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Mechanical Characteristics of Soils Treated with a Liquid Stabilizer Open Access


Other title
unconfined compression test
modified Proctor compaction test
scanning electron microscope
liquid soil stabilizer
standard Proctor compaction test
triaxial compression test
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Zheng, Dong Ming
Supervisor and department
Kwan, Allan G. (Allan Kwan Consulting)
Chan, Dave (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Chan, Dave (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Bayat, Alireza (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Kwan, Allan G. (Allan Kwan Consulting)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Geotechnical Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Conaid is a liquid ionic soil stabilizers used as a compaction aid or a stabilizer for soil improvement. The material is a mixture of surfactant, stabilizer and high-charge ion sulfide compound. This product may have the potential benefits of removing absorbed water from soil particles with the aid of compaction which results in an increase in shear strength. Despite these potential advantages, there is a lack of geotechnical testing on the material as well as knowledge on its chemical composition and field performance. As a result, a laboratory testing program was conducted at the University of Alberta between September 2010 and June 2012. In this study, standard ASTM laboratory tests were carried out to examine the potential benefits of Conaid. Two natural soils and two clayey soils (kaolinite, montmorillonite) were selected for this study. A wide range of Conaid contents, varying from 0.01% to 0.5% by weight, were applied in treating soils. The effects on the compaction characteristics, shear strength and volume change in triaxial compression tests were evaluated. In addition, scanning electron microscope (SEM) was used to examine the microstructure of untreated and treated soil samples. The test results show some changes, negligible in some cases, on the mechanical properties of the soils treated with Conaid. Also, both Standard and Modified Proctor compaction tests show negligible or even negative effects on maximum dry density and optimum moisture content of test soils except for kaolinite. However, no significant, consistent increases in the shear strength are observed from consolidated drained triaxial compression tests and unconfined compression tests. There is no obvious alteration in the microstructure of the treated soils when they are examined using a SEM except some minor changes are noted in the soil structure.
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