Date of Award

12-1-2013

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Kolay, Prabir

Abstract

In this study, coal combustion by-products mainly fly ash, commercial fibers and a natural fiber i.e., human hair were applied to stabilize the kaolinite clay and local Carbondale soil i.e., silty clay. During recent decades, the demand for infrastructures such as highways, buildings, bridges have greatly increased, especially in the areas where population was growing rapidly. All of these infrastructures need a stable foundation and in many cases the original land couldn't sustain the load from the infrastructures. In such situation, soil stabilization becomes an essential step before the foundation is laid. There are several ways to stabilize soil, viz., mechanical stabilization, chemical stabilization, stabilization by inclusion and confinement etc. It has been reported by several researchers that fly ash and fibers can significantly improve the strength of soil. Fly ash and natural fiber i.e., human hair are both waste materials, and commercial fibers are low-cost compared to other soil stabilizers. In this study, class C fly ash was used to stabilize commercially available clay i.e., Kaolinite; while both human hair and commercially available fibers (e.g., glass fiber and plastic fiber) were used to stabilize Kaolinite and Carbondale local soil. Based on this research, it could be concluded that the class C fly ash can improve the Unconfined Compressive Strength (UCS) value of Kaolinite clay significantly; fibers also could increase the UCS value of both Kaolinite and Carbondale local soil. While, the tensile strength of Kaolinite and Carbondale local soil sometimes increases or decreases depending on the percentages of fiber content used into Kaolinite and Carbondale local soil. The current research on soil stabilization by fly ash and those fibers may provide a new possibility for soil stabilization.

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