Natural pozzolana used as a source of silica for improving the behaviour of lime–stabilised clayey soil

  • Khelifa Harichane
  • Mohamed Ghrici
  • Hamid GadouriEmail author
Original Paper


Chemical soil stabilisation has been practiced for a long time by adding different additives such as cement, lime and fly ash for improving their physico-mechanical properties. However, few studies related to the soil stabilisation using natural pozzolana (NP), lime (L) or the combination of both were recorded for different applications in civil engineering. An experimental investigation was undertaken to assess the effect of NP (containing 46.4% of silica) on the geotechnical properties of L–stabilised yellow clayey soil (YCS), which was obtained from Algerian East-West highway project. Both the L and NP were added to the YCS at levels of 0–8% and 0–20%, respectively. The prepared samples were tested for Atterberg’s limits, compaction and unconfined compressive strength (UCS). In fact, the prepared specimens were cured for 1, 7 and 28 days, after which they were subjected to UCS test. Based on the obtained results, the physico-mechanical properties of YCS can be successfully improved by using the L alone whereby a further improvement was recorded when adding NP to the L–YCS mixture. Furthermore, it should be noted that the apparent lack of SiO2 for some soils can be adequately supplemented by adding NP which has a high amount of reactive silica. Moreover, because the NP is much cheaper than the lime, the use of NP as a better source of silica is highly recommended for soil improvement and can reduce the construction costs.


Atterberg limits Compaction characteristics (OMC and MDD) Lime (L) Natural pozzolana (NP) Stabilisation Unconfined compressive strength (UCS) Yellow clayey soil (YCS) 



Yellow clayey soil


Natural pozzolana




Liquid limit


Plastic limit


Plasticity index


Optimum moisture content


Maximum dry density


Unconfined compressive strength


Calcium silicate hydrates


Calcium aluminate hydrates


Calcium alumino-silicate hydrates



The authors would like to thank the head of Hydraulic Laboratory of Hassiba Benbouali University, Chlef, Algeria.


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© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geomaterials Laboratory, Civil Engineering Department, Faculty of Civil Engineering and ArchitectureChlef UniversityChlefAlgeria
  2. 2.Earth Sciences Department, Faculty of Nature and Life Sciences and Earth SciencesKhemis Miliana UniversityKhemis MilianaAlgeria

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