n Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering = Joernaal van die Suid-Afrikaanse Instituut van Siviele Ingenieurswese - Optimal stabilisation of deltaic laterite : technical paper

Volume 50, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1021-2019



Deltaic laterite is the most suitable and most widely used soil material for road embankment in the Niger Delta. Usually, its natural characteristics fall short of the minimum requirements for such applications hence it has to be stabilised to improve its properties. In this study, samples of deltaic lateritic soils were subjected to mechanical (with or without controlled sand addition), cement and cement-sand (composite) stabilisation methods to improve strength for improved engineering applications. Mechanical stabilisation was found to satisfy subgrade requirements while the addition of sand produced sub-base material quality at best depending on compacted maximum dry density (MDD), which itself is dependent on the optimum sand content (OSC). The OSC was also shown to affect the optimum moisture content (OMC) and the soaked California bearing ratio (CBR) of stabilised specimens. Combination of the test results produced a graphical model to predict the influence of mechanical stabilisation on the soil materials using the percentage fines (that is, passing through a 75 mm sieve) obtainable from wet sieving. Cement stabilisation of the soil (by indigenous highway standard) produced base-course quality materials with cement content in excess of 12 %, which is economically unviable. However, the addition of controlled proportions of sharp sand (also abundant in the Niger Delta) to the soilcement mixtures produced base-course quality materials with 6 % cement (less than half of that obtained through only cement stabilisation) and about 40 % sand content. A model was also presented to predict the other constituents of sand-cement stabilisation using the percentage fines obtainable from wet sieving.

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