Stabilization of Sandy Soils by Bentonite Clay Slurry at Laboratory Bench and Pilot Scales
Sand is one of the most abundant, naturally occurring materials in many parts of the world, which is used in local rural areas in infrastructure projects such as in the construction of low volume paved and unpaved road layers due to their availability at low cost and scarcity of other suitable construction materials. Several geotechnical solutions for sand stabilization have been undertaken to improve their properties in order to overcome erosion, failure of pavements under traffic loading, embankments, cuts and excavations caused by failures of sand structure. In this investigation, bentonite clay–water slurry was used due to its cohesive and eco-friendly nature to improve sand strength by the means of manual injection in the laboratory and pilot scales. Sand was stabilized using variation of bentonite clay contents, 0%, 1%, 2%, 3%, and 4% (by weight of dry sand), at different curing times: 0 days, 1 day, 2 days, and 3 days. Direct shear tests were conducted to determine shear strength parameters for sand before and after stabilization process. Furthermore, a transparent polypropylene box (60 cm × 40 cm × 30 cm) was used in this study as a larger scale for sand stabilization technique by applying manual grouting of bentonite clay–water slurry to the sand mass. A mechanical shaker was used at 100, 200, 300, and 400 rpm for 10 min at each stage to test the stability of sand in addition to using a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) to obtain images for stabilized sand and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to scan soil mass before and after stabilization. The test results showed that a slurry composed of 3% of bentonite clay additive with 10.3% added water by weight of dry sand mass are the optimum amounts for the stabilization process, which provides a substantial resistance to shear forces.
Bani Baker, Mousa