Skip to main content
Log in

Unconfined compressive strength of clayey soils stabilized with waterborne polymer

  • Research Paper
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Published:
KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering Aims and scope


Improvement and stabilization of soils are widely used as an alternative to substitute the lacking of suitable material on site. Soils may be stabilized to increase strength and durability or to prevent erosion and dust generation. The use of nontraditional chemical stabilizers in soil improvement is growing daily. A new stabilizing agent was developed to improve the mechanical performance and applicability of clayey soils. In this study a laboratory experiment is conducted to evaluate the effects of plasticity index and waterborne polymer on the Unconfined Compression Strength (UCS) of clayey soils. The laboratory tests include sieve analysis, hydrometer, Atterberg limits, modified compaction and unconfined compression tests. Three clayey soils with different plasticity indexes were mixed with various amounts of polymer (2, 3, 4 and 5%) and compacted at the optimum water content and maximum dry density. The unstabilized and stabilized samples were subjected to unconfined compression tests to determine their strength at different curing times. The results of the tests indicated that the waterborne polymer significantly improved the strength behavior of unsaturated clayey soils. Also, an increase in plasticity index causes a reduction in unconfined compression strength.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Ajayi-Majebi, W. A., Grissom, L. S., and Jones, E. E. (1995). “Epoxyresin-based chemical stabilization of a fine, poorly graded soil system.” Transportation Research Record, TRB, National Research Council, Washington, D.C.

    Google Scholar 

  • Al-Khanbashi, A. and Abdalla S. H. W. (2006). “Evaluation of three waterborne polymers as stabilizer for sandy soil.” Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, Vol. 24, No. 6, pp. 1603–1625.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Al-Khanbashi, A. and El-Gamal, M. (2003). “Modifition of sandy soil using waterborne polymer.” Journal of Applied Polymer Science, Vol. 88, Issue 10, pp. 2484–2491.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Alexander, M. L., Smith, R. E., and Sherman, G. B. (1972). Relative stabilizing effect of various limes on clayey soils, Bulletin 381, Highway Research Board.

  • Amu, O. O., Adeyeri, J. B., Haastrup, A. O., and Eboru, A. A. (2008). “Effects of palm kernel shells in lateritic soil for asphalt stabilization.” Research Journal of Environmental Sciences, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 132–138.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • ASTM D 1557 (2002). Standard test methods for laboratory compaction characteristics of soil using modified effort, American Society for Testing and Materials, Philadelphia.

    Google Scholar 

  • ASTM D 2166 (2006). Standard test method for unconfined compressive strength of cohesive soils, American Society for Testing and Materials, Philadelphia.

    Google Scholar 

  • ASTM D 442-63 (2007). Standard test method for particle-size analysis of soils, American Society for Testing and Materials, Philadelphia.

    Google Scholar 

  • Daniels, J. L. and Inyang, H. L. (2004). “Contaminant barrier material textural response to interaction with aqueous polymers.” Journal of Material and Civil Engineering, Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 265–275.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Daniels, J. L., Inyang, H. I., and Iskandar, I. K. (2003). “Durability of Boston blue clay in waste containment applications.” Journal of Material and Civil Engineering, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 144–155.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Eades, J. L. and Grim, R. E. (1960). Reaction of hydrated lime with pure clay minerals in soil stabilization, Bulletin 262, Highway Research Board. Washington, D.C.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fang H. Y. (1991). Foundation engineering handbook, Chapman & Hall, New York, NY10119.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Ferguson, G. (1989). “Stabilizing with fly ash. Replacement for portland cement or lime.” Transportation Research Record 1219, TRB, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., pp. 68–81.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ferguson, G. and Levorson, S. M. (1999). Soil and pavement base stabilization with self-cementing coal fly ash, American Coal Ash Association, Alexandria, Virginia.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gopal, R. J., Singh, S., and Das, G. (1983). “Chemical stabilization of sand comparative studies on urea-formaldehyde resins as dune sand stabilizer and effect of compaction on strength (Part IV).” Indian Society of Desert Technology, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 13–19.

    Google Scholar 

  • Green, V. S., Stott, D. E., and Norton, L. D., and Graveel, J. G. (2000). “Polyacrylamide molecular weight and charge effects on infiltration under simulated rainfall.” Soil Sci. Am. J., Vol. 64, pp. 1786–1791.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kestler, M. A. (2009). Stabilization selection guide for aggregate and native-surfaced low-volume roads, Civil Engineer, Forest Service, San Dimas Technology & Development Center.

  • Little, D. N., Males, E. H., Prusinski, J. R., and Stewart, B. (2000). Cementations stabilization. Transportation in the new millennium: Perspectives from TRB standing committees, Committee A2J01, Committee on Cementations Stabilization, National Research Council. Washington, D.C.

    Google Scholar 

  • Moustafa, A. B., Bazara, A. R., and Nour El-Din, A. R. (2003). “Soil stabilization by polymeric materials.” Angenandte MaKromoleKular Chemie., Vol. 97, No. 1, pp. 1–12.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Naeini, S. A. and Mahdavi, A. (2009). Effect of polymer on shear strength of silty sand, Master’s. Thesis, Civil Engineering Department, Imam Khomeini International University.

  • Oldham, J. C., Eaves, R. C., and White, D. W. (1997). “Materials evaluated as potential soil stabilizers.” U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, pp. 77–15.

  • Palmer, J. T., Edgar, T. V., and Boresi, A. P. (1995). Strength and density modification of unpaved road soils due to chemical additives, Master’s Thesis, Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering, University of Wyoming.

  • Perloff, W. H. (1976). Soil mechanics, principal and applications, John Wiley & Sons. New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Prusinski, J. R. and Bhattacharya, S. (1999). “Effectiveness of portland cement and lime in stabilizing clay soils.” Transportation Research Record 1652, TRB, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., pp. 215–227.

    Google Scholar 

  • Santoni, R. L., Tingle, J. S., and Webster, S. L. (2003). “Stabilization of silty sand with non-traditional additives.” Transportation Research Record 1787, TRB, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., pp. 33–41.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Seyed Abolhassan Naeini.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Naeini, S.A., Naderinia, B. & Izadi, E. Unconfined compressive strength of clayey soils stabilized with waterborne polymer. KSCE J Civ Eng 16, 943–949 (2012).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: