well on clay (cohesive)
24 Pumping Soil
25 Dewatering Purpose of Dewatering: Allow construction in the dry Improve strength and stiffness of soil
26 Improved Strength Idea: Dewater the site and the soil settles and gets denser Effective Stress Phenomenon
27 Effective Stress Equation where σ = effective stress σ = σ u σ = total stress and u = pore water pressure This is a measure of how hard the soil particles are pushing on each other
30 Common Dewatering Methods Sumps, trenches and pumps Well points Deep wells with submersible pumps
31 Sumps, Trenches and Pumps Handle minor amount of water inflow Very shallow dewatering (less than 3 feet) Surrounding soil is relatively impermeable (clayey soil)
34 Well Points Small diameter (< 6 ), shallow wells Closely spaced (2 to 10 feet apart) Use of vacuum system limits depth to about 25 feet
35 Well Points (cont d) Effectively dewater coarse sands and gravels, or silts and clays Cost more than sumps or wells
38 Deep Wells with Submersible Pumps Large diameter (> 6 ), pump at the bottom of the well More powerful and wider spacing than well points Work best in sand, or sand and gravel mixtures
41 Applicability of Dewatering Systems
42 Chemical Admixtures Lime stabilization of clays Make highly plastic clays (high PI) less sticky, easier to compact Reduce swelling
43 Location of Expansive Soils
44 Terminology for Clays Atterberg limits for clay identification. These are special water contents. Liquid limit (LL) where the clay is wet enough to begin acting like a liquid Plastic limit (PL) where the clay begins to act like plastic (putty) Plasticity Index (PI) difference between LL and PL
45 Atterberg Limits Test
46 Not all clays are created equal Some swell more than others Lime works best on montmorillinitic clay
47 What lime does: Reduces swelling Removes (ties up) water from soil, making it more workable Some cementing (pozzolanic reaction)
48 What lime is: Two types: quicklime - CaO hydrated lime Ca(OH) 2 from CaO reacted with water Quicklime has about 25% more lime available per pound than hydrated lime
49 Ways to apply lime to clay soils: 1. Spread dry lime on surface and disk in. Wet the soil/lime to speed the disassociation of the Ca ions. Wait for ions to distribute themselves
50 2. Spread wet lime (water/lime slurry) on surface and disk in. Wait for ions to distribute themselves
51 3. Inject a lime slurry into the ground Wait for ions to distribute themselves
61 Lime improves clays more than sands because sands don t have the structure of clays for the Ca ions to attach and effect. However, the same pozzolanic reaction takes place and the sand particles begin to join together
62 Lime pozzolanic reactions can be enhanced with other pozzolans: flyash and kiln dust are common ones. However, their properties depend on manufacturing process they came from. Hence need for testing.
66 WORDS OF CAUTION! 1. Organics interfere with the action of lime 2. Lime may cause sulfate rich soils to swell Ettringite (calcium alumino-sulfate mineral) Significant expansion in clay soils with soluble sulfates > 3,000 ppm
68 Chemical Admixtures Cement stabilization of sands Sticks soil particles together Increases strength, reduces permeability and compressibility
69 What cement is: Crushed limestone heated to about 2,700 F in huge kilns producing clinker, a new material. Cement is pulverized clinker.
70 Chemical Admixtures With clays Cement-modified soil Reduces plasticity (PI) Increases strength Reduces shrink/swell
71 How much to add? 3.5 to 7% for A-1 to A-3 soils (sand/gravel) 7 to 10% for A-4 to A-7 soils (silt/clay soils) OR determine strength (7-day UCC strength of 300 to 600 psi)
72 Field Applications: 1. Spread dry cement on surface and disk in. Grade and compact. Do before cement hardens. Wet the soil/cement to speed the hydration. Keep wet (burlap, asphalt cement, other?) Wait for cement crystals to form
73 2. Mix cement at a plant, with soil. Spread mixture on surface, add water and mix. Shape Compact before cement hardens Keep wet Wait for hydration
74 3. Mix water/cement slurry. Pour on, mix in, grade and compact before cement hardens. Keep wet Wait for hydration
75 NOTE: Organics interfere with the action of cement
78 More information on lime and cement stabilization can be obtained at:
79 Mechanical Stabilization Geosynthetics Stone columns Others?
80 Geosynthetics Man-made products that improve soil. Serve many functions, including: Separation Reinforcement Filtration
82 Geotextiles Majority are made from polypropylene fibers Woven Nonwoven (needle punched or heat bonded) Mechanical and hydraulic properties vary widely
84 Geotextiles for Separation Good soil / Bad soil (sand) (clay)
86 When to use: Wet and soft clayey subgrade CBR < 3
88 Installation and Construction Practice: 1. Site Preparation Clear and grub Reasonably flat before geotextile rollout Wet/boggy areas may best be left uncleared (take advantage of root mat) Drain worst areas
89 2. Construction Do not drive on geosynthetics Protect geotextile from sunlight (ultraviolet radiation will degrade) Dump fill on adjacent ground, or on fill already placed on geotextile. AVOID dumping fill directly onto the geotextile, to avoid tearing the geotextile.
93 Other factors to consider when using geotextiles: Permeability Filtration Clogging
95 Geogrids Made from woven yarns (polyester), polypropylene or high density polyethylene Biaxial equal strength in both directions Uniaxial main strength in machine direction Reinforcement applications walls, steep slopes, base and foundation reinforcement
102 Function vs. Geosynthetic Type
103 Geocells What they are: 3-D Plastic Uses: Erosion control Roads Stream Fords
104 Geocell (cellular confinement system)
110 Stone Columns What they are: Soil improvement technique consisting of piers or columns of dense aggregate that are typically 24 to 42 inches in diameter and about 6 to 30 feet in length AKA: Aggregate piers, Vibro Piers, Geopiers, etc.
111 Stone Columns Uses: Increase bearing capacity Reduce settlement Mitigate liquefaction potential Slope stabilization (increased shear strength) Decrease time for consolidation
113 Expected results: Stone Columns Source: Hayward Baker
114 Stone Columns How do they work: Aggregate piers create a stiff composite system with the surrounding soil (2 to 40 times stiffer than native soil) Compaction of the aggregate (by ramming or vibration) increases lateral stresses in soil along pier, resulting in increased shear strength and decreased compressibility in the matrix soil
115 Stone Columns Typical installation methods: Non-caving soils A hole is predrilled to the required pier depth. Aggregate is then top-fed into the hole and compacted in lifts by ramming with a specially-designed tamper or vibrator.
116 Stone Columns Typical installation methods: Caving soils A tremie pipe or mandrel is attached to the vibrator/tamper and driven or vibrated to the required pier depth. Aggregate is then bottom-fed into the hole through the mandrel/tremie pipe and compacted in lifts as the mandrel/tremie pipe is raised.
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