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Indian Geotechnical Conference 2017 GeoNEst

14-16 December 2017, IIT Guwahati, India

Characteristics of Fly Ash Mixed with Locally Available Soil of Kokrajhar

Samaina Brahma
Souravjyoti Deka
Umaliu Rongmei
Nabajyoti Bayan
Shafi Kamal Rahman
Department of Civil Engineering; Central Institute of Technology, Kokrajhar – 783370
E-mail: ; ; ; ;

ABSTRACT: This article presents details of experimental investigation on properties of fly ash of National Thermal
Power Corporation (NTPC) Salakati mixed with sandy soil of Kokrajhar area. Samples are prepared mixing soil and fly
ash at different proportions and the following tests are carried out on every sample-specific gravity test, liquid limit test,
plastic limit test, standard proctor test, consolidation test, direct shear test, California Bearing Ratio (CBR) test and
constant head permeability test. The results are compared to study the effect of fly ash on properties of soil. It is seen
that addition of fly ash shows positive results in various cases. Shear strength, maximum dry density (MDD), CBR and
co-efficient of consolidation are increased by addition fly ash. Again permeability, optimum moisture content (OMC),
specific gravity, plasticity and liquid limit decreased with increased amount of fly ash.

Keywords: Flyash; Geotechnicalproperties; Sandy Soil; GroundImprovement

1. Introduction Fly ash is collected from NTPC, Salakati of Kokrajhar,
Electricity generation in the country is and would remain Assam. The major components of the fly ash collected is
predominantly by coal based stations in the near future. SiO2 (35.64%), Al2O3 (22.21%) and CaO (32.26%) .
The Indian coal is of low grade having high ash content
At first the properties of fly ash and soil sample are
of the order of 30 - 45% generating large quantity of fly
examined. Soil-fly ash mixed samples are prepared
ash at coal or lignite based thermal power stations in the
adding fly ash to soil at 5%,10%,15%,20%,25%,30% and
country. The management of fly ash has thus been a
40% by dry weight. The following tests are conducted on
matter of concern because of its potential of causing
each of the samples-
pollution. According to report of Central Electrical
Authority (CEA) in October 2015, 145 thermal power (i) Specific gravity: It is conducted following IS:2720
plants of India produced 184.15 million tonne fly ash in (Part 3/sec1)-1980.
the year 2014-15.Only 55.69% (102.54 million tonne) of (ii) Liquid limit and plastic limit: These are determined
this fly ash is utilised. CEA is giving huge importance on following IS: 2720(Part 5)-1985.
100% utilisation of fly ash. At the same time in the field (iii) Standard Proctor compaction test: It is conducted
of geotechnical projects, the scarcity of soil with good following IS:2720 (Part 7)-1980, Reaffirmed- 2011.
bearing capacity is creating a major problem. In this Optimum Moisture Content (OMC) and Maximum Dry
study it is tried to solve both of these problems. Density (MDD) is determined from here. The
Previous researchers also tried to find out effects of relationship between water content and density of soil is
adding fly ash in different kinds of soils. Pandian (2004) found out here which is helpful in increasing bearing
studied the effect of two types of Fly Ashes Raichur Fly capacity and in controlling undesirable settlement of
Ash (Class F) and Neyveli Fly Ash (Class C) on the CBR foundations.
characteristics of the black cotton soil. Edil et al. (2006) (iv) Consolidation test: It is necessary to know
indicated the effectiveness of fly ashes for stabilization of settlement of a structure after application of load. It also
fine grained soils. Kaushik and Ramaswamy (2006) provides relationship of void ratio and pressure.
examined the various properties of coal ash to be used as IS:2720(Part 15)-1965,reaffirmed 2002 is followed for
good construction material in geotechnical applications. conducting this test.
Chauhan et al. (2008) observed that optimum moisture v) Direct shear test: It is conducted following IS:
content increases and maximum dry density decreases 2720(PART 13)-1986, Reaffirmed-2002. The result of
with increased percentage of fly ash mixed with silty this test are required for design of many engineering
sand. Paul and Saha (2012) evaluated the compressibility problems such as foundations, retaining walls, bridges,
behaviour of soil and fly ash used in successive layer. sheet piling. Direct shear test can predict these
Compressibility of the soil decreases due to the silt size parameters quickly.
particles of the fly ash used. vi) Permeability test: This test is done following
IS:2720 (Part 36)-1987,reaffirmed 2002. It is based on
2. Materials and experimental investigation the measurement of quantity of water that flows under a
The soil is collected from Central Institute of given hydraulic gradient through a soil sample of known
Technology, Kokrajhar, Assam. The soil collected is length and cross sectional area in a given time. The
sandy having specific gravity 2.56. knowledge of this property is much useful in solving
problems involving yield of water bearing strata,
seepage through earthen dams, stability of earthen dams,

Characteristics of Fly Ash Mixed with Locally Available Soil of Kokrajhar

and embankments of canal bank affected by seepage, 25 16.4

settlement etc. 30 14.7
vii) CBR test: The CBR test is a penetration test meant 40 14.5
for the evaluation of subgrade strength of roads and
pavements. The results obtained by this test are used 3.3 Effect of fly ash on consolidation :
with the empirical curves to determine the thickness of It is observed that co-efficient of consolidation increased
pavement and its component layers. This is the most by addition of fly ash till 30%.It means the rate of
widely used method for the design of flexible pavement. consolidation is accelerated.
It is conducted following IS: 2720 (Part 16)-1987, re-
affirmed 2002.

3. Experimental results and discussion

3.1 Effect of fly ash content on specific gravity

It is seen that addition of fly ash decreased the specific
gravity of the samples. Fly ash particles are hollow, thin
walled cenosphere, having low weight than conventional
soil, so in mixed samples the overall weight become less.

Table-1 Specific gravity of test samples

Fly ash content (%) Specific gravity Fig.2 coefficient of consolidation vs fly ash content
0(Soil) 2.56 graph
5 2.50
10 2.40 3.4 Effect of fly ash on permeability:
15 2.42 The coefficient of permeability is primarily influenced by
20 2.47 the nature of the voids in between the particles. Fine fly
ash particles have voids much smaller than the soil
25 2.48
particles. Larger specific surfaces of fly ash would cause
30 2.49 more resistance to the flow of water through the voids.
40 2.42 Therefore it is observed that permeability is decreased as
the amount of fly ash is increased as illustrated in Table
3.2 Effect of fly ash on MDD and OMC
Fly ash has significant effect on MDD. Initially it Table 3- Coefficient of permeability of test
decreased from 1.64 g/cc to 1.578 g/cc and then it kept on samples
increasing. It may attributed to the high content of lime Fly ash content (%) Coefficient of
(CaO) in the fly ash used. It is summarized in Fig.1 permeability(cm/sec)
0(Soil) 2.455x10-4
10 1.741x10-4
20 1.589x10-4
30 1.414x10-4
40 1.018x10-4

3.5 Effect of fly ash on direct shear strength

Maximum shear strength of fly ash-soil mixed soil is
significantly increased by addition of fly ash.It increased
to 2.16 kg/cm2 for 20% addition of fly ash from 1.972
kg/cm2 of only soil for normal stress of 1.5 kg/cm2 .It is
illustrated in Fig.3 .
Fig.1 Effect of fly ash on MDD
The effect of fly ash content on OMC is summarized in
table 2 below. It increased initially, then kept on

Table-2 OMC of test samples

Fly ash content (%) OMC(%)
0(Soil) 22.4
10 22.5
15 20.8
20 16.8

Indian Geotechnical Conference 2017 - GeoNEst
14-16 December 2017, IIT Guwahati, India

Deb, T. and Pal, S.K. (2014) Effect of fly ash on
geotechnical properties of local soil-fly ash mixed
samples, IJRET: International Journal of Research in
Engineering and Technology, Volume: 03 Issue: 05, pp.

Chauhan, M.S., Mittal, S. and Mohanty, B.(2008)

Performance evaluation of silty sand sub-grade reinforced
with fly ash and fiber, Geotextiles and Geomembranes,
Vol. 26, Issue 15, pp. 429-435.
Fig.3 Shear stress at failure for test samples
Kaushik, N.P. and Ramasamy, G.(2006) Strength
Table 4- Angle of internal friction(Φ) of test characteristics of compacted coal ash, Unpublished
samples thesis, Department of Civil Engineering, Engineering
Fly ash content (%) Φ(in degrees) College Kota, 2006.
0(Soil) 52.19
10 52.93 Pandian, N. S. (2004) Fly ash characterization with
20 55.22 reference to geotechnical applications,Journal of Indian
30 52.89 Institute of Science, pp. 189–216.
40 51.52 Saha, S. and Paul,S.K.(2012) Compressibility Behaviour
of Soil and Fly Ash Used in Successive Layers,EJGE,
Angle of internal friction changed in similar pattern like
Vol. 17,Bund.T,pp.2659-2670.
the direct shear strength as shown in Table 4 above.

3.6 Effect of fly ash on CBR value T.B. Edil, H.A. Acosta and C.H. Benson, “Stabilizing
The CBR value of only soil is 1.424 %.It is not suitable soft fine grained soils with fly ash,” Journal of Materials
for use in subgrade of pavement as minimum value of in Civil Engineering, ASCE 18(2), 2006, 283-294.
CBR for such application is 2%.It is obtained in that
study that CBR value increased to 2.20% for 20%
addition of fly ash. This is a significant result in terms of
application for pavement construction. It is shown in Fig.

Fig. 4 CBR value vs. fly ash content graph

3.7 Effect of fly ash on liquid and plastic limit

Addition of fly ash decreased the plasticity of the
samples. The liquid limit decreased from 26.7% for only
soil to 22.6% in sample having 40% fly ash.
4. Conclusions
Addition of fly ash shows positive results in various
cases. Shear strength, MDD, CBR value, co-efficient of
consolidation are increased by addition fly ash. Again
permeability, plasticity, OMC, specific gravity and liquid
limit decreased with increased amount of fly ash. 20%
addition of fly ash is showing optimum results. These
experimental results are expected to help in using fly ash
in a non-hazardous manner.