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Geotextiles and Geomembranes 27 (2009) 196–203

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Geotextiles and Geomembranes


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/geotexmem

Fiber reinforcement effects on sand considering a wide cementation range


Nilo Cesar Consoli a, *, Márcio Antônio Vendruscolo b, Anderson Fonini a, Francisco Dalla Rosa a
a
Department of Civil Engineering, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Osvaldo Aranha, 99, 3 andar, CEP 90035-190, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
b
Department of Engineering and Computer Science, Alto Uruguai and Missões Integrated Regional University, Rua Universidade das Missões, 464, CEP 98802-470,
Santo Ângelo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: This paper describes laboratory drained standard triaxial tests conducted on artificially cemented Osorio
Received 11 March 2008 sand specimens reinforced with randomly oriented discrete extensible polypropylene fibers. Cemented
Received in revised form specimens were prepared with cement contents varying from 0% to 10% by weight of dry sand and cured
2 November 2008
for seven days. Fiber length and diameter were 24 mm and 0.023 mm, respectively, in the contents of 0%
Accepted 8 November 2008
Available online 14 January 2009
and 0.5% by weight of dry sand–cement mixture. Test results indicated that the addition of cement to
sand increases stiffness, peak strength and brittleness. Both cement and fiber insertions affect dramat-
ically the stress–dilatancy behavior of the sand. The fiber reinforcement increases peak strength just up
Keywords:
Fiber reinforcement to a certain cement content (up to about 5% in the present study), increases ultimate strength, decreases
Triaxial tests stiffness and changes the cemented sand brittle behavior to a more ductile one. The triaxial peak
Cemented sand strength increase due to fiber inclusion is more effective for smaller amounts of cement, while the
increase in ultimate strength is more efficacious when fiber is added to sand improved with higher
cement contents. Peak strength envelopes indicate that the friction angle is about 46 for fiber-reinforced
specimens containing up to 7% cement content, reaching 51.5 for higher cement contents. Cohesion
intercept is drastically affected due to fiber addition to all cement contents, increasing for cement
contents up to 4% and reducing for higher cement contents. It is important to make clear that the trends
observed herein are relevant for the soil, cement and fiber type used in the present research and that
further studies are necessary to generalize such findings.
Ó 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction reinforced with randomly distributed polypropylene fibers under


drained triaxial loading conditions. The specific objectives of the
It is quite common to find soils that do not fulfill the basic present research are to evaluate the influence of fiber insertion on
necessities of an engineering project technically, economically or in the stress–strain–strength behavior (in terms of peak strength,
terms of timing. Economic issues have stimulated interest in the stress–dilatancy, initial stiffness, ultimate behavior and brittleness)
development of alternative materials that fulfill design specifica- of uncemented sand and sand treated with cement contents of 1%,
tions. The well established techniques of soil stabilization and soil 4%, 7% and 10% (ranging from weakly to strongly cemented soils
reinforcement are often used to obtain improved geotechnical according to Hardingham (1994)) at 3 distinct confining pressures
materials, either through the addition of cementitious agents or (20 kN/m2, 60 kN/m2 and 100 kN/m2).
through the inclusion of oriented or randomly distributed discrete
elements such as fibers. Stabilized and reinforced soils are 2. Background
composite materials that result from the combination and opti-
mization of the properties of individual constituent materials. The compressive strength of artificially cemented sandy soil has
Consoli et al. (2003a) proposed a field application for such mate- been studied in the past by several investigators (e.g., Clough et al.,
rials designed for increasing the bearing capacity of spread foun- 1981; Coop and Atkinson, 1993; Huang and Airey, 1998; Consoli
dations when placed on a layer of fiber-reinforced cemented sand et al., 2000, 2006, 2007a). In addition, studies of the reinforcement
built over a weak residual soil stratum. of sand by the inclusion of fiber have also been reported (e.g., Gray
Present work describes a study of the mechanical behavior of and Ohashi, 1983; Gray and Al-Refeai, 1986; Maher and Gray, 1990;
new geomaterials composed of cemented uniform Osorio sand Morel and Gourc, 1997; Zornberg, 2002; Consoli et al., 2003b, 2005,
2007b, 2007c, in press; Park and Tan, 2005; Latha and Murthy,
2007; Sivakumar Babu et al., 2008; Chauhan et al., 2008). Compared
* Corresponding author. Tel.: þ55 51 3308 3552; fax: þ55 51 3308 3999. to uncemented soil, the addition of small amounts of cement
E-mail address: consoli@ufrgs.br (N.C. Consoli). significantly increases the peak strength and initial stiffness. In

0266-1144/$ – see front matter Ó 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.geotexmem.2008.11.005
N.C. Consoli et al. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes 27 (2009) 196–203 197

Notation IB Brittleness index


lf Length of fibers
a0,., a8 Coefficients of the regression equations reported for MRA Multiple regression analysis
each response variable p0 ¼ 13ðs1 þ s2 þ s3 Þ Effective mean stress
B Pore pressure parameter q ¼ (s0 1s0 3) Deviator stress
c0 Effective cohesive intercept qf Deviatoric stress at failure
CC Cement content qult Ultimate deviatoric stress
CP Confining pressure R2 Coefficient of determination
df Equivalent diameter of fibers y Response variable
dtex Unit of measure for the linear mass density of fibers 3a Axial strain
(mass in grams per 10,000 m) 3s Shear strain
d50 Soil mean diameter 3V ¼ ð31 þ 32 þ 33 Þ Volumetric strain
Es(0.01%) Secant modulus at 0.01% axial strain h ¼ dlff Fiber aspect ratio (fiber length divided by fiber diameter)
FC Fiber content 40 Effective friction angle

general, reports in the literature show that the shear strength of Monofilament polypropylene (extensible) fibers were used
naturally and artificially cemented soil, especially that of cemented throughout this investigation to reinforce the cemented sand. Their
sand, can be adequately represented by a straight Mohr–Coulomb average dimension was 24 mm in length and 0.023 mm (dtex ¼ 3.3 –
envelope defined by a cohesive intercept (c0 ), which is a function where dtex is a unit of measure for the linear mass density of fibers
mostly of the cement content, and a friction angle (40 ) that seems to (mass in grams per 10,000 m)) in diameter (consequently aspect ratio
be hardly at all affected by cementation. In addition, the marked of 1043), with a specific gravity of 0.91, tensile strength of 120 MPa,
brittle behavior observed for low confining stress changes to ductile elastic modulus of 3 GPa and linear strain at failure of 80%. The fiber
behavior as the stress increases. The general characteristics of content used in the experiments was 0.5% by weight of dry soil.
granular soils reinforced with discrete fiber reported in previous Portland cement of high initial strength (Type III) was used as
studies were reviewed by Morel and Gourc (1997) and Heineck the cementing agent. Its fast gain of strength allowed the adoption
et al. (2005). Their reviews show that the inclusion of fiber defi- of seven days as the curing time. The specific gravity of the cement
nitely provides an increase in material strength and ductility. grains is 3.15.
Limited studies have been carried out on the influence of fiber
inclusion on the mechanical behavior of cemented soil (e.g., Maher 3.2. Sample preparation and testing procedures
and Ho, 1993; Consoli et al., 1998, 2002, 2003a; Tang et al., 2007), all
considering particular cement contents and reduced aspect ratios The compacted soil and fiber-reinforced specimens used in the
ðh ¼ dlf Þ, where lf is the fiber length and df is the fiber diameter. triaxial tests were prepared by hand-mixing dry sand, cement,
f
Present study evaluates the effect of an extensible polypropylene water and polypropylene fibers. During the mixing process, it was
fiber with high aspect ratio h w 1000 on Osorio sand considering found to be important to add the water prior to adding the fibers, to
a wide cementation range (from zero to 10% cement content – prevent floating of the fibers. Visual and microscope examination of
departing from uncemented to weakly cemented, passing to exhumed specimens showed the mixtures to be satisfactorily
moderately cemented and reaching strongly cemented homoge- uniform. The undercompaction process (Ladd, 1978) was used to
neous sand), mainly in terms of changes of peak friction angle and produce homogeneous specimens that could be used for a para-
cohesion intercept, peak and ultimate strength, initial stiffness, metric study in the laboratory-testing program. Specimens were
brittleness, and stress–dilatancy. statically compacted in three layers into a 50 mm diameter by
100 mm high split mold, to a relative density of 70% at a moisture
content of 10%. Finally, the molds were wrapped in moisture-proof
3. Experimental program
bags and stored in a humid room (at a temperature of 22  2  C and
a relative humidity of over 90%) to cure for 7 days before testing.
Thirty (30) triaxial tests were carried out in this experimental
The static drained triaxial tests were carried out under total satu-
program using fully saturated fiber-reinforced/non-reinforced
ration at effective confining pressures of 20, 60 and 100 kN/m2. The
cemented (with cement contents varying from 0% to 10% by weight
samples were saturated under back pressure of up to 500 kN/m2,
of dry sand) samples, at effective confining pressures ranging from
ensuring B values of at least 0.98 for all specimens. The axial strains
20 to 100 kPa. Fiber length of 24 mm, diameter of 0.023 mm and
were monitored inside the triaxial cell using a Hall effect sensor type of
consequently a high aspect ratio (about 1000) were used
local strain transducer (Clayton and Khatrush, 1986) that enable
throughout testing.
accurate calculation of specimen moduli to be made and outside the
cell using a standard type of displacement transducer. The volumetric
3.1. Materials strain was measured by an Imperial College volume gauge (Maswoswe,
1985) connected to the drainage outlet. The triaxial tests were run at
Uniform quartzitic sand (Osorio Sand) from southern Brazil was a sufficiently low axial strain rate to ensure full drainage within the
tested in this experimental program. The Osorio Sand was sampled sample (0.015% per min). Drainage was also monitored by measuring
from the region of Osorio near Porto Alegre. The soil is classified as the excess pore pressure at the opposite end of the specimen to the
non-plastic uniform fine sand (SP) and the specific gravity of the drainage. The membrane and area corrections followed recommen-
solids is 2.62. The grain size distribution is entirely fine sand dations proposed by La Rochelle et al. (1988).
(0.075 mm < diameter < 0.42 mm), with a mean diameter (d50) of
0.16 mm and uniformity and curvature coefficients of 2.1 and 1.0, 4. Results and analysis
respectively. Mineralogical analysis showed that sand particles are
predominantly quartz. The minimum and maximum void ratios are Drained triaxial compression deviator stress: shear strain:
0.6 and 0.9, respectively. volumetric strain curves (for a confining pressure of 20 kPa) of
198 N.C. Consoli et al. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes 27 (2009) 196–203

non-reinforced and fiber-reinforced cemented sand with 0.5% a ductile behavior up to about 4% of cement content and a rather
monofilament polypropylene fibers by weight of sand (fiber less pronounced brittle behavior for higher cement contents.
length of 24 mm – fiber diameter of 0.023 mm) are given in Nevertheless, the axial strain corresponding to failure and post-
Fig. 1(a)–(e) respectively for zero, 1%, 4%, 7% and 10% cement peak response is dependent on fiber insertion to the composite. In
content. Data for other confining pressures (60 and 100 kPa) have general, both the failure axial strain and the ultimate strength are
in fact been found to show similar tendencies, but are not shown greater for the fiber-reinforced material. The volumetric versus
here for the sake of conciseness. axial strain plots show a difference between the non-reinforced and
The common features for the non-reinforced cemented triaxial the fiber-reinforced cemented sand. The non-reinforced cemented
test results shown in Fig. 1 are that a marked brittle failure behavior, sand behavior at all cement content studies is initially compressive,
whereas the fiber-reinforced cemented specimens demonstrate followed by a strong expansion with a maximum dilation rate

a 2000 b 2000 c 2000


Osorio sand + 0% cement Osorio sand + 1% cement Osorio sand + 4% cement
+ 0% fiber + 0% fiber + 0% fiber
1600 1600 1600
Osorio sand + 0% cement Osorio sand + 1% cement Osorio sand + 4% cement
+ 0.5% fiber + 0.5% fiber + 0.5% fiber
q (kN/m2)

q (kN/m2)

q (kN/m2)
1200 1200 1200

800 800 800

400 400 400

0 0 0
0 5 10 15 20 25 0 5 10 15 20 25 0 5 10 15 20 25

-10 -10 -10

-8 -8 -8

-6 -6 -6

-4 -4 -4

-2 -2 -2

0 0 0
0 5 10 15 20 25 0 5 10 15 20 25 0 5 10 15 20 25

2000
d 2000 Osorio sand + 7% cement e Osorio sand + 10% cement
+ 0% fiber + 0% fiber
Osorio sand + 7% cement 1600 Osorio sand + 10% cement
1600
+ 0.5% fiber + 0.5% fiber
q (kN/m2)

q (kN/m2)

1200 1200

800 800

400 400

0 0
0 5 10 15 20 25 0 5 10 15 20 25

-10
-10
-8
-8

-6 -6

-4 -4

-2 -2

0 0
0 5 10 15 20 25 0 5 10 15 20 25

Fig. 1. Deviator stress–axial strain–volumetric strain triaxial response (confining pressure of 20 kPa) of sand and fiber-reinforced – 0.5% fiber, diameter 0.023 mm and 24 mm of
length: (a) uncemented specimens, (b) 1% cement content, (c) 4% cement content, (d) 7% cement content and (e) 10% cement content.
N.C. Consoli et al. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes 27 (2009) 196–203 199

taking place immediately after the peak strength. A similar result ratio, the cemented sample starts to dilate reaching a maximum
has been observed by Coop and Atkinson (1993) for cemented dilation of about 0.9 (about three times of the uncemented
carbonate sands. Subsequently, the dilation rate decreases as the specimens). The change in volume associated with dilation implies
sand approaches a final stable condition. Insertion of fiber to the that bond breakage must have occurred. Finally, the behavior of the
cemented sand increases the initial compressive volumetric strain fiber-reinforced cemented sand degenerated to that of the fiber-
and also strains at which the peak strength is reached. Similarly to reinforced uncemented sand, which must coincide with complete
cemented sand, the maximum dilation rate of the fiber-reinforced bond breakage.
cemented sand occurs at a higher axial strain than strains to failure. The peak strength envelopes for both fiber-reinforced and non-
It is worth noting that fiber inclusion to the uncemented sand reinforced cemented sand are presented in Fig. 3. The peak strength
changes the deviatoric stress–axial strain performance from parameters for non-reinforced and fiber-reinforced cemented/
a perfectly plastic to a strain hardening behavior. For the cemented uncemented sand are presented in Table 1. The data show that the
specimens, the fiber inclusion changes the marked brittle behavior peak friction angle changes from 36.5 for uncemented non-rein-
of the cemented specimens to a more ductile behavior. forced sand to 30 –52 by adding cement (depending on the
Fig. 2 shows the stress–dilatancy response of fiber-reinforced cement percentage added) and 48.5 by adding fiber to the sand.
sand (two specimens were tested to check repeatability), as well as Including both cement and fiber in the sand gives a peak friction
fiber-reinforced cemented sand (1% cement). The mechanisms of angle ranging from 44 to 51.5 , quite similar to the value obtained
behavior are investigated using a stress ratio (q/p0 ) – dilatancy (d3v/ for fiber incorporation only. Cohesion intercept increases with
d3s) graph where the dilatancy is based on the total strains rather increasing cement content for both non-reinforced and fiber-rein-
than the plastic component (dilation plotted as negative in the forced cemented sand. However, the cohesion intercept rising rate
figure). Data for the uncemented sand (two specimens were also of the fiber-reinforced cemented sand is higher than the non-
tested to check repeatability) are shown for comparison. The non- reinforced cemented sand up to about 4% of cement content,
reinforced uncemented sand sample displayed an initially inverting positioning for further values of cement content. The
compressive behavior, followed by a dilatant behavior until effect of fiber reinforcement on shear strength is also presented in
reaching a maximum dilatancy of about 0.25, after which the rate Fig. 4 in which the average ratio of triaxial deviatoric stress at
of dilation start reducing to reach zero at critical state (at stress failure for fiber-reinforced and non-reinforced sand is plotted
ratio of about 1.3) on the vertical axis. The fiber-reinforced unce- against the cement content, for the range of confining pressures
mented sand sample showed a similar maximum dilatancy, which tested. It is clearly observed that reinforcement is more effective for
is reached at higher stress ratio (about 2.0). In addition, after uncemented sand. As the cement content increases, the propor-
reaching the maximum dilatancy, the value of maximum stress tional gain in strength due to fiber inclusion decreases, becoming
ratio is seen to continuously increase with decreasing dilatancy even less than unity for high cement contents, that is, the fiber
until reaching zero at critical state (at stress ratio of about 2.4) on reinforcement becomes less effective. In addition, the standard
the vertical axis. Looking at the behavior of the fiber-reinforced error of mean is reduced with an increase in cement content. Such
cemented sand, it can be observed that it was first dominated by error of mean at low cement content is due to the effect of confining
the bonds, with smaller compression that the uncemented fiber- pressure (which has its highest effect on uncemented soil speci-
reinforced sand up to stress ratio of about 1.2. After such stress mens) causing a systematic effect. In order to try to explain
reducing of fiber reinforcement effectiveness with increasing
cement content, it is recalled that the tensile strength of the rein-
forcing elements would be mobilized only after deformation of the
soil around the fibers. Obviously, the portion of tensile strength to

Fig. 2. Stress–dilatancy response of uncemented sand and uncemented and cemented


(1%) fiber-reinforced sand sheared at confining pressures of 100 kPa. Fig. 3. Peak strength envelope of non-reinforced and fiber-reinforced cemented sand.
200 N.C. Consoli et al. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes 27 (2009) 196–203

Table 1

Triaxial Deviatoric Stress at Failure (with fiber)


Triaxial Deviatoric Stress at Failure (no fiber)
Peak strength parameters for non-reinforced and fiber-reinforced cemented sand. 6

Cement content (%) Non-reinforced sand Fiber-reinforced sand


5 Standard error of mean
c0 (kPa) 40 (degrees) c0 (kPa) 40 (degrees)
Average values
zero zero 36.7 14.5 48.5
(all confining pressures)
1 19.5 30 56 45
4
4 84 39 132 44
7 146.5 52 193.5 46.5
10 328 48.5 225 51.5
3

be mobilized depends on the magnitude of the soil deformation 2


and also on the stiffness of the fibers. Polypropylene fibers are
extensible fibers. For the uncemented matrix, polypropylene fibers 1
can fully produce their effects, increasing qf at higher deformations,
once large deformations are needed to develop all soil strength. For
the cemented matrix with reduced cement contents (up to about 0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
4% in the present study), increasing cement content increases both
strength and stiffness characteristics, but mobilization of tensile Cement Content (%)
strength of polypropylene fibers still occurs at strains before peak Fig. 4. Effect of fiber-reinforcement on peak deviatoric strength of cemented sand.
of such cemented soils, and so fibers do contribute to an increase of
qf. The less stiff is the cemented matrix (consequently the smaller
the cement content) the larger the effect of mobilization of tensile fiber content (0 or 0.5%). On the other hand, fiber inclusion
strength of the fibers and the larger is its contribution to an increase consistently improves post-peak behavior, increasing both the
of qf. However, for higher cement contents (above 4% in the present ultimate cohesion intercept and the ultimate friction angle
study) the stiffness of the cement governs strength and stiffness (compare Fig. 6(a) with (b)). Adding fibers changes the ultimate
characteristics, polypropylene fibers, being less stiff, are not able to cohesion intercept from zero to about 22 kPa, and the ultimate
mobilize tensile strength before peak of such cemented soils is friction angle from 42 to 55 . A possible mechanism of fiber–
reached at very low deformations, and so do not contribute to an matrix interaction that explains the influence of polypropylene
increase of qf. fibers on qult is that such extensible fibers are not totally pulled out
Fig. 5 shows failed specimens of sand, fiber-reinforced sand and from the matrix when the composite reaches peak strength. Fiber
cemented sand. The non-reinforced sand specimen (Fig. 5(a)) pre- slip and stretching occur gradually, conferring a high post-peak
sented a failure composed of bulging followed by a failure plane, strength on the composite, even at high levels of deformation.
whereas the fiber-reinforced sand specimen (Fig. 5(b)) presented In order to evaluate in rank the effect of fiber reinforcement on
a bulging failure, typical of ductile materials. The cemented sand a cemented sand (considering a wide range of cement contents –
(Fig. 5(c)) presented a fairly well-defined failure plane, typical of CC), as well as the effect of fiber content (FC) and confining pressure
brittle materials. Fiber-reinforced cemented sand specimens (CP) on the quality characteristics of the studied sand, a multiple
revealed a bulging type of failure (similar to presented in Fig. 5(b) regression analysis (MRA) was used, relating how changes in the
for fiber-reinforced sand) up to 4% of cement content and input variable affect the response variables (deviatoric stress at
a composition of stuffed failure followed by a discrete failure plane failure (qf), ultimate deviatoric stress (qult), secant modulus at 0.01%
(at larger displacements) for greater amounts of cement. axial strain (Es(0.01%)) and brittleness index ðIB ¼ qqfr  1Þ). The
The ultimate strength envelopes (obtained considering an axial experimental design was a three-factor factorial design that
strain of 10%, which was the final strain attained in most of the required 30 triaxial compression tests to be performed. In this
triaxial tests and also approached the ultimate state for the unce- design, all possible combinations among the input variables (CC, FC
mented sand) are presented in Fig. 6(a) and (b) for the non-rein- and CP) were tested, and the response variables listed in Table 2
forced cemented sand and the fiber-reinforced cemented sand, were measured. The MRA was performed from linearly codified
respectively. The ultimate strength (qult) values were determined values of the input variable levels presented between parentheses
from the stress–strain curves after peak strength values. The results in Table 2. The codification is a linear transformation in which the
show that ultimate strength parameters are not significantly maximum level experimented with the input variable assumes
affected by cement content for specimens prepared with the same a value of 1, the middle level assumes a 0 value, the minimum level

Fig. 5. Specimens failed on triaxial compression tests (a) sand; (b) fiber-reinforced sand; (c) cemented sand.
N.C. Consoli et al. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes 27 (2009) 196–203 201

Fig. 6. Ultimate strength envelopes: (a) non-reinforced cemented sand; (b) fiber-reinforced cemented sand.

assumes of 1, and any other value is codified by assuming linearly variables (FC and CP) and that there is an interaction effect between
proportional values. In Table 2, the numbers in brackets, besides CC and FC affecting qf.
each discrete level of the input variables represent the respective The effects of CC, FC and CP on the ultimate deviatoric stress
codified values. Additional details about the MRA used in this work (qult) are expressed by
can be found in specific reference books (e.g., Box and Draper, 1987;
Myers and Montgomery, 1995). qult ðkPaÞ ¼ 507 þ 239CC þ 273FC þ 172CP þ 129CC  FC (3)
The experimental data were quantitatively analyzed by MRA by 2
with a R ¼ 0.93 and are presented in Fig. 8, where the predicted
correlating each response variable y with 3 input variables (CC, FC ultimate deviatoric stress obtained from the regression model is
and CP). The regression equations have the form plotted along with the experimental data. In contrast to the peak
strength response, the influence of FC and CP on the ultimate
y ¼ a0 þ a1 CC þ a2 FC þ a3 CP þ a4 CC2 þ a6 CC  FC þ a7 CC strength was found to be as strong as the influence of cementation
 CP þ a8 FC  CP (CC).
(1) The effects of CC, FC and CP on secant modulus at 0.01% axial
strain (Es(0.01%)) are expressed by
where a0–a8 are the coefficients of the regression equations
reported for each response variable (y) evaluated and for the input Esð0:01%Þ ðMPaÞ ¼ 1611 þ 1934CC  734FC þ 256CP þ 620CC2
variables that were found to be statistically significant. The coeffi-
 892CC  FC (4)
cient of determination (R2) indicates how well the regression
equation explains the variability in the response variable.
The effects of cement content (CC), fiber content (FC), and
confining pressure (CP) on the deviatoric stress at failure (qf) are
expressed by

qf ðkPaÞ ¼ 903 þ 817CC þ 194CP þ 196CC2  153CC  FC (2)


2
with a R ¼ 0.97 and are presented in Fig. 7, where the predicted
behavior obtained from the regression model is plotted along with
the experimental data. It is possible to observe in Fig. 7 the
tendencies of the regression curves showing that for up to 5% of
cement content, the fiber affects positively, which means increasing
peak strength when compared to unreinforced cemented sand.
Equation (2) indicates that CC predominates over the other 2 input

Table 2
Input variable factors investigated and range tested.

Input variable (xn) Range investigated


Cement content (%) 0(1); 1(0.8); 4(0.2); 7(0.4); 10(1)
Fiber content (%) 0(–1); 0.5(1)
Fig. 7. Influence of cement content (CC) on peak shear strength of non-reinforced and
Confining Pressure (kPa) 20(1); 60(0); 100(1)
fiber-reinforced sand.
202 N.C. Consoli et al. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes 27 (2009) 196–203

Fig. 8. Influence of cement content (CC) on ultimate shear strength of non-reinforced Fig. 10. Influence of cement content (CC) on brittleness index of non-reinforced and
and fiber-reinforced sand. fiber-reinforced sand.

with a R2 ¼ 0.88 and are presented in Fig. 9, where the predicted IB ðMPaÞ ¼ 1:85 þ 1:39CC  1:40FC  0:89CP  1:13CC  FC
secant modulus obtained from the regression model is plotted þ 0:77FC  CP (5)
along with the experimental data. In similarity to the peak strength
response, the influence of cement content (CC) on Es(0.01%) was with a R2 ¼ 0.78 and are presented in Fig. 10. Increasing cement
found to be quite strong. However, when fiber is introduced to the content (CC) increases the value if IB, turning the matrix extremely
cemented matrix, increasing of secant modulus at 0.01% axial strain brittle. On the other side, the fiber introduction opposes such
with CC is less pronounced, that is why the interaction between CC characteristic, turning the material more ductile. Confining stress
and FC is verified in the regression model. also is a factor that reduces brittleness, being more effective in the
Fig. 9 shows a reduction on Es(0.01%) for the fiber-reinforced unreinforced material.
cemented samples, when compared with the non-reinforced
samples. Mechanistically, the introduction of extensible fibers 5. Conclusions
(polypropylene fibers have reduced stiffness when compared with
the cemented matrix stiffness) which need a certain deformation of The following observations and conclusions can be made
the matrix to start mobilizing, allied to the hypothesis of losing regarding the engineering properties and triaxial behavior of
continuity of the cementitious links due to the large volume polypropylene fiber-reinforced/non-reinforced cemented/unce-
occupied by the polypropylene fibers, is the probable explanation mented specimens of Osorio uniform sand:
for the decrease in Es(0.01%) of the cemented matrix.
Finally, the effects of CC, FC and CP on brittleness index (IB) are  The addition of cement to the sand, in contents up to 10% by
expressed by weight of dry sand, significantly increased stiffness and peak
strength, and changed the sand behavior to a noticeably more
brittle behavior;
 The fiber-reinforced cemented specimens demonstrate a ductile
behavior up to about 4% of cement content and a rather less
pronounced brittle behavior for higher cement contents. The
axial strain corresponding to failure and post-peak response is
dependent on fiber insertion to the composite;
 The stress–dilatancy behavior of the sand is strongly affected
by fiber and cement insertion;
 The peak friction angle changes from 36.5 for uncemented
non-reinforced sand to 30 –52 by adding cement (depending
on the cement percentage added) and 48.5 by adding fiber to
the sand. Including both cement and fiber in the sand gives
a peak friction angle ranging from 44 to 51.5 , quite similar to
the value obtained for fiber incorporation only. Cohesion
intercept increases with increasing cement content for both
non-reinforced and fiber-reinforced cemented sand. However,
the cohesion intercept rising rate of the fiber-reinforced
cemented sand is higher than the non-reinforced cemented
sand up to about 4% of cement content, inverting positioning
for further values of cement content;
 The inclusion of fibers in the uncemented specimens did not
Fig. 9. Influence of cement content (CC) on secant modulus at 0.01% axial strain change initial stiffness (similarly to behavior observed by
(Es(0.01%)) of non-reinforced and fiber-reinforced sand. Heineck et al. (2005) after bender elements testing for the
N.C. Consoli et al. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes 27 (2009) 196–203 203

same sand). The influence of cement content on Es(0.01%) was Consoli, N.C., Casagrande, M.D.T., Coop, M.R., 2005. The effect of fiber-reinforcement
on the isotropic compression behavior of a sand. Journal of Geotechnical and
found to be quite strong, and when fiber is introduced to the
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strain with CC is less pronounced; relationship for an artificially cemented soil cured under stress. Géotechnique
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compared to unreinforced cemented sand, reducing peak Geoenvironmental Engineering, ASCE 133 (2), 197–205.
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than unity for high cement contents, that is, the fiber rein- behavior of fiber-reinforced sand considering triaxial tests under distinct stress
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Acknowledgments sium on Engineering Characteristics of Arid Soils, vol. 1. Balkema, Rotterdam,
The Netherlands, pp. 87–90.
The authors wish to express their gratitude to MCT/CNPq for Heineck, K.S., Coop, M.R., Consoli, N.C., 2005. Effect of micro-reinforcement of soils
from very small to large shear strains. Journal of Geotechnical and Geo-
their financial support to the research group. The writers would like environmental Engineering 131 (8), 1024–1033.
to thank the anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments Huang, J.T., Airey, D., 1998. Properties of artificially cemented carbonate sand.
and suggestions that improved the content of this paper. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering 124 (6), 492–499.
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