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Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, 1992, 10, 117-134

Geotechnical properties of a chemically


stabilized soil from Malaysia with rice husk
ash as an additive
F. H A J I A L I , A. A D N A N and C H E W K A M C H O Y
Department of Civil Engineering, UniversitiMalaya, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Received 2 December 1991

Summary

The stabilization of Malaysian soil by mixing with rice husk ash, a locally available waste material, to
improve its engineering properties is described. Stabilizing agents, i.e. cement and lime, were added to
produce the reaction products which are responsible for the enhancement of the engineering properties.
Based on the strength development, it seems that lime is the more effective stabilizing agent. However,
the cheap waste material can be used as partial replacement for the more expensive cement in the
cement-treatment of the soil. A durability study was carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of this
stabilization method.
Keywords: Soil stabilization, Atterberg limits, compaction test, unconfined compression test, X-ray
diffraction.

Introduction

Several methods of soil improvement using hydraulic cementitious materials have been
developed and used successfully in practice. Chemical improvement of soil is applied in a
variety of engineering works, e.g. in the construction of cheap roads; in providing bases for
pavements where good materials are not economically available; for reducing the
permeability and compressibility of soils in hydraulic and foundation works; for stabilization
of slopes, embankments and excavations. A considerable amount of research concerning
stabilization of soil with agents such as cement, lime, lime plus additives such as fly ash and
salts, bitumen and polymers is available in the literature. But soil stabilization with
lime/cement and rice husk ash (RHA) is a relatively new method.
In recent years the use of various waste products in civil engineering construction has
gained considerable attention in view of the shortage and high costs of suitable conventional
aggregates, increasing costs of waste disposal and environmental constraints. Rice husk is a
major agricultural by-product obtained from the foodcrop of paddy. For every 4 tons of rice
0960-3182/92 © 1992Chapman & Hall
118 Haji Ali et al.

produced, 1 ton is rice husk. Rice husk has a chemical composition which typically
corresponds to the following: cellulose (40-45%), lignin (25-30%), ash (15-20%) and
moisture (8-15%). The ash is mainly derived from the opaline which is present in the cellular
structure of husk and about 90% of which is silica. The silica content in the rice husk depends
on the following: (a) the variety of the rice, (b) soil and climate conditions, (c) prevailing
temperature, and (d) agricultural practices ranging from application of fertilizers and
insecticides etc. The normal method of conversion from husk to ash is by incineration.
Houstin (1972) reported that the properties of rice husk ash depend greatly on whether the
husks have undergone complete destructive combustion or have only been partially burnt.
Houstin classified rice husk ash into (1) high-carbon char, (2) low carbon (grey) ash and (3)
carbon-free (pink or white) ash.
The silica content of the husk can be enriched by converting the husks into ash. A number
of researchers (Bartha and Huppertz, 1974; Singh, 1977; Shah et al., 1979; Yeoh et al., 1979;
Ibrahim and Helmy, 1981) have studied the physical and chemical properties of the ash.
Chemically, rice husk consists of 82-87% silica which exceeds that of fly-ash. The high
percentage of siliceous material indicates that rice husk ash can be an excellent material for
stabilization, as previous research on fly-ash shows that the stabilized strength depends on
the percentage of silicon and aluminium oxides in the fly-ash (Goeker and Handy, 1963;
Vincent et al., 1961; Mateos and Davidson, 1962).

Materials used

Rice husk ash (RHA)

Rice husk is generally considered a worthless by-product of rice milling. At the mills, disposal
of the husk is achieved by burning them in heaps near the mills. Before use the ash was oven-
dried at 60 ° C. The properties of the ash are shown in Table 1. X-ray analysis of the ash is
given in Fig. 1. The pattern of the diffractograph shows much scattering with only two peaks,
0.334 nm of quartz and 0.425 nm of tridymite, both of weak intensities.

Table 1. Composition and


properties of open-field burnt ash

SiO2 90.73%
Ca (as an element) 0.022%
Fe (as an element) 0.226%
Cu (as an element) 0.002%
Mn (as an element) 0.042%
Moisture content 1.68%
Loss on ignition 2.70%
Specific gravity 2.12
Passing BS sieve:
BS No. 30 (600 pm) 87%
BS No. 200 (75#m) 31%
Chemically stabilized soil with rice husk ash 119

! I I I 4O

3O

-- 20
0.334 nm 0.425 nrn

I I I I 0
35 30 25 20 15 10
Diffraction angle (20, CuK~)
Fig. 1. X-ray diffraction analysis of rice husk ash

Soil
A residual granite soil, typical of the Malaysian residual soils, was used in the study. Table 2
shows the properties of the soil. The particle size distribution curve of the soil is shown in
Fig. 2. Figure 3 shows the diffractograph of the soil, i.e. soil sample with clay fraction only.
Kaolinite clay mineral is identified by its strong diffraction line at 0.719 nm and 0.357 nm
which disappeared when heated to 550 ° C. The positions of the two peaks are unaffected by
glycerol treatment. A minor amount of mica group minerals is also detected by their
diffraction lines at 1.0 nm and 0.33 nm.

Lime
The lime used is hydrated lime commercially called 'White Horse'. The pertinent properties
of the lime as supplied by the manufacturer conformed to the requirement of Type 1 Grade A
lime as specified in the standard specification for lime for soil stabilization (AASHTO
M 216-68). The properties of the lime are given in Table 3. Fig. 4 shows the X-ray
diffractograph of the lime. The presence of calcium hydroxide is identified by peaks at 0.490,
0.310, 0.262, 0.192, 0.179 and 0.168 nm. A small peak at 0.304 nm shows the presence of
calcium carbonate.

Cement
The cement used was ordinary Portland cement. The physical and chemical properties of the
cement are given in Table 4.

Laboratory tests

Compaction and strength tests


Compaction and strength tests were carried out on the residual soil with different mix
proportions of RHA, lime and cement (by weight of dry soil). The test programme for the
120 Haft Ali et al.
Table 2. Properties of residual granite soil

Grain size distribution:


Gravel 1%
Sand 52%
Silt 15%
Clay 32%
Physical properties:
Natural moisture content 27%
Specific gravity 2.68
Linear shrinkage 15%
Liquid limit 73%
Plastic limit 36%
Plasticity index 37%
Soil classification:
Unified SC
Textural Sandy clay
AASHTO A-7-5
Engineering properties:
Modified AASHTO density 1.71 Mg m - 3
Optimum moisture content 14.7%
Unsoaked CBR 32% (density of 1.71 Mg m -a)
Soaked CBR 2% (density of 1.71 Mg m -3)
Swell 1.55%

100 I I I I III I I I I III I I


90 ~

80 ~-
7o ~-
==
60
50 ~-
4O
o
30

20

lo-
| | llilll i ltlliil l i lillli[ I l ill I I i I I ili , i ill ii
10 -4 10 -3 10 -2 10 I 10 0 101 10 2
Particle size (rnm)

Clay Fine I MediUms,, I C°arse I Fine I MediUmsandI Coarae Fine I MediUmGravelI Coarse Cobbles

Fig. 2. Grain size distribution for the residual soil


Chemically stabilized soil with rice husk ash 121

0.994 nm
0.332 nm

(a) L719 nm

0.357 nm

(b)
0.719 nm

0.357 nm

0.334 nm
...__,__.,AJ
(c)

L I I 1 I I 1 ! ! ! i ! I !
30 28 26 24 22 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4
Diffraction angle (28, CUE.)
Fig. 3. X-ray diffraction analysis of the residual soil: (a) heated, (b) glycerol treated and
(c) untreated
122 Haft All et al.
Table 3. Composition and
properties of hydrated lime

Ca(OH)2 90_+ 1%
CaCO 3 6%
Mg(OH)2 3%
Fe20 3 0.15%
A120 3 0.5%
SiO 2 0.9%
Moisture content 0.5%
Passing BS sieve:
BS No. 100 (150 pro) 99%
BS No. 200 (75 #m) 95%

0.262 nm

0.490 nm

0,179 nm 0.192 nrn 01310 n m

I I I I I I I I l
55 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10
Diffraction angle (20, CuKq)

Fig. 4. X-ray diffraction analysis of lime

Table 4. Properties of ordinary


Portland cement

Chemical properties (%):


CaO 64.86
SiO 2 20.44
A120 3 5.50
MgO 1.59
SO a 1.96
Fe20 3 2.18
Loss of ignition 1.51
Insoluble residue 0.31
Free lime 1.65
Physical properties:
Fineness (cm2 g-l) 2975
Specific gravity 3.12
Chemically stabilized soil with rice husk ash 123

investigation is s h o w n in T a b l e 5. I n the c o m p a c t i o n tests, the soil was t h o r o u g h l y mixed


with various m o i s t u r e c o n t e n t s a n d allowed to equilibriate for 24 h prior to c o m p a c t i o n . The
dry d e n s i t y - m o i s t u r e r e l a t i o n s h i p was d e t e r m i n e d using the s t a n d a r d c o m p a c t i o n m e t h o d
A A S H T O T 180-74 ( M e t h o d A).

Table 5. Compaction and unconfined compression strength tests (UCS) carried out on
stabilized residual soil

UCS tests UCS tests


curing temperature curing temperature
of 30°C of 60°C
Compaction Curing period (days) Curing period
Mix description tests 7 28 56 28 days

(% lime+ % RHA)
3+0 * * *
3+6 * * *
3+12 * * *
3+18 * * *
6+0 * * *
6+6 * * *
6+12 * * *
6+18 * * *
9+0 * * *
9+6 * * *
9+12 * * *
9+18 * * *
(% cement + % RHA)
3+0 * * *
3+6 * * *
3+12 * * *
3+18 * * *
6+0 * * *
6+6 * * *
6+12 * * *
6+18 * * *
9+0 * * *
9+6 * * *
9+12 * * *
9+18 * * *

The u n c o n f i n e d compressive strength is the m o s t useful m e t h o d of e v a l u a t i n g the


effectiveness of stabilization ( H e r r i n a n d Mitchell, 1961; L a m b e , 1962; Mateos, 1964; K a t t i
et al., 1966; Ingles a n d Metcalf, 1972; H o s s a i n , 1986; R a h m a n , 1987). Each specimen used in
the u n c o n f i n e d c o m p r e s s i o n tests was statically c o m p a c t e d in the 50 m m by 100 m m m o u l d
at the relevant o p t i m u m m o i s t u r e c o n t e n t a n d to the modified A A S H T O m a x i m u m dry
124 Haft Ali et al.
density determined earlier. Specimens were cured in groups of three, in a thermostatically
controlled incubator set at 30° C _+2 ° C before being loaded in compression. Curing times
adopted were 7, 28 and 56 days, for lime-RHA-soil mixtures, and 7 and 28 days for cement-
RHA-soil mixtures. At least three specimens were tested for each case. To study the influence
of curing temperature on unconfined compressive strength, the mixtures containing 6% and
9% lime were moist cured in an oven for 28 days where forced air circulation was maintained
at 60 ° C.

Durability tests
The wet-dry test was used to evaluate the durability of the specimens. The procedure
suggested by Hoover et al. (1958), which were adopted for this study, are as follows:
(a) Specimens were prepared at the designated density and optimum moisture content,
then moist cured for a specific period.
(b) Specimens were air dried for 24 h at room temperature and then completely immersed
in distilled water for 24 h. This completed one cycle of drying and wetting.
(c) After the designated cycles of drying and wetting the height and weight of the specimens
were measured before testing for unconfined compressive strength.

Results and discussion

Compaction and strength properties


In the compaction test results (Fig. 5), addition of RHA alone (i.e. for 0% lime) decreases the
maximum dry density but increases the optimum moisture content. RHA cannot be used
alone in the soil stabilization because of its lack of cementitious properties. The maximum
dry density of RHA-soil mixture is reduced by the presence of the RHA owing to its relatively
low specific gravity. The increase in the optimum moisture content may be caused by the
absorption of water by the RHA.
t.8 - 25 I I I I
. ~ ! 8 % RHA
~
1.7 23

E c
. . ~ 1 2 % RH/I
Zt
o
e'''~'-e''"~"""t~ e6% RHA o~
~ E
6% RHA

E
~ ~ ' ~ 1 2 % RHA- E
K
o
1.4 ~ ~ " ~ 18"/, RHA- t7

w i I i 15 I I I !
0 3 6 9 12 0 3 6 9 t2
Lime content (%) Lime content (%)
Fig. 5. Variation of compaction characteristics of the residual soil with lime-RHA content
Chemically stabilized soil with rice husk ash 125

Figure 5 also shows that for a given RHA content addition of lime decreases the maximum
dry density of the stabilized soil, but increases the optimum moisture content. As noted by
earlier workers in lime-treatment of soil (Lu et al., 1957; Remus and Davidson, 1961; Mateos
and Davidson, 1962; Wang et al., 1962; Mateos, 1964; Compendium-8, 1979), addition of
lime leads to an immediate decrease in the maximum dry density of the soil and an increase in
the optimum moisture content, for the same compactive effort. The decrease in the maximum
dry density of the treated soil is reflective of the increased resistance offered by the flocculant
soil structure to the compactive effort (Nagaraj, 1964). The increase in optimum moisture
content is probably a consequence of the additional water held within the flocculant soil
structure resulting from lime interaction. Fig. 5 illustrates that by increasing the RHA
content, the maximum dry density decreases further and at the same time the optimum
moisture content increases. The presence of RHA in excess of the amount required for
reaction with the lime, may have reduced the dry density. This increase in moisture content is
probably caused by additional water absorbed by the excess RHA.
Figure 6 shows the effects of adding cement and RHA on the compaction characteristics of
the soil. It can be seen that the maximum dry density increases slightly, except for a RHA
content of 18%, and the optimum moisture content decreases when the cement content is
increased. However, addition of RHA has the opposite effect.

1.8 I I I
25 I I I I

I.'1 23

E
~ 6% RHA
E
._~ 1.6 E 21
oo
0~
...~....-~t2% RHA
E t.~ E t9
• • ~_._._..._~18%
RHA ~ ! 2 % RHA
E
o
1.4 17 • ~ ~--"'=6% RHA

t.3 I I I I t5 ,, I I I I
0 3 6 9 t2 0 3 6 9 12
Cementcontent(%) Cementcontent(%)
Fig. 6. Variation of compaction characteristics of the residual soil with cement-RHA
content

The effects of adding RHA on the unconfined compressive strength of soil-lime mixtures
after curing for 7, 28 and 56 days are shown in Fig. 7. A general pattern is observed in which
the strength develops rapidly with addition of RHA until an optimum is reached, beyond
which the strength begins to decrease. The maximum strength significantly varies with curing
time.
Addition of lime alone can bring about several beneficial changes in the engineering
properties of fine-grained soils. Treatment with lime is observed to improve the strength
126 Haji Ali et al.

t.B I I I I I I I I I I i I
(a) (b) (el

1.6

E

•~
1.4

1.2

9% lime
9%1/IT,

%l!me
lime
ii'iii'
0.8 ~ , , ~ 6%Ilml

0.6 I I I I I I I I
0 6 12 18 24 0 6 t2 t8 24 0 6 12 t8 24
Rice husk ash content (%)

Fig. 7. Variation of unconfined compressive strength of the residual soil with lime-RHA
content (a) 7 days, (b) 28 days and (c) 56 days

characteristics of the soil (Laguros et al., 1956; Lu et al., 1957; Herrin and Mitchell, 1961;
Lambe, 1958; Mateos, 1964; Katti et al., 1966; Ingles and Metcalf, 1972; Compendium-8,
1979). The unconfined strength test results obtained in this investigation show that the
improvement in strength in the lime-stabilized soil can be enhanced by adding a certain
amount, say between 6 to 12%, of rice husk ash. It may also be inferred from the test results
that, in a lime-RHA-residual soil mixture, a lesser amount of lime is required to achieve a
given strength as compared with a lime-residual soil mixture. Since lime is much more
expansive than RHA this will result in cheaper construction costs. In tropical countries
where rice husks are abundant and considered to be waste materials, use of RHA in the
construction of roads, airfields and other earthworks is particularly attractive because this
would generally lend itself to low-cost applications, help alleviate disposal costs and
environmental damage and conserve high-grade construction materials for higher priority
uses.
The gain of strength of lime-stabilized soil is regarded primarily as a result of pozzolanic
reaction between amorphous silica and/or alumina from the soil and lime to form various
types of cementing agents. By introducing rice husk ash to the soil, additional amounts of
amorphous silica are available for reaction with lime resulting in further increases in strength.
The drop in strength due to a further increase in RHA after the optimum amount may be
attributed to the decrease in the maximum dry density as a result of the presence of RHA in
excess of the amount required for reaction with the available lime.
Figure 8 shows the variation of unconfined compressive strength with curing period. It can
be seen that addition of RHA produces not only higher strength but also higher initial rate of
strength development, 6% RHA content gives an average increase in strength of 35 % as the
curing time is increased from 7 to 28 days at 30° C, while 9% RHA content gives an increase
of 49% for the same increase in curing time. Fig. 8 also shows that the rate of strength
Chemically stabilized soil with rice husk ash 127

1.8 I I I
6%RHA

zE
t.6

~6 %RHA 1 ~ / /~
f j........-,~2% RHA -
|8%RHA
a:: t2%RHA
I
~ 1.2
IB°/oRHA
~ 1.0 OV,RHIai
I 1%RHA(b
)
0.8

0.6 7 28 56 7 28 56
Curingperiod(days) Curinperi
g od(days)
Fig. 8. Variation of unconfined compressive strength of lime-RHA-soil mixture with
curing period, mixtures with (a) 6% and (b) 9% lime

development reduces at the later stages. The dependence of strength development on curing
provides a considerable factor of safety for designs based on say 7-, 28- or 56-day strength.
To study the influence of curing temperature on unconfined compressive strength, the
mixture containing 6% and 9% lime were moist cured in an oven for 28 days where forced air
circulation was maintained at 60° C. The results are illustrated in Fig. 9. Samples cured at
60 ° C showed a significantly higher rate of strength development. It is interesting to note that
an increase in temperature not only results in development of higher strength in lime
treatment of soil but also enhancement of this strength when RHA is added. Since
temperature is relatively high in tropical countries like Malaysia, the use of RHA is very
suitable in this type of soil stabilization.
The effect of adding cement and RHA on the unconfined compressive strength of the soil is
shown in Fig. 10. It seems that there is an optimum value of rice husk ash content (about 6 %)
for each cement content. By hydrating Portland cement, calcium hydroxide (lime) is
liberated which reacts with the rice husk ash to produce additional cementitious compounds.
When the RHA content is in excess of the amount required for the reaction, the strength
begins to drop. There is also a significant increase in the maximum unconfined strength with
the curing period.
Figure 11 compares the strength development in lime-RHA mixtures and cement-RHA
mixtures for a RHA content of 12%. It can be seen that higher strength is developed in the
lime-RHA mixtures at all stages of the curing period. It should be noted that lime is the more
effective stabilizing agent.
X-ray diffractographs of the lime-RHA-soil mixtures cured for 7, 28 and 90 days are shown
in Fig. 12. After curing for 7 days new peaks appear at 1.263, 1.077, 0.818, 0.628, 0.419, 0.304,
0.288 and 0.229 nm with smaller peaks at 0.540, 0.512, 0.280, 0.262, 0.249, 0.237 and
128 Haft Ali et al.

Ik
2.6

2.4
g-.
I
E
z
2.2
9 % lime
c

~ 2.c

0
o

e-
m

0 6 % lime
c

1.4

t.2 r I I !
0 6 ~2 18 2,1.
Rice husk ash content (%)
Fig. 9. Variation of unconfined compressive strength of lime-RHA-soil mixture cured at
60°C with RHA content

0.180 nm. The peaks for untreated residual soil, as observed in Fig. 3, are considerably
reduced in intensity.
Extending the curing time to 28 days resulted in the disappearance of the peaks at
0.262 nm (i.e. for lime). New peaks appeared at 1.263, 0.759, 0.628, 0.419, 0.385, 0.304, 0.249,
0.228 and 0.191 nm, with additional smaller peaks at 0.288, 0.280, 0.237 and 0.180 nm. By
further extending the curing time to 90 days, more peaks disappeared in the diffractograph.
Peaks observed at 1.236, 0.759, 0.628, 0.419 and 0.288 nm reveal the presence of dicalcium
aluminate monosilicate-8-hydrate, C2ASH s (Stratling's compound). In a study by Jambor
(1963) the same compound was reported to result from reactions between lime and activated
kaolin. Croft (1964a,b) identified Stratling's compound as one of the products produced in
the lime-kaolinite reactions at 40 ° C. The rest of the peaks are attributable to the
tetracalcium aluminate-13-hydrate [C4AH13 ] and calcium silicate hydrate 1 [CSH (1)].

Durability
A stabilized soil should be durable, i.e. it should have the ability to retain its integrity and
strength under 'in service' environmental conditions. The determination of the durability
Chemically stabilized soil with rice husk ash 129

1.6 I I I I I I I I

7 days 28

t.4

E
Z

12

~ ~ ) ° / . cemen 6% cement
"~ 1.¢

E
a
6% cement--
.-~ 0 . 8 f

0.6 :3%cemen1 3%cement-


(a) (b)
I I I t I I I
0 6 12 18 24 0 t2 t8 24
Ricehuskashcontent(%)
Fig. 10. Variation of unconfined compressive strength of the residual soil with cement-
RHA content. (a) 7 days and (b) 28 days

properties of a stabilized soil is a problem because it is difficult to simulate exactly in the


laboratory the detrimental effect acting on the soil in the field. Many different test conditions
have been used for this purpose, e.g. freezing and thawing, heating and cooling, and wetting
and drying. Of these only the last two conditions are relevant to tropical areas.
The results of the durability tests are shown in Table 6 and Fig. 13. Table 6 shows the
reduction in the unconfined compressive strength of the specimens subjected to 12 cycles of
wetting and drying, expressed as a proportion of the strength of specimens moist cured for
the same period but not subjected to the wet-dry process. It can be seen that the strengths of
specimens with three different compositions (i.e. 9% lime and 0% RHA; 9% lime and 12%
RHA; and 9% lime and 18% RHA) and moist cured for 28 days, drop to 32, 60 and 57% of
the original strengths, respectively, after being exposed to 12 cycles of wetting and drying.
The sample with 12% RHA content retains the highest strength after the wetting and drying.
Comparing the strength ratios, it seems that addition of RHA significantly enhances the
durability of the stabilized soil.
Comparing the strengths of the 'moist-cured only' samples given in Table 6 and the
strengths of the samples subjected to wetting and drying shown in Fig. 13, a general pattern is
observed in the figure in which the strength is drastically reduced after the first cycle and an
improvement in strength for subsequent cycles. This may be caused by the combination of
deterioration induced during wet-dry cycles and the gain in strength owing to the curing
effect.
It may be inferred from the figure that addition of RHA produces not only stronger, but
also more durable samples as compared with those samples treated with lime only.
Comparing the detrimental effect of saturation on samples with RHA contentsof 12% and
18%, the former is less affected because it is nearer to the optimum RHA content.
130 Haji Ali et al.
1.8 I I I

Ash: t 2 % by weight of dry soil

1.6 -- y 9 % lime -
C
E

v
.= 1.4

>=
~.2
/
8 '

~ 1.0
¢-

:3

0.8

0.6
~
7 28
f
~ % cement

I
56
Curing period (days)
Fig. 11. Comparison between unconfined compressive strength development for lime-
RHA and cement-RHA stabilized soil samples

E
=
E
E c

(c)

~ E

= m •
~, ~ ~, ~~ oc! d o d
=~ or~
b c5 ~ g

E E E
E E E E E ~ o ~ E e

o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o ~o ~ ~
a d o c~ c~ c5 u2 ~ ~q c5

| I I I I I I I
50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10
Diffraction angle (20, CuK~)

Fig. 12. X-ray diffraction analysis of lime-RHA-soil mixtures. (a) 7 days, (b) 28 days, (c)
90 days
Chemically stabilized soil with rice husk ash 131

Table 6. Redaction in the unconfined compression strength of soil-lime-RHA mixture


after being subjected to cycles of wet-dry

Mix proportion A B A C D C
(%lime+%RHA) (MNm -2) (MNm -1) B (MNm -2) (MNm -2)

9+0 0.255 0.816 0.31 0.430 1.343 0.32


9 + 12 0.810 1.250 0.65 0.850 1.411 0.60
9 + 18 0.748 1.173 0.64 0.769 1.343 0.57

A: Unconfined compressive strength (UCS) of specimen moist cured for 14 days and
subjected to 12 wet-dry cycles
B: UCS of specimen moist cured for 14 days
C: UCS of specimen moist cured for 28 days and subjected to 12 wet-dry cycles
D: UCS of specimen moist cured for 28 days.

Conclusions

From the results of the study the following conclusions can be derived:
(1) In a lime-RHA-residual soil mixture, addition of lime and RHA increases the optimum
moisture content and reduces the maximum dry density for the same compactive effort.
However, the strength gain in the soil will more than compensate for changes in compaction
optima.
(2) In a cement-RHA-residual soil mixture, addition of cement slightly increases the
maximum dry density for RHA content less than 18 %, and decreases the optimum moisture
content. However, by increasing the RHA content, the maximum dry density is reduced and
the optimum moisture content is increased.
(3) The developments of the unconfined compressive strength of lime-stabilized and
cement-stabilized residual soils are enhanced by adding RHA. However, for a given lime or
cement content there is an optimum value of RHA content which corresponds to the
maximum unconfined compressive strength. The optimum rice husk ash content is about
6%. Comparing the strength developments, lime is the more effective stabilizing agent.
(4) The reaction products responsible for the strength development in lime-RHA-residual
mixture are calcium silicate hydrate [CSH] gel which after prolonged curing transforms into
a more crystallized calcium silicate hydrate 1 [CSH(1)], tetracalcium aluminate-13-hydrate
[C4AH13] and Stratling's compound [C/ASHs].
(5) The enhancement of unconfined compressive strength development by adding RHA is
influenced by the curing period and temperature. As the curing time and temperature
increases, the rate of strength development is intensified by the addition of RHA. The results
are regarded as advantageous especially for applications in tropical countries where the
temperature is relatively high.
(6) Addition of RHA enhances not only the strength development but also the durability of
lime-stabilized residual soil. A stabilized soil with the optimum RHA content suffers the least
detrimental effects of saturation. Therefore, it can be inferred that the use of RHA in the
chemical-treatment of residual soil for construction of roads, airfields, etc. would require
reduced annual maintenance costs.
132 Haft All e t al.

14 day moist cured 28 day moist cured


I j i

0.8 ¸

.>

06

e-
~ A

0.2
/275 A T f [ r

10 I 1 l 1 t 1 i

"~
o "~ 5

0 ! I ! ! I r Y !

1.1 I 1 i I 1 i l 1

~-
o 0.9
.E

~.! 0..5
oO
~ A

~- 0..3
X
LI.I
C
0.1 I T , T I I l I
0 4 8 12 0 4 8 '!2
Cycles of wet dry Cycles of w e t dry
Fig. 13. Effect of wetting and drying on strength, moisture absorption and expansion of
lime-RHA stabilized soil. A - - 9 % lime; B--9% lime + 12% RHA; C - - 9 % lime + 18%
RHA
Chemically stabilized soil with rice husk ash 133

(7) In tropical countries where rice husks are abundant and considered as waste materials,
use of RHA in the construction of roads, airfields and other earthworks is particularly
attractive, because this would generally lead to cheaper construction costs, help alleviate
disposal costs and environmental damage and conserve high-grade construction materials
for higher priority uses.

References

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134 Haji Ali et al.

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