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Volume change behavior of clayey soilfly ash

mixtures
B. A. Mir*1 and A. Sridharan2
At present, more than 150 million tonnes of fly ash is generated annually in India, posing serious
health and environmental problems. To control these problems, the most commonly used method is
addition of fly ash as a stabilizing agent in combination with soils. For the bulk utilization of fly ashes in
geotechnical applications such as embankments/dykes, as back fill material, as base material and in
water retaining structures either alone or with soil, the volume change behavior of soilfly ash mixture
forms an important consideration. Only few data are available concerning the volume change
behavior of clayey soilfly ash mixtures and require further investigations. In the present study, highcalcium (ASTM Class C-Neyveli fly ash (NFA)) and low-calcium (ASTM Class F-Badarpur fly ash
(BFA)) fly ashes in different proportions by weight (10, 20, 40, 60, and 80%) were added to a highly
expansive soil [known as Black Cotton (BC) soil from India] to evaluate the effect of fly ashes on the
volume change behavior of clayey soilsfly ash mixtures. Compacted clay-fly ash samples were
cured for 7 and 28 days and subjected to consolidation test under different pressures ranging from
50 kPa to 800 kPa. In this study, the void ratio, the compression index, swelling potential, coefficient
of consolidation, permeability, and preconsolidation pressure of clayey soilfly ash specimens were
investigated. The test results indicate a significant decrease in compressibility characteristics and
swell potential of the treated soils. It was seen that 20% high-calcium fly ash content is the optimum
quantity to improve the compressibility characteristics of clayey (BC) soil cured for 7 days against
60% for immediate tests. It is also observed that 10% of NFA is the optimum amount required to
minimize the swell potential compared to 40% of BFA. Thus, the main objective of the study was to
study the effect of fly ashes on the volume change behavior of fly ash treated clayey soil and bulk
utilization of industrial waste by-product without adversely affecting the environment.
Keywords: Compressibility, Clayey soils, Fly ash, Swell potential, Self-pozzolanic, Flocculation

*Corresponding author, email: p7mir@nitsri.net

of engineering problems concerning settlement, seepage,


and stability of the structures. Excessive heave, settlement,
low shear strength, and internal erosion of some soils cause
damage to many civil engineering structures such as spread
footings founded on clayey soils; roads, highways, and
airport runways constructed on expansive subgrade; and
earth dams constructed with dispersive soils. Swelling of
expansive soils causes more damage to structures, particularly light buildings and pavements, than any other natural
hazards, including earthquakes and floods (Jones and
Holtz, 1973).
In practice, lime has been used as an effective additive to
improve the engineering properties of soils and prevent
damage to structures. Lime treatment in cohesive soils
generally reduces swelling and improves soil plasticity,
workability, and bearing capacity (EI-Rawi and Awad,
1981; Basma and Tuncer, 1991; Abduljauwad, 1993; Bell,

2014 W. S. Maney & Son Ltd


Received 16 June 2013; accepted 25 July 2013
DOI 10.1179/1939787913Y.0000000004

International Journal of
Geotechnical Engineering

An embankment, structural backfill, and other compacted


fills should possess low compressibility to minimize settlements or differential settlements between structures and
adjacent approaches. Consolidation occurs more rapidly in
compacted fly ash than in silty clay/clay because fly ash has
a higher void ratio and greater permeability than soil. For
fly ashes with age-hardening properties, including most
high lime fly ashes from lignite or sub-bituminous coals,
age hardening can reduce the time rate of consolidation, as
well as the magnitude of the compressibility. Knowledge of
compressibility and permeability are essential in a number

Department of Civil Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Srinagar190 006, Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Indian National Science Academy, India

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Mir and Sridharan

1996; Narasimha and Rajasekaran, 1996). Pure lime


stabilization is very effective but can be expensive in large
projects. With this in mind, and to improve the behavior
of clayey soils, attempts have been made to utilize low-cost
local materials including waste products. One of the most
common applications which include the bulk utilization
of fly ash is the construction of compacted fills and
embankments, and a few embankments have been
constructed in India using pond ash (Vittal, 2001). Fly
ash has also been used as a backfill material, a base course
material, and an embankment material due to its low
specific gravity resulting in low unit weight but high
frictional value and free draining nature, apart from being
used as a stabilizing agent (Kumar, 1996; Prakash and
Sridharan, 2009). The Electric Power Research Institutes
(EPRI) manual (Glogowski et al., 1992) reported that 33
embankments and 31 area fills in North America that were
constructed with fly ash.
Many researchers (e.g. Chen, 1975; Locat et al., 1990;
Nicholson et al., 1994; Sivapullaiah et al., 1996; Du et al.,
1999; Cokca, 2001; Nalbantoglu and Gucbilmez, 2002;
Nalbantoglu, 2004; Phanikumar and Sharma, 2004; Kate,
2005; Phanikumar and Sharma, 2007; Zha et al., 2008;
Phanikumar, 2009) have reported successful stabilization
of expansive soils with admixtures such as lime and fly ash,
which controls the potential of soils for a change in
volume, and improves the strength of soils. Saha and Pal
(2012) have studied experimentally the compressibility
behavior of soil and fly ash used in successive layers and
reported that fly ash may be an effective stabilizing
material to reduce the volume change during both primary
and secondary consolidation.
Many other researchers (e.g. Pandian and Balasubramonian, 1999; Kaniraj and Gayathri, 2004) studied
permeability and consolidation characteristics of compacted fly ash and reported that the coefficients of
permeability and compressibility of the compacted fly
ash were comparable to those of non-plastic silts. Ghazali
et al. (1991) have also observed a reduction in the
hydraulic conductivity of chemically treated kaolin clay
due to the decreased rate of consolidation.
The engineering properties of clayey soils are significantly altered by the addition of fly ash (Mir, 2001). The
compacted dry unit weight of fly ash is usually in the range
of 13?614?6 kN m23, which is well below that of most
conventional fill materials. Therefore, fly ash can be
considered as a suitable and economical material for
ground improvement, where long-term settlements due to
self-weight are also of concern (Indraratna et al., 1991).
The quality of fly ash is a function of several factors. The
constituents most likely to affect the engineering and
physical properties of fly ash are free lime and unburnt
carbon. Either a high content of unburnt carbon or a
negligible amount of free lime or both generally characterizes non-pozzolanic fly ash (low-calcium fly ash).
Whereas, the pozzolanic fly ash (Class C or high-calcium
fly ash) with self-hardening properties is most advantageous in ground improvement. The improvements in the
engineering properties of clayey soils as fly ash is added
can be explained by two distinct processes: (i) short-term
reaction, consisting of cation exchange and flocculation as

Volume change behavior of clayey soilfly ash mixtures

a result of the reaction between clay and free lime


imparted from fly ash, and (ii) long-term reaction,
involving time and temperature dependent pozzolanic
activity, in which new cementious compounds-calcium
silicate hydrates (CSH) and calcium aluminate hydrates
(CAH) responsible for long-term strength in soils are
produced. Fly ash can provide an adequate array of
divalent and trivalent cations (Ca2z, Al3z, Fe3z, etc.)
under ionized conditions that promote flocculation of
dispersed clay particles. Thus, clayey soils can be
potentially stabilized effectively by cation exchange using
fly ash. The proper use of fly ash can reduce the relatively
high cost of pure cement or pure lime stabilization,
especially as fly ash is a waste material discarded in
relatively large quantities; at the same time solving the
problems posed by the disposal of fly ash. Therefore, for
the bulk utilization of fly ashes in geotechnical applications, the volume change behavior of soilfly ash mixes
forms an important consideration.
Since only limited data are available concerning the
volume change behavior of fly ash treated clayey soil,
more investigations are desirable. In the present study,
high-calcium (ASTM Class C-Neyveli fly ash (NFA)) and
low-calcium (ASTM Class F-Badarpur fly ash (BFA)) fly
ashes in different proportions by weight (10, 20, 40, 60,
and 80%) were added to a highly expansive soil [well
known as Black Cotton (BC) soil from India] to evaluate
the effect of fly ashes on the volume change behavior of
clayey soil fly ash mixtures. In this study, the
compression index, swelling potential, coefficient of
consolidation, and permeability of clayey soilfly ash
mixtures were investigated. Thus, the main objectives of
this study are:
a. To utilize bulk quantity of fly ash as a stabilizing agent
avoiding the tremendous environmental problems
caused by large scale dumping of fly ash.
b. To control volume change behavior of clayey soils and
to reduce the cost of stabilization of these soils by
utilization of fly ash.
c. To find the effectiveness of the fly ash in reducing the
swell potential of clayey soil and the possibility of
increase in permeability and coefficient of consolidation.
d. To evaluate the role of fly ash as the primary
stabilizing agent on the volume change behavior of
clayey soil.

Materials and methods


Clayey soil
In the present investigation, clayey soil (BC soil) was
collected from Davengere District of Karnataka State.
Black cotton soil is the Indian name given to the expansive
soil deposits in the country accounting for almost one-fifth
of the surfacial deposits. Black cotton soils, which are
clays of high shrinkage and swelling characteristics, causes
extensive damage to civil engineering structures.

Fly ashes
In the present investigation, two fly ashes namely, BFA
(Class F from Badarpur thermal power station (UP),

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Volume change behavior of clayey soilfly ash mixtures

and NFA (Class C from Neyveli thermal power station


Tamil Nadu) have been chosen for evaluating the effect
of fly ash on volume change behavior of clayey soil and
its bulk stabilization for its effective use. These two fly
ashes were chosen for this study as they represent the
extreme cases based on calcium content among many
Indian fly ashes. Class F fly ash [low CaO with
SiO2zAl2O3zFe2O3.70% (ASTM C618 89)] is normally produced from burning anthratic or bituminous
coal. It has pozzolanic properties, but little or no
cementious properties. Class C fly ash [high CaO with
SiO2zAl2O3zFe2O3.50% (ASTM C61889)] is normally produced from burning lignite or sub-bituminous
coal and in addition to having pozzolanic properties,
possesses autogenous cementitious properties. Class C fly
ashes have more a glassy structure (calcium aluminate)
and minor constituents of crystalline compounds, which
are highly reactive. Therefore, Class C fly ashes are more
reactive than Class F fly ashes.

used in this investigation. The major emphasis of the


experimental work was placed on the volume change
behavior of clayey soil treated with two fly ashes (lowcalcium BFA and high-calcium NFA). The physical and
compaction behavior of clay soilfly ash mixtures have been
reported by Mir and Sridharan (2013). For bulk utilization
of fly ashes in geotechnical applications, an understanding
of volume change behavior of clayey soilfly ash mixtures is
essential.

Testing procedures
One-dimensional consolidation tests:
Immediate test series
Oven-dried soil samples were prepared as per standard
procedure (ASTM D421). For immediate test series, the
soilfly ash samples were prepared by compacting at
0?95cdmax (i.e., 95% of maximum Standard Proctor dry
unit weight) and corresponding water content on dry side
of optimum and immediately tested in a fixed ring
consolidometer using brass rings of 60 mm diameter and
20 mm height as per ASTM D2435. The height of
specimen after compaction is 15 mm (using 5 mm brass
spacer). The burette, the connecting tube, and the base of
the consolidation cell were de-aired by allowing water to
flow from the burette. The specimen was then assembled in
the consolidation cell. The chamber around the consolidation ring was filled with de-aired water. A seating pressure
of 6?25 kPa was applied on the specimen and maintained
for 24 hours. During this period, the specimen was
allowed to saturate by the capillary action of water from
the surrounding chamber and head of water of the burette.
The swelling of the specimens under nominal surcharge
can be obtained by allowing the specimen to swell freely
under nominal load of 6?25 kPa to reach its maximum
possible limit. After equilibrium was attained as indicated
by nearly constant readings in a vertical dial readings

Lime
In this study, commercially available hydrated lime was
used as an additive to BFA to make it at par with NFA in
terms of lime content.
All the tests were carried out as per the relevant standards.
The physical and chemical properties of materials used are
listed in Table 1 and compaction characteristics of clayey
soilfly ash mixtures are given in Table 2.

Experimental work
In this study, the additives content is defined by the ratio of
the weight of the additive to the dry weight of the natural
clayey soil (BC Soil) expressed as a percentage. The soil and
fly ash samples were mixed in the dry state and the various
soilfly ash mixes used for conducting the compaction tests
are given in Table 3. In the present paper, the soil was ovendried and passed through a 425-micron sieve before being
Table 1 Physical and chemical properties of materials used
Physical properties
Property
Particle size
Clay size (%)
Silt size (%)
Fine sand (%)
Coeff. of uniformity, Cu
Coeff. of curvature, Cc
Specific gravity
Atterberg limits
Liquid Limit (%)
Plastic Limit (%)
Plasticity Index
Shrinkage Limit (%)
Free swell ratio (%)
Swell pressure (kPa)
Std. Proctor Maximum dry
unit weight (c5rg), kN m23

OMC (%)

74

Chemical properties
CS*

BFA**

NFA***

63
27
10

2?71

03
87
10
6?3
1?1
2?18

05
85
10
1?4
0?9
2?64

84
25
59
8
65
280
14?4

50
NP$

36
0?75

10?6

40
NP$

38
1?2

12?6

38

33

28?6

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Composition (by wt-%)

CS

SiO2
49?2
24
Al2O3
5?8
Fe2O3
0?7
TiO2
CaO
0?4
MgO
0?4
MnO
0?2
0?12
K2O
0?1
Na2O

LOI(900uC)
18?1
Clay mineral
Mont
Free Lime

*: CS Clayey soil
**: BFA Badarpur fly ash
***: NFA Neyveli fly ash
$ NP Non-plastic
# bd below detection
LOI loss on ignition
OMC: Optimum moisture content

NO

BFA

NFA

57?5
33
4?8
1?4
0?5
0?2
bd#
0?4
0?2
1?5

36?5
41
4?5
1?4
9?00
3?8
,0?1
0?1
0?4
3?5

3?2

Mir and Sridharan

Volume change behavior of clayey soilfly ash mixtures

Table 2 Compaction characteristics of clayey soil (CS)y ash (FA) mixtures


Clayey soilBadarpur fly ash mixtures

Clayey soilNeyveli fly ash mixtures

Maximum dry unit weight


and optimum moisture content

Maximum dry unit weight and


optimum moisture content

CS soilzBFA (%)

cdmax kN m23

w (%)

CS soilzNFA (%)

cdmax kN m23

w (%)

100% BC soil
20 BFA*
40 BFA
60 BFA
80 BFA
100 BFA
100% BFA**

14?4
13?9
13?6
12?7
11?8
10?6
10?57

28?3
30?0
31?1
33?0
35?4
38?2
34?8

100% BC soil
10 NFA*
20 NFA
40 NFA
60 NFA
80 NFA
100 NFA

14?4
14?1
13?9
13?7
13?5
13?1
12?6

28?9
29?5
29?7
29?9
30?5
31?1
32?0

*20BFA520% Badarpur fly ash (BFA-by weight)z80% CS soil and so on;


**8?5% of lime (CaO) was added to BFA to make it at par with Neyveli fly ash (NFA) in terms of lime.

(1 divn50?002 mm), a pressure increment ratio of one was


used for subsequent load applications. Each pressure
increment was maintained normally for about 24 hours
and readings were recorded before changing the next
pressure increment (up to 800 kPa). At the end of
consolidation, i.e., at an elapsed time of 24 hours, the
permeability test was conducted under the existing
effective pressure. The consolidation and permeability
tests were then repeated in the same manner and carried
out at different vertical pressures varying from 12?5 to
800 kPa, the readings of the dial compression (1
divn.50?002 mm) were recorded for each loading combination with time and the test results are presented as e
log p curve. The load-settlement curves for each load
increment are used for the determination of t90, which in
turn is used for the determination of coefficient of
consolidation Cv. The coefficients of consolidation Cv
values are also calculated by using rectangular hyperbola
method (Sridharan and Rao, 1981). After carrying out the
permeability test at 800 kPa, the vertical pressure was
decreased in steps, each time to one-fourth of its previous
value, and at each pressure the vertical deformation dial

gage readings were noted for 24 hours. No permeability


tests were conducted during unloading of the specimen.

Curing series 7 and 28 days


For the 7 and 28 days curing test series, samples were
prepared as described above for each series and were cured
in a dessiccator at 100% relative humidity. The samples
were removed from the dessiccator at the end of the
required curing periods and tested in a fixed ring
consolidometer. The effect of increasing the fly ash content
on the coefficient of consolidation, compression index,
hydraulic conductivity, and preconsolidation pressure
were also investigated.

Results and discussions


Compressibility characteristics
The compressibility characteristics, namely compression
index, which is used to determine the magnitude of
settlement and the coefficient of consolidation, Cv, which
is used to calculate the rate of settlement are determined
by a standard procedures.

Table 3 Experimental program


Clayey soilBadarpur fly ash mixes

Clayey soilNeyveli fly ash mixes

Clayey soil
(%) (G52?71)

Badarpur fly ash,


BFA (%) (G52?18)

Gmix*

Clayey soil
(%) (G52?71)

Neyveli fly ash,


NFA (%) (G52?64)

Gmix

Remarks

100
80
60
40
20
0
0

0
20#
40
60
80
100
100$

2?71
2?58
2?47
2?37
2?27
2?18
2?18

100
90
80
60
40
20
0

0
10
20
40
60
80
100

2?71
2?70
2?70
2?68
2?67
2?65
2?64

# The additive content is defined


by the ratio of the dry weight of
the additive to the dry weight of
the natural clayey soil expressed
as a percentage.
$8?5% of Lime (Ca (OH)2) by
weight was added to BFA to make
it at par with NFA in terms of lime
content, (the lime content difference
between the two fly ashes).

*For example, for clayey soil (G52?71)Badarpur fly ash (G52?18) ratio of 80:20 for total mass, M5100 g (80 g of soilz20 g of fly ash). The
specific gravity of this soilfly ash mixture is calculated as: Gmix5M/(VszVf) (soil particle density of mix); Vs5Vol. of soil sample580/
2?71(cc) and Vf5Vol. of fly ash520/2?18 (cc); and Gs5rs/rw, rs5Gs (rw51), V5M/rs5M/Gs, rs5M/V5soil particle density of mix, therefore,
Gmix5M/(VszVf); V5(VszVf)5 total volume of mixed sample.
Likewise, the specific gravity of other samples of soilfly ash mixtures is calculated in the same manner.

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Volume change behavior of clayey soilfly ash mixtures

1 a elog p plot for clayey soilBadarpur y ash (BFA) mixes for immediate test series, b elog p plot for clayey soil
Neyveli y ash (NFA) mixes for immediate test series, c elog p plot for clayey soilNFA mixes for 7 days test series, d e
log p plot for clayey soilNFA mixes for 28 days test series

Void ratio and compression index

namely, compression index, Cc, which is the slope of the


linear portion of elog p curve indicates the amount of
compression undergone by the soil or soilfly ash mixture.
Fly ash can reduce compressibility quite effectively. As the

Figure 1a and b shows the effective pressure (p) void


ratio (e) curve without any curing, commonly referred to
as the elog p curve. The compressibility parameter,

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Volume change behavior of clayey soilfly ash mixtures

2 a Variation of Compression Index, Cc with pressure for Clayey soil (CS)Badarpur y ash (BFA) mixes for immediate test
series, b variation of Compression Index, Cc with pressure for CSNeyveli y ash (NFA) mixes for immediate test series, c
variation of Compression Index, Cc with pressure for CSNFA mixes for 7 days test series, and d variation of
Compression Index, Cc with pressure for CSNFA mixes for 28 days test series

percentage of fly ash increases, soilfly ash mixture can


resist the compression loading much better and consequently shows lesser compressibility.
Figure 1c and d shows the compressibility curves for
cured samples for 1 week and 28 days. It is seen that cured
samples resist the external load very effectively. The

loadcompression curves are much flatter. Fly ash alone


gives much lesser compression.
Figure 2ad shows the variation of compression index
with pressure for different curing periods. Compression
index was calculated for every pressure increment in the
following manner.

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Volume change behavior of clayey soilfly ash mixtures

For each pressure increment the change in void ratio


was calculated. Then the compression index is given by
{Change in the void ratio divided by (log p22log p1)}.
This is nothing other than (de/d (log p)).
It is observed that compressibility increases with
increase in effective consolidation pressure and decreases
as the fly ash content increases. It can also be seen that
with increase in curing time, the compressibility decreases.
This is due to the cementation bonds that are formed
(during the curing period) between free lime and reactive
silica and thereby improving the compressibility characteristics of the clayey soil.
Also, due to cation exchange reaction, an increase in the
flocculation and aggregation causes a chemically induced
preconsolidation effect, which increases the vertical
effective yield stress and reduces the compressibility
characteristics. The calcium ion is accepted to be a
flocculating agent in soils and some cation exchange
reactions occur on the addition of additives, which cause
the replacement of the exchangeable sodium, magnesium
(Nalbantoglu and Tuncer, 2001), or other cations previously held by the soil clay by calcium cations
(Abduljauwad, 1993). This is believed to produce a soil
with a more flocculated fabric and result in a reduction in
the compressibility characteristics. The compression index,
Cc values vary from 0?035 to 0?4 for BC soil and 0?040 1
for BFA and 0?030?07 for NFA for the immediate test
series for the pressure range between 50 and 800 kPa,
respectively. For 7 and 28 days curing (Fig. 2c and d), the
Cc values for NFA reduces further. The general trend is
that as the curing time increases, Cc values decrease, but
with increase in pressure, these values increase. It has been
observed that, in general (for each stress level), compression index decreases with the increasing fly ash content.
For instance, at the maximum stress level of 800 kPa, the
compression index of the clayey soil decreases from 0?4 to
about 0?1 with NFA content of 80%. The reduction in the
compressibility characteristics is explained by the aggregation formations of soils treated with fly ash and lime,
which results in stronger lime particle aggregates and gives
higher resistance to compression. With increase in fly ash
and curing time, the compression index decreases indicating improvement in the compressibility of the composite
sample due to the formation of cementation bonds. This is
because of the self-hardening property of NFA due to the
presence of free lime and hence more effective compared
to BFA, which is non-pozzolanic in nature.

3 Variation of swell potential with y ash for clayey soily


ash mixes for different curing periods

of 7 days and in 28 days, this value of swell potential


drops to almost zero. The decrease in swelling potential
due to curing can be attributed to the time-dependent
pozzolanic and self-hardening properties (formation of
cementitious compounds) of fly ashes. Thus, it is seen that
10% of NFA (Class C fly ash) is the optimum amount
required to minimize the swell potential compared to 40%
of BFA (ASTM Class F fly ash).
Coefficient of consolidation, Cv

Coefficient of consolidation, Cv, the parameter governing


the time rate of consolidation, has been determined at
different percentages of fly ash for different pressure
ranges (50800 kPa). Of the various methods of determining coefficient of consolidation, two common curve-fitting
methods are Taylors method and Casagrandes method.
Both of these curve-fitting methods, however, need some
judgment and the interpretation is not free from some
errors. Therefore, this paper presents another simpler
method to determine the coefficient of consolidation,
which is known as rectangular hyperbola method
(Sridharan and Rao, 1981; Sridharan et al., 1987). This
method can be used for all types of time-settlement curves
and the interpretation of the test results based on this
approach is simpler than other classical curve-fitting
methods.

Effect of fly ash on swell potential

The free swell testing method was used to determine the


swelling potential of the test specimens (ASTM D454690). The swelling potential of the specimens, based on the
free swell test data was determined under the condition of
no curing, 7 days curing, and 28 days curing. The effect of
fly ash on the swell potential/heave of the natural and
treated clayey soil is shown in Fig. 3, which indicates that
fly ashes are effective in reducing the swell potential of the
treated clayey soils. A decrease in the swell potential
values was obtained with an increase in the percentage of
fly ash. The specimen treated with 10% NFA and 40%
BFA gives a swell potential of 0?1 and 0?25%; with curing

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Rectangular hyperbola method

Sridharan and Rao (1981) and Sridharan et al. (1987) have


proposed rectangular hyperbola method, which is relatively simple and reliable. In this method a plot of time
divided by compression versus time (t/d v. t) is used
(Fig. 4) in which the straight-line portion is obtained in

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Mir and Sridharan

between 6090% consolidation. The coefficient of consolidation is obtained as


(Cv )~

0:24|m|h2av 2 {1
(m s )
c

(1)

where, m is the slope of straight-line portion of t/d v. t plot,


c is the vertical intercept of straight line, and hav is the
average length of drainage path.
Richwein and Meyer (2003) have reported that the
interpretation of laboratory tests in this method is free of
speculative judgment and the method gives a unique value
of Cv. The main advantage for commercial laboratories is
that the method takes a testing time as short as or even
shorter than Taylors method.
The time required for the end of primary consolidation
and beginning of the secondary consolidation is shortened
in fly ash treated soils. The primary consolidation gets
over within a very short interval of time. The test results
presented in this paper are based on rectangular hyperbola
method. In Fig. 5a and b for immediate test series, Cv
shows a different trend with increasing pressure for both
fly ash mixes. The effect of additive on Cv is particularly
noticeable for NFA mixes. The variation of Cv with
pressure is not very definite. However at higher percentages of fly ash, the coefficient of consolidation is
quite high. At larger axial pressures, the effect of fly ash
on the coefficient of consolidation becomes less significant. From Fig. 5c and d, it is observed that there is lesser
variation beyond 7 days of curing period, which is of
vital importance for field engineers. Pandian and
Balasubramonian (1999) determined the values of Cv for

4 Typical plot for the determination of Cv by rectangular


hyperbola method for clayey soil

Volume change behavior of clayey soilfly ash mixtures

two Indian fly ashes using the Casagrande method, Taylors


method, and the rectangular hyperbola method. There were
substantial differences in the values of Cv determined by the
three methods, with the Taylors method giving higher
value than that given by the rectangular hyperbola method.
The high rate of consolidation of coal ashes is advantageous
during its bulk utilization in embankments and in reclamation of fills, as the primary consolidation will be practically
over by the end of construction period itself.

Permeability test results


Permeability is an important parameter in designing the
liners to contain leachate migration. The consolidometer
permeameter system (fixed ring) offers the best means for
quantitatively assessing the coefficient of permeability of
clays/ashes under confined state. The samples are prepared
as ASTM D421 and compacted at 0?95cdmax and
corresponding water content on the dry side of optimum.
After placing the oedometer cell in position, the samples
are saturated with water under a surcharge of 6?25 kPa.
Water is allowed to flow upwards through the samples
from the bottom. The time periods required for full
saturation of samples was well within 24 hours. After
saturation and change of next increment of pressure, the
permeability test was conducted by the falling head
method and the relation below gives the coefficient of
permeability
k~2:303

aL
h1
log10
At
h2

(2)

where, k5coefficient of permeability (m s21); a5cross


sectional area of the burette (m2); A5cross sec. area of the
soil sample (m2); t5time for the head drop from h1 to h2
(sec); h15initial height of the fluid in the pipe (m); h25final
height of the fluid in the pipe (m); and L5sample height
for corresponding load increment (m).
There are substantial differences in the values of
coefficient of permeability determined from consolidation
data with the Taylors method giving much higher value
than that given by the rectangular hyperbola method. The
coefficient of permeability by falling head method lies inbetween the values given by these two methods. The large
variation between the measured values of k from the falling
head method and the back-calculated values was perhaps
due to errors in the determination of Cv by the conventional
methods. This has also been reported by Porbaha et al.
(2000). Therefore, it is concluded that the coefficient of
permeability be determined directly rather than back
calculated from consolidation test results to obviate these
inaccuracies. The test results in the form of variation of
permeability with pressure for some soilfly ash mixes for
different curing periods are plotted in Fig. 6ad. The values
of k vary from 1?35610276?761029 m s21 for clayey soil,
5?11610264?1061026 m s21 for BFA and 2?461028
1?761028 m s21 for NFA for the pressure range of 50
800 kPa under immediate test series (Fig. 6a and b). The
variation of permeability with pressure for different curing
periods is shown in Fig. 6c and d. The values of k for fly
ashes are typically in the range of the coefficient of
permeability of non-plastic silts. Therefore, clay-like
admixtures should be added to the fly ash to reduce its

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Volume change behavior of clayey soilfly ash mixtures

5 ab Variation of Cv with pressure for clayey soily ash mixtures for immediate test series, cd variation of Cv with pressure for clayey soily ash mixtures for different curing periods (by RHM)

will show a higher void ratio than the untreated soil


specimen. This has been verified from the elog p relation of
treated and untreated clay. Similar work has also been
reported by Broderic and Daniel (1990) and Locat et al.

permeability. Test results reveal that at the same effective


vertical stress, the treated soil specimen has higher
permeability than the untreated clay. This implies that at
the same depth below the ground surface, the treated clay

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Volume change behavior of clayey soilfly ash mixtures

6 ab Variation of permeability with pressure for clayey soily ash mixes for immediate test series, cd variation of permeability with pressure for clayey soily ash mixes for 7 and 28 days test series

(1996). At lower consolidation pressure, BFA exhibits


higher permeability values. At higher consolidation pressures, the order of permeability is almost same for both the
fly ashes. This is because the reduction in the pore space
available for flow for BFA is more compared to NFA
with increasing consolidation pressures. The appreciable

decrease in permeability with increase in pressure in the


case of BFA is due to the higher decrease in void ratio
experienced by it (compared to NFA). The cementation
caused by free lime in NFA resists volume decrease and
hence NFA experiences a comparatively lower decrease in
void ratio than BFA.

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Volume change behavior of clayey soilfly ash mixtures

11. Recycling/utilization of fly ash has the advantage of


using an industrial waste by-product without adversely
affecting the environment or potential land use. In
addition, fly ash proves to be an effective admixture for
improving the soil engineering behavior considerably.

Conclusion
From the study of volume change behavior of soilfly ash
mixes, it can be concluded that:
1. Compression index appreciably decreases with the
addition of fly ash indicating improvement in compressibility of the composite sample due to the formation of
cementitious bonds. It is seen that 20% high-calcium fly
ash content is the optimum quantity to improve the
compressibility characteristics of clayey soil cured for
7 days against 60% for immediate tests.
2. Addition of fly ash to clayey soils significantly
reduces their swelling due to reduction of plastic fines of
clay by non-plastic fines of fly ash. Swell potential
decreases significantly as percentage of fly ash increases.
The use of NFA (class C) even in small percentage
produces significant changes (i.e., 10% class C fly ash is
more effective for reducing swelling characteristics compared to 40% of class F fly ash).
3. Neyveli fly ash (Class C) has higher void ratio than
BFA (Class F) for a given effective consolidation pressure.
However, for a given void ratio, the permeability of NFA
is less compared to that for BFA. This is because of the
less effective void space available for the flow of water.
The reduction in the effective void space is due to the
presence of free lime, which causes cementation in NFA.
4. Coefficient of consolidation of fly ash treated clays
increases with increase in percent fly ash. However, at
larger axial pressures, the effect of percentage of fly ash on
the coefficient of consolidation becomes less significant.
The high rate of consolidation of fly ashes is favorable for
its use as embankment and reclamation fills and other
applications. Rectangular hyperbola method is suitable
for finding the coefficient of consolidation.
5. With increase in percent fly ash, void ratio and
permeability of the composite samples increase. This
indicates that the addition of fly ash to fine-grained soils
makes it granular leading to higher coefficient of permeability. The plasticity of fine-grained soils is reduced and
workability increased.
6. The secondary cementitious products appear to be
deposited on or near the surfaces of the clay clusters,
which gives rise to a reduction in entrance pore diameter
with increase in particle size leading to reduced permeability over time as indicated in the permeability of 7 days
and 28 days of curing.
7. The coefficient of permeability is to be determined
directly from the falling head permeability test and not
back calculated from consolidation test results. Likewise,
Cv can be calculated from the equation:
8. Cv5k/(mvcw), where k is measured value from
permeability tests.
9. It is also observed that the addition of 8?5% lime does
not improve the behavior of BFA (class F fly ash) much
because of non-availability of reactive silica.
10. From this study it is also concluded that not only
can problematic soils be easily stabilized by bulk utilization of fly ash but fly ash can also be stabilized by adding
clay-like admixtures to reduce its permeability on need
basis.

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Acknowledgement
The investigation reported in this paper forms a part of the
research at the Indian Institute of Science by the first
author. The support and assistance given by the Institute
is gratefully acknowledged.

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