Improving the Characteristics of a Lean Clay by Electrokinetic Treatment


An experimental study was carried out to investigate the effect of electrokinetic treatment on the axial load capacity of a deep foundation model, embedded in a soft clay. Three series of tests were carried out using five identical electrokinetic treatment cells under applied voltages of 0, 5, 10, 15 and 20 V. Intermittent and continuous electric currents were implemented in the first two series with the similar energy consumptions to investigate the effect of the type of current in the improvement. In third series of tests, current intermittence was used in four tests with different applied voltages of 5, 10, 15 and 20 while the energy consumption was kept the same in the tests. The electric current and energy consumption were periodically recorded during the tests. At the end of the electrokinetic treatment, the axial load capacity of the foundation model was determined. Vane shear tests along with liquid and plastic limits tests were also conducted on the soil after the treatment. The results showed that electrokinetics had significantly increased both the shear strength of the soil and axial load capacity of the foundation model and the increases were proportional to the energy consumption. In the third series, the increases in the load capacity were found to be similar in the four tests. The maximum axial load capacity after the treatment was 336 N compared to 19 N in the control test. It was found that using the intermittent current reduces the corrosion of electrode.

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This research was funded by a grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) awarded to the second author.

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Correspondence to Ikrema Hassan or Eltayeb Mohamedelhassan.

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Hassan, I., Mohamedelhassan, E. Improving the Characteristics of a Lean Clay by Electrokinetic Treatment. Int J Civ Eng (2021).

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  • Electrokinetic treatment
  • Deep foundation
  • Ground improvement
  • Axial load capacity
  • Soft clay