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Compaction characteristics and strength of BC soil reinforced with untreated and treated coir fibers

  • C. JairajEmail author
  • M. T. Prathap Kumar
  • M. E. Raghunandan
Technical Note

Abstract

Black cotton soils, because of its high swelling and shrinkage characteristics, have been a challenge to geotechnical engineers. Use of natural reinforcing materials in soil such as jute and coir has the advantage that they are available at low cost. Among the natural reinforcing fibers in soil, coir has the greatest tensile strength and retains its property even in wet conditions and has been used in many non-critical civil engineering applications. In the present study, compaction characteristics of black cotton soil (BC soil) admixed at different percentage of untreated and treated coir fibers were used with optimum lime content and without lime content. Alkali-treated and epoxy resin-coated and stone dust-sprinkled coir fibers have been comparatively assessed in terms of compaction characteristics and strength of fiber-reinforced BC soil. The present study indicated that the maximum dry density decreases with increase in percentage of coir fibers for both black cotton soils with and without optimum lime content. Marginal variation in maximum dry density (MDD) when fiber content is varied from 0 to 0.5% occurs and beyond 0.5% fiber content significant reduction in MDD occurs. Increasing fiber content increases the corresponding optimum moisture content (OMC) indicating addition of fiber increases water absorption by coir fibers causing an increase in OMC. However, the alkali treatment of coir fiber causes a significant reduction in water absorption leading to significant improvement in compaction characteristics and strength of BC soil.

Keywords

Compaction Black cotton soil Alkali treatment Coir fiber Maximum dry density 

Abbreviations

BC

Black cotton soil

MDD

Maximum dry density

OMC

Optimum moisture content

UCF

Untreated coir fiber

TCF

Treated coir fiber

ATCF

Alkali-treated coir fiber

OLC

Optimum lime content

NaOH

Sodium hydroxide

C2H6O

Ethanol

C6H6

Benzene

SEM

Scanning electron microscopy

UCS

Unconfined compressive strength

XRD

X-ray diffraction

Notes

Acknowledgements

The first and second authors express sincere thanks to Karnataka Coir Board Industry. Gubbi, Tumkur District, for having supplied coir fibers used in the present experimental study. Sincere acknowledgement to Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University, Malaysia, for having permitted and carried out XRD and SEM studies of untreated and treated coir fibers and fiber-reinforced BC soil samples. Sincere thanks also to CIVIL AID Techno clinic, Bengaluru and Central Silk Technological Research Institute, Central Silk Board, Government of India, Bengaluru—for having carried out Mechanical properties and Chemical Composition of coir fibers used in the present study.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NITTE Meenakshi Institute of TechnologyBangaloreIndia
  2. 2.Ghousia College of EngineeringRamanagaraIndia
  3. 3.Department of Civil Engineering, RNS Institute of TechnologyBangaloreIndia
  4. 4.School of Engineering, Monash University MalaysiaSelangorMalaysia

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