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Soil stabilization using proprietary liquid chemical stabilizers: sulphonated oil and a polymer

Abstract

A selected commercially available sulphonated oil (SO) and a polymer were evaluated for use as soil stabilizers in a laboratory-based investigation. Two naturally occurring soils (Mercia mudstone [MM] and Oxford clay [OC]) and limestone quarry fines (LQF) were treated with the SO, a polymer, and a combination of the SO and the polymer for assessment of changes in their engineering properties. Untreated specimens also were tested to serve as a control condition. Stabilizer performance was evaluated based on the provisions of ASTM D4609-08 (2008). The test results indicated that performance was dependent on both the soil type and the stabilizer dosage. Generally, treatment did not lead to substantial changes in index properties or maximum dry density. However, the optimum moisture content for LQF was substantially reduced (17–35 %) together with improvements in both dry strength (unconfined compressive strength [UCS]: 38 % for MM, 26 % for OC, >500 % for LQF; static flexural strength [SFS]: 60 % for MM and OC, >500 % for LQF) and swell characteristics (20 % for OC, 21–61 % for MM). Applied in the proper context, the stabilizers are suitable for the treatment of soils for low-volume roads.

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Acknowledgments

For this study, Salversen Brickworks, Walsall, and West Midlands provided the MM samples; Hanson Brickworks, Stewartby, and Bedfordshire supplied the OC samples; Tarmac Ltd provided the limestone quarry fines; and M/S Sovereign CS Ltd, Middlesex, and UK supplied the stabilizers. The authors are grateful for the support provided. The authors thank the staff of the Centre for Electron Microscopy, University of Birmingham, UK for help with the SEM and with interpretation of the SEM images.

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Correspondence to Site Onyejekwe.

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Onyejekwe, S., Ghataora, G.S. Soil stabilization using proprietary liquid chemical stabilizers: sulphonated oil and a polymer. Bull Eng Geol Environ 74, 651–665 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10064-014-0667-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10064-014-0667-8

Keywords

  • Soil stabilization
  • Polymers
  • Sulphonated oils
  • Nontraditional stabilizers
  • Proprietary liquid chemical stabilizers