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International Journal of Emerging trends in Engineering and Development

ISSN 2249-6149 Issue 2, Vol.2 (March-2012)

Stabilization of Soil by Using Plastic Wastes

Megnath Neopaney1, Ugyen, Kezang Wangchuk2, Sherub Tenzin3 Students, Department of Civil Engineering, KLCE (Autonomous), Vijayawada, AP, India. E-mail:megnath1980@yahoo.com K.Shyam Chamberlin4, Assistant Professor, Dept of Civil Engineering, KL University, Vijayawada, AP, India.

Abstract: Soil stabilization can be done in number of ways. But the stabilization using waste
plastic strips is an economic method since the stabilizer used here is waste plastic materials, which are easily and cheaply available. This report presents the various tests conducted on fiber reinforced soil with varying fiber content and different aspect ratio and their results are analyzed such that it can be used in the fields. Therefore, it is of utmost importance considering the design and construction methodology to maintain and improve the performance of such pavements. In this paper, plastic such as shopping bags is used to as a reinforcement to perform the CBR studies while mixing with soil for improving engineering performance of sub grade soil. Plastic strips obtained from waste plastic were mixed randomly with the soil. A series of California Bearing Ratio (CBR) tests were carried out on randomly reinforced soil by varying percentage of plastic strips with different lengths and proportions. Results of CBR tests demonstrated that inclusion of waste plastic strips in soil with appropriate amounts improved strength and deformation behavior of sub grade soils substantially. The proposed technique can be used to advantage in embankment/road construction, industrial yards etc. Keywords: Plastic waste, Pavement, Reinforcement, California Bearing Ratio (CBR), Aspect Ratio (AR) ___________________________________________________________________________ 1 Corresponding Author

The term soil stabilization means the improvement of the stability or bearing power of the soil by the use of controlled compaction, proportioning and or the addition of suitable admixture or stabilizer. The basic principles in soil stabilization may be stated as follows [1] 1.Evaluating the properties of the given soil. 2.Deciding the method of supplementing the lacking property by the effective and economical method of stabilization. 3.Designing the stabilized soil mix for intended stability and durability values. 4.Considering the construction procedure by adequately compacting the stabilized layers.

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International Journal of Emerging trends in Engineering and Development

ISSN 2249-6149 Issue 2, Vol.2 (March-2012)

Today, due to the fast growth of populations and development activities, it led to discharge of huge wastes. Disposal of these different wastes produced from different industries and urban areas has become a great problem. These materials, most of which are non-biodegradable posed environmental threat by polluting the nearby locality. Waste plastic is one such, which is commonly used for shopping bags, storage and marketing for various purposes due to its most advantage character of less volume and weight. Most of these plastic are specifically made for spot use, having short life span and are being discarded immediately after use. Though, at many places waste plastics are being collected for recycling or reuse, however; the secondary markets for reclaimed plastics have not developed as recycling program. Therefore, the quantity of plastics that is being currently reused or recycled is only a fraction of the total volume produced every year. The estimated municipal solid waste production in India up to the year 2000 was of the order of 39 million tons per year. From this plastics constitute around 4 % [2] of the total waste. With the few reasons cited above, it is very important that we find ways to re-utilize these plastic wastes. Therefore, the investigation and attempt has been made to demonstrate the potential of reclaimed plastic wastes as soil reinforcement for improving the sub grade soils. The study will describe series of tests carried out to initially understand the types of soil and its properties. Then CBR test was carried out with varying percentage of plastic strips with different length and proportions mixed uniformly with the soil .The results obtained from the tests will be presented and discussed.

Literature Review
Soil fiber composites have been found effective in improving the CBR value [3]. These studies indicated that stress- strain-strength properties of randomly distributed fiber reinforced soil are a function of fiber content and aspect ratio. Considerable improvement in frictional resistance of fine grained soil was also reported by roughened HDPE [4]. Strength and load bearing capacity of soil was enhanced considerably when the soil is stabilized mechanically with short thin plastic strips of different length and content [5]. The feasibility of reinforcing soil with strips of reclaimed high density polyethylene has also been investigated to a limited extent. Although, a few studies on the subject of engineering behavior of HDPE reinforced soil as described earlier are available but a detailed study pertaining to its use in real life problems is still quite meager. In view of the above limited studies, present study has been taken up with special reference to its feasibility for application in embankment/road construction. The principle of resisting action of the strips is mainly visualized as given in Figure 1 (a) and (b). In situation (a) the plunger pushes down particle C to occupy position in between particle A and B. The strip resists the downward movement of particle C until slippage between soil and strip occurs resulting into a development of situation (b). Thus, it is the interaction between soil and strips which causes the resistance to penetration of the plunger resulting into higher CBR values.

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International Journal of Emerging trends in Engineering and Development

ISSN 2249-6149 Issue 2, Vol.2 (March-2012)

Figure: 1 Schematic diagram showing position of strip (a) before and (b) after slippage between soil and strip

Experimental Work
A brief description of the materials and methods used in this investigation is given in the following paragraphs: Materials: Soil: Soil collected from the KL university campus was used in this study with specific gravity 2.40 having coefficient of uniformity (Cu) of 5.0 and coefficient of curvature (Cc) of 1.80 and free swell index as 40%. The soil is classified as MH or OH (MH is inorganic silt of high plasticity and OH is organic clay of medium or high plasticity) group as per the Unified Soil Classification System. The maximum dry density and maximum water content of soil as determined from the relative tests were 1.70g/cc and 17.50%. Plastic: The waste plastic were collected from nearby disposal sites and made into strips of different aspect ratios. A study on CBR behavior of waste plastic strip reinforced soil having strip width of 10mm and a thickness of 40 micron. These were cut into lengths of 10mm [Aspect Ratio (AR) =1], 20mm (AR=2) and 30mm (AR=3). It is important to ensure that mould diameter remains at least 4 times the maximum strip length, which will ensure that there is sufficient room for the strips to deform freely and independent of mould confinement. The waste plastic strips to be added to the soil were considered a part of the solid fraction in the void solid matrix of the soil. The content of the strip is defined herein as the ratio of weight of strips to the weight of dry soil. The tests were conducted at various strip contents of 0.0%, 0.25%, 0.5%, and 1% Test Procedure: The experimental study involved performing a series of laboratory CBR tests on unreinforced and randomly oriented plastic strip reinforced soil specimen. CBR Test procedure. As per ISI, the CBR test was performed on remolded soil by static compaction. Four such compacted specimens are prepared for CBR test, one without plastic strip.
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International Journal of Emerging trends in Engineering and Development

ISSN 2249-6149 Issue 2, Vol.2 (March-2012)

Required amount of strips as well as soil was first weighed and then the strips randomly mixed with dry soil at obtained moisture content. The soil was compacted in five equal layers by applying 56 evenly distributed blows with 4.89Kg hammer at free fall height of .cm. Due care was taken to ensure a homogeneous mix. A surcharge weight of 2.5 Kg was placed over the specimen, clamped over the base plate and the whole mould with the weight is placed under the testing machine. The penetration plunger is seated at the center of the specimen and is brought in contact with the top surface of the soil sample by applying a seating load of 4Kg. The dial gauge for measuring the penetration values of the plunger is fitted in position. The dial gauge of the proving ring (for load reading) and the penetration dial gauge are set to zero. The load is applied through the penetration reading of 0.0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 4.0, 4.5, 7.5, 10.0 and 15.0mm. The proving ring calibration factor is noted so that the load dial values can be converted into load in Kg.

Results and Discussion

After completion of each test, the specimen was dissected and the strips were examined. Many of the strips showed elongation, thinning and clear impression of silt particles. Apparently, as the soil sheared during penetration, strip fixed in the soil by friction, elongated and together provided strength against the deformation. Deformation of the soil specimen being predominantly shear in nature, the CBR value can be regarded as an indirect measure of strength [6]. The loadpenetration curves for following CBR test were performed. a) Varying aspect ratios (AR) 1, 2,3and 4 at same strip content. b) Same aspect ratio but at different strip content of 0%, 0.25%, 0.50%, 1%. The result is as shown in figure below. It can be observed from these figures that mixing of uniformly distributed plastic strips in soil increased the piston load at a given penetration considerably. It is also evident from these figures that inclusion of waste plastic increased the CBR value appreciably. The CBR value of the unreinforced soil corresponding to 2.5mm and 5.0mm penetration were found to be 0.71% and 0.64 % respectively as shown in Figure 2, which were increased to 1.20% and 1.06% respectively when soil was reinforced with 0.5% waste plastic strips having aspect ratio equal to 1. Further increase in aspect ratio from 2 to 4 without changing the strip content again enhanced the CBR value to 1.40% and 1.33% for (AR: 2) and CBR values of 1.90% and 2.07% for (AR: 3) and finally CBR values of 1.63% and 1.91% for (AR:4) respectively. The maximum value of CBR at 2.5mm & 5mm penetration is 1.90% & 2.07% respectively when 0.5% waste plastic strip content having aspect ratio equal to 3 was mixed with the soil. It can be referred from the figure 2 that the CBR value kept increasing up till AR 3 (10 X 30mm), and then a decrease in CBR is noticed at AR 4. This reveals that at AR 3 for 0.5% strip content give us the maximum bearing strength. Now, based on the maximum CBR value at AR 3, similar tests have been performed with varying percentage of strip content, the results of which can be observed from figure 3.The CBR value kept increasing till 0.5% strip content and at 1% strip content decrease in CBR is noticed. The CBR values at 2.5mm and 5mm

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International Journal of Emerging trends in Engineering and Development

ISSN 2249-6149 Issue 2, Vol.2 (March-2012)

penetration are 1.55% and 1.67%. At AR 3 increase in CBR value of a reinforced system was found approximately 1.70 times as high as that of an unreinforced system.
70 60
without strip AR :1(10 X10mm) AR:2(10 X20mm) AR:3(10 X 30mm) AR:4(10X40mm)

L o a d
( K g ) L o a d ( k g )


30 20 10 0 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16

Penetration (mm) Figure: 2 Load penetration curve of strip content 0.5% for varying Aspect Ratios.

60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0

1% strip content 0.5% strip content 0.25% strip content without srip






Figure 3. Load penetration curve for aspect ratio (AR: 3) with varying strip content

The study after several experiments, found following significances in using plastic strips as stabilizing agent. a) The addition of reclaimed plastic waste material to local soil increases the CBR.

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International Journal of Emerging trends in Engineering and Development

ISSN 2249-6149 Issue 2, Vol.2 (March-2012)

b) The maximum improvement in CBR is obtained while using 0.5% plastics strips having aspect ratio 3. c) The CBR value at AR 4 and 0.5% plastic strip decreased. d) The reinforcement benefit increases with an increase in AR and percentage of strip content up to certain limit, and beyond that it reduces its strength. e) The maximum CBR value of a reinforced system is approximately 1.70 times that of an unreinforced system. We can therefore conclude that base course thickness can be significantly reduced if waste plastic strip is used as soil stabilizing agent for sub-grade material. This suggests that the strips of appropriate size cut from reclaimed plastic wastes may prove beneficial as soil reinforcement in highway sub-base if mixed with locally available granular soils in appropriate quantity. However further study is needed: (i) To optimize the size and shape of strips and increasing its percentage content. (ii) To assess the durability and aging of the strip. (iii)Large scale test is also needed to determine the boundary effects influence on test results.

1. S.K Khanna and C.E.G Justo, Highway engineering. 2. G.Venkatappa Rao, RS Sasidar, Solid Waste Management and Engineered Landfills 3. Hoover, J.M., Meoller, D.T., Pitt, J.M. Smith, S.G. and Wainaina, N.W. (1982) Performance of randomly oriented fibre reinforced Roadways Soils, Lowa DOT Project -HR-211, Department of Transportation, Highway Division, Lowa State University. 4. Orman, M.E. (1994) Interface shear strength properties of ro ughened HDP Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, ASCE, 120(4), 758-761. 5. Rao, G.V. and Dutta, R.K. (2004) Ground improvement with plastic waste Proceeding, 5th International Conference on Ground Improvement Technique, Kaulalumpur, Malaysia, 321328. 6. HMSO. (1952) Soil Mechanics for Road Engineers London 7. Madhavi Vedula, Pawan Nath G and Prof. B. P. Chandrashekar , NRRDA, New Delhi Critical review of innovative rural road construction techniques and their impacts. 8. Saranjeet Rajesh Soni* et al. / (IJAEST) International journal of advanced engineering sciences and technologies Vol No. 8, Issue No. 1, 113 120 9. Usage of Industrial Waste Products in Village Road Construction Tara Sen1 and Umesh Mishra International Case Studies of Peat Stabilization by Deep Mixing Method Mena I. Souliman 1) and Claudia Zapata 2) 10. Rama Subbarao G.Vand Siddartha D, Murali T, Sowmya T, Sailaja K.S,Industrail wastes in soil improvement. 11. A.K. Choudhary1 J.N. Jha2 and K.S. Gill3, A study on CBR behavior of waste plastic strip reinforced soil.

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