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Chemical Stabilization

Akram Karimian
Soil stabilization is the process of maximizing the suitability of soil
for a given construction purpose.

Purpose Of Soil Stabilization:
*strength improvement
*Dust control
*Soil waterproofing
And reduce the construction cost by making best use of locally
available materials.

Mechanical Stabilization
soil stabilization can be achieved through physical process
by altering the physical nature of native soil particles by
either induced vibration or compaction or by incorporating
other physical properties such as barriers and nailing.
Chemical Stabilization
soil stabilization depends mainly on chemical reactions
between stabilizer (cementitious material) and soil minerals
(pozzolanic materials) to achieve the desired effect such as
Hydration, Cation exchange, Pozzolanic reactions, .
Chemical Stabilization
Through soil stabilization, unbound materials can be
stabilized with
traditional cementitious materials (cement, lime, fly
ash, bitumen or combination of these)
nontraditional materials (Ionic, Enzymes,
lignosulfonates, polymers, petroleum emulsions,
tree resin, salts).
The stabilized soil materials have a higher strength,
lower permeability and lower compressibility than the
native soil.
Portland cement
Mechanical additives
Well-graded fines
Decrease plasticity
Increase strength
Decrease swelling ability
CaO or Ca(OH)
Chemical additives
Medium moderately fine soil
Fine-grained clay
Decrease plasticity
Increase strength
Decrease swelling ability
Curing day 3 to 7 days
Cement stabilized soil are usually
stronger than lime stabilized soils
No in Lime.
traditional stabilizers
Fly Ash
Chemical additives
Silicon and aluminum compounds
Granular materials with few fines
+ lime + water
Available and cheap
Mechanical additives
Asphalt cement and Asphalt
Make soil stronger
Increase resistant to water
and frost
Factors Affecting the Strength of Stabilized Soil
organic matters,
sulphides ,
Moisture content,

the top layers of most soil
react with hydration product e.g.
(Ca(OH)2) resulting into low pH
Delay in hydration process
Make hardening difficult
Impossible to compact
Factors Affecting the Strength of Stabilized Soil
organic matters,
Moisture content,

sulphides in form of iron pyrites (FeS
+ 2H
O +7O
= 2FeSO
+ 2H
+ H
+ H
O = CaSO
.2 H
O + CO
greater volume than the
combined volume of reactants
Factors Affecting the Strength of Stabilized Soil
organic matters,
Moisture content,

Stabilized mixture has lower maximum dry
The optimum moisture content increases with
increasing binders
In cement stabilized soils, hydration process
takes place immediately. This process involves
hardening of soil mix which means that it is
necessary to compact the soil mix as soon as
possible. Any delay in compaction may result
in hardening of stabilized soil mass and
therefore extra compaction effort may be
required to bring the same effect. That may
lead to serious bond breakage and hence loss
of strength.
Lime stabilized soil require mellowing
period to allow lime to diffuse through
the soil thus producing maximum
effects on plasticity. After this period,
lime stabilized soil may be remixed and
given its final compaction resulting into
remarkable strength.
Factors Affecting the Strength of Stabilized Soil
organic matters,
Moisture content,

hydration process + compaction
Insufficient moisture content will
cause binders to compete with soils
in order to gain moisture from the
For soils with great soil-water affinity
(such as clay, peat and organic soils),
the hydration process may be
retarded due to insufficient moisture
content, which will ultimately affect
the final strength.
Factors Affecting the Strength of Stabilized Soil
organic matters,
Moisture content,

Pozzolanic reaction is sensitive to
changes in temperature.
In the field, Pozzolanic reactions
between binders and soil particles
will slow down at low temperature
and result into lower strength of the
stabilized mass.
In cold regions, it may be advisable
to stabilize the soil during the warm
Non-traditional stabilizers
Ionic additives (acids and alkaline)
Alter electrolyte concentration of pore fluid -> cation
exchange -> flocculation of clay minerals
Reduce the surface charge -> loss of double-water layer ->
close packing and flocculation
Reduce plasticity , swell potential, particle size
No effect in treating granular soils
Suitable for smaller clay minerals which have large double-
layer water : montmorillonite
Non-traditional stabilizers
Enzyme additives
Organic molecules : catalyze specific reactions
Depends on soil chemistry and need time for diffusion
Large organic molecules surround the clay minerals ->
neutralizing the negative charge -> reduce clays affinity for
No effect in granular soils (and silts)
Need time

Non-traditional stabilizers
lignosulfonate additives
Lignin that binds Cellulose fibers
Coat individual soil particles -> binds particles together
Cementing agents with minor chemical effects -> bonding
physically particles together
More effective in granular soils -> diminish with decreasing
particle size
Deflocculated clays -> poor performance in stabilization

Non-traditional stabilizers
salt additives
Calcium and magnesium chloride (cacl2 and mgcl2)
cation exchange and decrease double-layer and increase
Increase pore water surface tension -> increase apparent
cohesion -> improvement strength
Corrosive for metals and susceptible for leaching
granular soils: compaction and recrystallization -> weak
physical bonds between particles
Fine-grained soils : improve cohesion by preventing the soil
from drying
Non-traditional stabilizers
petroleum resin additives
Asphalt emulsions and synthetic isoalkane fluids
Asphalt emulsions: water adsorbs to surface + evaporation ->
asphalt cement residue on soil particle surface
Coat the particle and form physical bond -> suitable for
granular soils because of low surface area
Coated particles provide excellent waterproofing
Synthetic fluids : compaction with dispersing particles and
rearrangement of them + waterproofing
Do not offer chemical or physical bonding : minimal
improvement in strength
Non-traditional stabilizers
tree resin additives
By Timber and paper industries
Coat soil particles to bind them together : cementing
Suitable for granular materials

Case Study of the use of an Enzyme stabilizer
Terrazyme (In central and Eastern Europe)
Replace adsorbed water with organic cations -> neutralizing
negative charge

reduce the thickness of electrical double layer ->
compacting more tightly

Resists being replaced by water -> reduce the tendency to swell

Develops cementation

Design procedures
Subgrade modification : create a working platform
no credit in design process

Subgrade stabilization : enhance the strength
increased strength take into account in design process
2 mechanisms Mixing with chemical materials
-> increase in particle size by cementation, greater strength,
reduction in PI, reduced shrink/swell potential
-> absorption and chemical binding -> better compaction

Criteria for chemical selection

Lime required for treatment
a) .

b) .

c) .
Cement required for treatment

Stabilization Methods
1) In-situ stabilization
Deep mixing method
Wet mixing
Dry mixing
Mass Stabilization

2) Ex-situ stabilization

In-situ stabilization
on site soil improvement
without removing the bulk soil
improving soils for deep and shallow foundations and
contaminated sites.
by injecting into soils a cementitious material such cement
and lime in dry or wet forms.

The choice to either use dry or wet deep mixing methods
depend among other things; the in-situ soil conditions, in
situ moisture contents, effectiveness of binders to be used,
and the nature of construction to be founded.

Depending on the depth of treatment, the in situ
stabilization may be regarded as either deep mixing method
or mass stabilization.
Deep mixing method
stabilization of soils at large depth.
wet or dry binder is injected into the ground and blended with in situ soft soils (clay,
peat or organic soils) by mechanical or rotary mixing tool.
The aim is to produce the stabilized soil mass which may interact with natural soil and
NOT, to produce too stiffly stabilized soil mass like a rigid pile which may
independently carry out the design load.
Thus the design load should be distributed and carried out partly by natural soil and
partly by stabilized soil mass (column).
Wet mixing
Dry mixing
Mass stabilization is a shallow to deep
stabilization method in which the entire volume of
soft soil can be stabilized to a prescribed depth.
The technique is relatively new and is highly suited
for the stabilization of high moisture content such
as clay, silty, organic soils and contaminated
The method provides an alternative to traditional
method of soil improvement such as removal and
replaces techniques.
Mass stabilization
Ex-situ stabilization
The technology involves dislodging of the soils and or
sediments from the original position and moves to
other place for the purpose of amendment.
The main objectives of dredging can be either for
amending the contaminated sediments to reduce
toxicity and mobility .
Offsite treatment of the sediment can be done in
confined disposal facilities (CDF) and then be used or
disposed at designated site. Method of removal, means
of transportation, availability of treatment location,
disposal site or demand for reuse is key factors to
consider when planning for ex-situ stabilization.
Expansive clay from Spain : PL =24.9%
LL = 43.5%
UC = 0.399 MPa
free swelling : 4.65% must be less than 3% in Spain
Additives : lime (the only permitted additive in Spain)
Consolid System (CS plymer) (waste with high mineral content)
Anti-expansive treatment
Improve mechanical properties
Red mud : waste material of producing alumina (35-40% bauxite)