Stabilization of Soil in Building and Construction

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Soil stabilization is a term used to describe any biological, mechanical, physical, chemical, or combined process of modifying natural soil to suit an engineering purpose. It involves changing soil properties to enable it to handle increased weight, bear foundations, and pavements, and to handle high loads. Stabilization may be done using different materials like lime, bitumen, cement, chemical stabilization, electrical stabilization, as well as soil stabilization by grouting. Various companies that do soil stabilization Cincinnati oh, offer soil stabilization services in the construction industry.

Techniques used in Soil Stabilization

Various techniques can be used to stabilize soil to the required standards. These techniques are employed in different areas depending on the nature or type of soil, and the purpose of the soil stabilization. Different materials are mixed and blended with soil as discussed below:

The first technique of soil stabilization involves the use of cement. Soil stabilized using cement is referred to as soil cement. The soil cementing action is a product of chemical reactions between siliceous soil and cement during the hydration reaction. Soil-cement may be affected by soil content’s nature, mixing conditions, admixtures and curing methods used, and the compaction. Different cement amounts are required for different soil types.

Secondly, the soil may be stabilized using lime. Slaked lime is considered to be very effective in the treatment of heavy plastic and clayey soils. Lime may be used alone, or it may be combined with bitumen, fly ash, or cement. These combinations can also be used in stabilizing sandy soils. Lime is mostly used in the stabilization of road bases, as well as the sub-grade.

The third technique of soil stabilization is stabilization by bitumen. Tars and asphalts are materials of bituminous nature used for soil stabilization, especially in the construction of pavements. The addition of bituminous materials to soil imparts both reduced water absorption and cohesion.

Fourthly, soil stabilization may be done through the use of chemicals. Calcium chloride, which is deliquescent and hygroscopic, is applied as a water retentive preservative in mechanically stabilized bases of soil and surfacing. The pressure of vapor is lowered, surface tension increased, and evaporation rates decreased. Pure water freezing point is also lowered, and this leads to the reduction or prevention of frost heave.

Clayey soils can be stabilized through a technique known as electrical stabilization. The process of stabilizing soil through electricity is referred to as electro-osmosis. This method of soil stabilization is very costly, and it is mostly used in draining cohesive soils.

Lastly, soil stabilization may be done through grouting. This involves the introduction of stabilizers by injecting them into the soil. This method may not be useful in soils with low permeability, like clayey soils. It is also an expensive technique of soil stabilization.

Soil stabilization is an essential component in the construction industry. This is because it may be used in treating a variety of soil types, ranging from expansive clayey soils to granular materials. Proper design, as well as testing, is a vital component of all soil stabilization projects that must be observed by all contractors.


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