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Granular Matter

, 21:1 | Cite as

Collapsibility of metastable sand by non-conventional oedometer tests

  • Zimbardo Margherita
  • Ercoli Laura
  • Megna Bartolomeo
  • Scaffaro Roberto
Original Paper
  • 14 Downloads

Abstract

The stability of foundations soils could represent a clear and present threat for the conservation of even well preserved buildings, particularly for Architectural heritage conservation and land art heritage. A dramatic case is the presence of collapsible metastable sands as foundation soils, as it occurs in the sacral complex Valle dei Templi in Agrigento. This site listed by UNESCO, stands on a crest of a calcarenite cuesta, overlaying a layer of these sands. When the collapsible sand is dry, the structure is strong enough to bond the sand particles together. When the sand becomes wet, a de-structuration mechanism occurs and the soil’s strength is compromised. This paper has a twofold aim: (1) to gain a better understanding of the kind of bonding forces between the textural components of the collapsible metastable sand and (2) to identify a proper consolidant, that could combine the compatibility of inorganic systems and the performance of polymeric materials, paying attention to the environmental issues related to this site. Soaking tests have been performed by submerging sand samples in different solvents in order to verify the role of water menisci in mechanical stability of the sand highlighting a perfect stability using a non polar solvent. Sand samples have been consolidated by using poly ethylene glycol and nanosilica. Oedometer tests on consolidated and untreated samples have been used to verify the reduction of collapse potential induced by the treatment with the proposed mixtures.

Keywords

Suction forces Collapse potential Metastable sand Stabilization PEG 

List of Symbols

CP

Collapse potential

Cu

Uniformity coefficient

e0

Initial void ratio

ef

Final void ratio

Id

Durability index

Ip

Plasticity index

n

Porosity

wl

Liquid limit

wp

Plastic limit

Wp

Polymer content is equal to: (weightfinal − weightinitial)/weightinitial

δd

Parameter related to dispersive forces

δh

Parameter related to hydrogen bonding

δp

Parameter related to the polar bonds

εv

Vertical strain (ΔH/H0)

σ′v

Vertical stress

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work has been financially supported by the PRIN program within the project “Monitoraggio, consolidamento, conservazione e protezione dei beni culturali n. 2015WBEP3H” and carried out within a cooperation protocol between the DICAM department and the “Parco Archeologico e Paesaggistico della Valle dei Templi” authority. We are gratefully with Prof. Nicola Nocilla, for the useful suggests during the development of the research and the critical revision of the manuscript and with Dr. Erasmo Cataldo for the CAD drawing of the oedometer cell.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil, Environmental, Aerospatial, Materials Engineering, DICAMUniversity of PalermoPalermoItaly

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