IMPROVEMENT OF EXPANSIVE SOIL BY USING SILICA FUME

Abstract

Expansive soils are characterized by their considerable volumetric deformations representing a serious challenge for the stability of the engineering structures such as foundations. Consequently, the measurements of swelling properties, involving swelling and swell pressure, become extremely important in spite of their determination needs a lot of time with costly particular equipment. Thus, serious researches attempts have been tried to remedy such soils by means of additives such as cement, lime, steel fibers, stone dust, fly ash and silica fume. In this research the study of silica fume has studied to treatment expansion soil, the clay soil was brought from Al-Nahrawan in Baghdad. The soil selected for the present investigation prepared in laboratory by mixing natural soil with different percentages of bentonite (30, 50 and 70% by soil dry weight). The test program included the effect of bentonite on natural soil then study the effect of silica fume (SF) on prepared soil by adding different percentage of silica fume (3, 5, and 7 by weight) to the prepared soils and the influence of these admixtures was observed by comparing their results with those of untreated soils (prepared soils). The results show that both liquid limit and plasticity index decreased with the addition of silica fume, while the plastic limit is increase with its addition. As well as, a decrease in the maximum dry unit weight with an increase in the optimum water contents have been obtained with increasing the percentage of addition of the silica fume. It is also observed an improvement in the free swell, swelling pressure by using silica fume. It can be concluded that the silica fume stabilization may be used as a successful way for the treatment of expansive clay.