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Evaluation of Expansive Soil Amended with Fly Ash and Liquid Alkaline Activator

Abstract

This paper presents the use of fly ash (FA) and liquid alkaline activator (LAA) to amend the engineering behavior of expansive soil (ES) based on a series of unconfined compressive strength (UCS), expansion ratio (ER), California bearing ratio (CBR), and free swell index (FSI) tests conducted on various sets of natural and amended ES with different proportions of FA with LAA at different curing periods of 7, 14, and 28 days. Microstructure analysis was carried out by field emission scanning electron microscopy. This study also evaluates the performance of pavement subgrade with amended ES. The LAA is a mixture of 1.0 molar sodium metasilicate and 10.0 molars of sodium hydroxide solution mixed in the proportion of 70:30, respectively. The results indicate that ER and FSI decrease when FA content increases with optimum alkaline activator content (OLC) in the combination, whereas UCS and CBR values initially increase with an increase in FA content up to 25% and after which they decrease. It is also observed that, with an increase in curing periods, the ER and FSI decrease, whereas UCS and CBR values increase. Also, the flexible pavement’s total thickness and initial cost first decrease up to optimum FA content (25%) with OLC after that increases.

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Data Availability

Not applicable

Abbreviations

ASTM:

American Society for Testing and Materials

B.C.:

bituminous concrete

C-A-S-H:

calcium aluminate silicate hydrate

CBR:

California Bearing Ratio

CH:

inorganic clay of high plasticity

C-S-H:

calcium silicate hydrate

D.B.M.:

dense bituminous macadam

ECBR:

effective California bearing ratio

ER:

expansion ratio

ES:

expansive soil

FA:

fly ash

FESEM:

field emission scanning electron microscopy

FSI:

free swell index

G.S.B.:

granular sub-base

G. Base:

granular base

IS:

Indian standard

LAA:

liquid alkaline activator

MTD:

maximum total density

N-A-S-H:

sodium aluminate silicate hydrate

OLC:

optimum liquid alkaline activator

S.D.B.C.:

semi-dense bituminous concrete

UCS:

unconfined compressive strength

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Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank Geotechnical Engineering Laboratories MNNIT Allahabad, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India, for providing available resources. The authors are thankful to IIT Kanpur for providing the FESEM and XRF facility. The authors are also thankful to Prayagraj power generation company limited, Bara Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India, for providing the fly ash to complete this research.

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Roop Kishor: investigation, writing-original draft, visualization, methodology, formal analysis, writing—review and editing; V. P. Singh: Review, editing and supervision.

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Correspondence to Roop Kishor.

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Kishor, R., Singh, V.P. Evaluation of Expansive Soil Amended with Fly Ash and Liquid Alkaline Activator. Transp. Infrastruct. Geotech. (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40515-022-00240-8

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Keywords

  • Expansive soil
  • Fly ash
  • Liquid alkaline activator
  • Pavement subgrade
  • Pavement thickness