Stabilization of Expansive Subgrade soil using Waste Ceramic Powder ( A case study on the road segment in Ethio ICT Village)

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Addis Ababa University


Subgrade materials are expected to have basic desirable characteristics related to strength, stiffness and swelling. If these properties are not fulfilled, engineers are expected to come up with ground improvement methods. The growing cost of traditional stabilizing agents and the need for the economical utilization of industrial and agricultural wastes for beneficial engineering purposes have prompted an investigation into the stabilizing potential of waste ceramic powder in highly expansive clay soil. This research work is aimed to evaluate the suitability of waste ceramic powder for stabilization of expansive clay soil. The preliminary investigation of the soil to be stabilized shows that it belongs to A-7-5 class of soil in the AASHTO soil classification system. Soils under this class are generally of poor engineering use. Atterberg limits, free swell, free swell index, free swell ratio, compaction and CBR tests were used to evaluate properties of stabilized soil. The soil was stabilized with waste ceramic powder in stepped concentration of 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25% and 30% by dry weight of the soil. All stabilized soil samples were also cured for 7 days for Atterberg limits, compaction and CBR tests. Analysis of the results shows that slight improvement on the geotechnical properties of waste ceramic powder stabilized soil. Waste ceramic powder reduces plasticity index, swelling and CBR swell and it increases MDD with decrease in OMC and CBR. Curing has an insignificant effect on the geotechnical properties of waste ceramic powder stabilized soil. From this study it was found out that waste ceramic powder stabilized soil do not show significant change for both index and strength property. Additional study is also incorporated as a supplementary work to investigate the effect of applying 3% lime as an activator in combination with 15% waste ceramic powder on the geotechnical properties of the soil for uncured and cured soil samples. The results indicate that lime in combination with waste ceramic powder is suitable for improving the plasticity index, swelling and CBR. The strength values (CBR) also increased with curing ages, thus indicating that the blend has a potential for time-dependent increase in strength that will reduce the quantity of stabilizer needed for the construction of roads over the expansive soil. Therefore, this study shows that lime in combination with/plus waste ceramic powder can be effectively used to improve expansive soils with low soaked CBR value and high plasticity.



Expansive Soil, Soil Stabilization, Waste Ceramic Powder, Atterberg limit, Compaction, CBR value