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Soil improvement in its broadest sense is the alteration of any property of a soil to improve its
engineering performance. This may be either a temporary process to permit the construction
of a facility or may be a permanent measure to improve the performance of the completed
facility. The result of an application of a technique may be increased strength, reduced
compressibility, reduced permeability, or improved ground water condition.

Soils can be classified into two categories cohesion less and cohesive soils. It has been
observed that regions that are predominantly clayey do not usually have sandy materials.
Clays must be considered as very important and often determining soil component since it
has two objectionable qualities that make it the most troublesome of the materials to be dealt
with. It swells when subjected to wetting, and shrinks with drying. Clays and silts are low-
grade construction materials, which find use in impervious elements such as cores (dams),
cut-offs, they are poorly drained, and they shrink and swell. Also, clays when wet lose all
strength; they are highly compressible, producing undesirable settlement as sub-grades of
highways. Sands, though, having good drainage properties are also not suitable, as they lack
cohesion and spread laterally under vertical loads. Thus, either of the two types alone cannot
take the traffic independently. Therefore, combination of the two in certain specific
proportions and thorough compaction with or without the use of additives may result in a
stable sub-grade. A stabilized material may be considered as a combination of binder-soil and
aggregates preferably obtained at or near the site of stabilization, and compacted so that it
will remain in its compacted state without detrimental change in shape or volume under the
force of traffic and exposure of weather. Several materials have been used as soil stabilizing
agents. Of these, the best stabilizer will be the one involving minimum cost and at the same
time providing durable effect. The technique is mainly applied in Road construction soil, and
is termed as Mechanical Stabilization or Granular Stabilization. The process of mechanical
stabilization is used both for base-courses as well as surface-courses. A good mechanically
stable base or surfacing usually consists of a mixture of coarse aggregates (gravel, crushed
rock, slag, etc.), fine aggregates (natural or crushed stone, sand, etc.), silt and clay, correctly
proportioned and fully compacted. The use of correctly proportioned materials is of particular
importance in the construction of low-cost roads. The principle of grading soils may be
applied to the improvement of sub-grade soils of low bearing capacity, by adding to them
materials having particle sizes that are lacking, e.g. sand can added to clay sub-grades and
vice versa.

1.2 Techniques of Soil Improvement

The various techniques of soil improvement are :-

1 Surface Compaction

2 Drainage Methods

3 Vibration Methods

4 Precompression and consolidation

5 Grouting and Injection

6 Chemical Stabilization

These techniques are briefly described as follows:

1. Surface Compaction

One of the oldest methods of soil densification is compaction. Construction of a new road, a
runway, an embankment or any soft or loose site needs a compacted base for laying the
structure. If the depth to be densified is less the surface compactionalone can solve the
problem. The usual surface compaction devices are rollers, tampers and rammers. All
conventional rollers like smooth wheel, rubber-tyred, sheep foot, vibratory and grid rollers
can be used.

2. Drainage Methods

Ground water is one of the most difficult problems in excavation work. The presence of water
increases the pore water pressure and decreases the shear strength. Further heavy inflow of
water to the excavations is liable to cause erosion or collapse of the sides of open
excavations. Certain methods are available to control the ground water and ensure a safe and
economical construction scheme.Common drainage methods are Well-point Systems, Deep-
well Drainage, Vacuum Dewatering system, Dewatering by Electro-osmosis etc.
3. Vibration Methods

Vibration methods can be effectively used for rapid densification of saturated noncohesive
soils. Vibrations and shock waves in loose deposits of such materials cause liquefaction
followed by densification accompanying the dissipation of excess pore water pressures. Some
of the mostly adopted vibration methods are blasting, Vibrating probe, Vibratory rollers,
Vibro-displacement Compaction Piles, Vibrofloatation, Heavy Tamping etc.

4. Pre-compression and Consolidation

This method aims to consolidate the soil before construction. Various techniques adopted are
Preloading and Surcharge Fills, Vertical Drains, Dynamic Consolidation, Electro osmotic
Consolidation etc.

5. Grouting and Injection

Grouting is a process whereby stabilizers, either in the form of suspension or solution are
injected into subsurface soil or rock for one or more of the following applications: -Control of
ground water during construction

-Void filling to prevent excessive settlement

-Strengthening adjacent foundation soils to protect them against damage during excavation,
Pile driving, etc.

-Soil Strengthening to reduce lateral support requirements

-Stabilization of loose sands against Liquefaction

-Foundation Underpinning

-Reduction of machine foundation vibrations

Grouting is done by Suspension Grouts which include grouting with Soil, Soil-cement Mixes,
Cement, Lime, Displacement Grouting and by Solution Grouts using "one shot" or "two shot"

6. Chemical Stabilization

Chemical Stabilization has been widely used in the form of lime, cement, fly ash and the
combination of the above is widely used in soil stabilization. Chemical Stabilizations reduce
permeability of the soils, improve shear strength, increase bearing capacity, decrease
settlement and expedite construction. Chemical Stabilization is used for surface soils more
successfully. Mixtures of soils and chemicals are mixed either mechanically in place or by
batch process. Some of the chemicals used are Lime, Cement, and Fly Ash etc.

7. Soil Reinforcement

Soil Reinforcement is in the form of a weak soil reinforced by high-strength thin horizontal
membranes. A large variety of materials such as rubber, aluminum and thermoplastics have
been used successfully.

8. Geotextiles and Geomembranes

Geotextiles are porous fabrics manufactured from synthetic materials, which are primarily
petroleum products and others, such as polyester, polyethylene, polypropylene and polyvinyl
chloride, nylon, fibreglass and various mixtures of these. Geotextiles are used as separators,
filters, Drains, reinforcement, geomembranes etc.

9. Other Methods

Other methods include Thermal methods, Moisture barriers, Prewetting, addition or removal
of soils,mechanical stabilization etc.


Additive refers to a manufactured commercial product that, when added to the soil in the
proper quantities, will improve the quality of the soil layer. The two types of additive
stabilization discussed mainly in this chapter are chemical and bituminous. Chemical
stabilization is achieved by the addition of proper percentages of portland cement, lime, lime-
cement-fly ash (LCF), or combinations of these materials to the soil. Bituminous stabilization
is achieved by the addition of proper percentages of bituminous material to the soil. Selecting
and determining the percentage of additives depend on the soil classification and the degree
of improvement in the soil quality desired. Smaller amounts of additives are usually required
to alter soil properties (such as gradation, workability, and plasticity) than to improve the
strength and durability sufficiently to permit a thickness-reduction design. After the Soil
Stabilization additive has been mixed with the soil, spreading and compacting are achieved
by conventional means.

Types of additives

To select the proper type of additive for a particular soil, perform a sieve analysis test and an
Atterberg-limits test according to the procedures


Portland cement can be used either to modify and improve the quality of the soil or to
transform the soil into a cemented mass with increased strength and durability. Cement can
be used effectively as a stabilizer for a wide range of materials; however, the soil should have
a PI less than 30. For coarse-grained soils, the amount passing the No. 4 sieve should be
greater than 45 percent. The amount of cement used depends on whether the soil is to be
modified or stabilized.


Experience shows that lime will react with many medium-, moderately fine-, and fine-
grained soils to produce decreased plasticity, increased workability, reduced swell, and
increased strength. Soils classified according to the USCS as CH, CL, MH, ML, OH, OL, SC,
SM, GC, GM, SW-SC, SP-SC, SM-SC, GWGC, GP-GC, ML-CL, and GM-GC should be
considered as potentially capable of being stabilized with lime. Lime should be considered
with all soils having a PI greater than 10 and more than 25 percent of the soil passing the No.
200 sieve.


Fly ash, when mixed with lime, can be used effectively to stabilize most coarse- and medium-
grained soils; however, the PI should not be greater than 25. Soils classified by the USCS as
and SC-SM can be stabilized with fly ash. Fly ash is the byproduct of combustion of coal and
contains Silicon and Aluminum and is mainly used as a filler product to reduce voids. The
silicate aluminates-amide system is widely used for strength improvement and water cut-off
as this system can be used in acidic soils as well.


Most bituminous soil stabilization has been performed with asphalt cement, cutback asphalt,
and asphalt emulsions. Soils that can be stabilized effectively with bituminous materials
usually contain less than 30 percent passing the No. 200 sieve and have a PI less than 10.
Soils classified by the USCS as SW, SP, SW-SM, SP-SM, SW-SC, SP-SC, SM, SC, SM-SC,
GW, GP, SW-GM, SP-GM, SW-GC, GP-GC, GM, GC, and GM-GC can be effectively
stabilized with bituminous materials, provided the above-mentioned gradation and plasticity
requirements are met. Stabilization using lime creates long lasting changes in soil properties.


Combination stabilization is specifically defined as lime-cement, lime-asphalt, and LCF

stabilization. Combinations of lime and cement are often acceptable expedient stabilizers.
Lime can be added to the soil to increase the soils workability and mixing characteristics as
well as to reduce its plasticity. Cement can then be mixed into the soil to provide rapid
strength gain. Combinations of lime and asphalt are often acceptable stabilizers. The lime
addition may prevent stripping at the asphalt-aggregate interface and increase the mixtures

1.Study on the Geotechnical Properties of Cement based

Composite Fine-grained Soil
It states that the effect ofcement on the performance of soil, collected from Khanjahan Ali
Hall at Khulna University of Engineering & Technology (KUET) in Khulna, Bangladesh. The
addition of cement was found to improve the engineering properties of available soil in
stabilized forms specifically strength, workability, and compaction and compressibility
characteristics. Therefore, laboratory tests such as compaction, Atterberg limits, unconfined
compressive strength, direct shear and consolidation tests for different percentages of cement
content and original soil samples were performed. These test results show that the soil can be
made lighter which leads to decrease in dry density and increase in moisture content and
reduced compressibility due to the addition of cement with the soil. Besides that the
unconfined compressive strength and shear strength of soil can be optimized with the
addition of 7.5% of cement content. (Grytansarkar, md.rafiqul Islam, Muhammed alamgir,
md.Rokonuzzaman (2012))

2.An experimental study for identification and comparison of

plastic index and shrinkage properties of clay soils with the
addition of cement
That there has been an increasing application of various clay minerals with high plasticity in
environmental and geotechnical projects. One of the weaknesses of clay minerals is their
shrinkage potential while desiccating. It is imperative to modify the properties of these
minerals by combining them with other materials. The present article tries to examine the
effect of adding cement to clay on its shrinkage properties and to compare it with normal
clay. A considerable number of expansion experiments were carried out on mixed samples
with different weight percentages. The results suggestedthe significant effect of modification
of clay soils in Golestan Province by adding cement on their shrinkage properties, such that
increased percentage of additives increases the shrinkage limit of clay-additive mixture and
the cracks caused by shrinkage decrease in terms of length and width. Finally, the clay
additive mixture pattern can be obtained that provides the basic, necessary properties which
correspond to the aims of the project. In the present article, cement is used as a chemical for
improving the shrinkage properties of expansive and problematic soils in Golestan Province.
During the course of experiments, four samples of different soils are used with plasticity
indices of 20, 30, 35, and 40. Here, the plasticity properties (including liquid limit, plastic
limit, shrinkage limit, and plastic index) of clay soils in the region will be examined and
compared before and after adding different percentages of cement. (Mehdi gharib, Hamidreza
Saba, Arashbarazesh (2012))

3.Study of black cotton soil characteristics with cement waste dust

and lime
It stated that Stabilization of soils is an effective method for improvement of soil properties
and the pavement system performance. Plasticity Index is one of the important properties of
soil to determine the behavior of soil in presence of water. The poorest soil among all is
Black Cotton Soil (BC Soil). In Rajkot area this BC Soil is spread over southern part of
District. Rich proportion of montmorillonite is found in BC Soil from mineralogical analysis.
High percentage of montomorillonite renders high degree of expansiveness. These property
results cracks in soil without any warning. These cracks have sometimes extent severe limit
like to 12 deep. Use of this type of land may suffer severe damage to the construction with
the change in atmospheric conditions. In this paper, BC Soil was tested using three different
stabilizing agents - 1.Cement waste dust collected from the cement plant 2. Cement Dust +
Lime Powder 3. Lime Powder. The cement waste dust was found best agent as a stabilizer to
improve the Atterbergs Limit and hence Plasticity Index of BC Soil as well as the
compressive strength of the same. Laboratory tests were performed with different percentages
of three stages, each of them ranging from 1% to 9%. The behavior of BC Soil of Rajkot
region was improved with stage no. 1, the percentage of Cement dust 7% of Cement dust in
BC Soil is looking to be the appropriate mixing. Also in second stage, improvement is shown
at 8% of combination of cement dust and Lime powder. Third stage was observed a best
suited result at 9% of Lime powder in BC Soil. The results, thus obtained in laboratory under
standard conditions provide satisfactory reason to use the Cement dust as a stabilizing agent
for the purpose to improve Plasticity Index of BC Soil compare to other two combinations.
After satisfying result of Plasticity Index, Cylindrical Samples of BC Soil with all three
combinations were prepared to check the compressive strength of stabilized soil. Moisture
content taken was the optimum percentage of plastic limit in each combination. The cylinders
of size 50 mm in diameter and 60 mm height were tested after 3, 5, 7, 14, 21, 28 days. The
relations for these periods were established among the useof all three different agents.
Compressive strength of Cement dust stabilized BC Soil found more reliable. (J.B.Ozaa, Dr.
P.J. Gundaliya (2012))

4.Soil Engineering Properties Improvement by Utilization of Cut

Waste Plastic and Crushed Waste Glass as Additive
This paper was evaluated the engineering properties on utilizing waste plastic High Density
Polyethylene (HDPE) and waste crushed glass as additive on subgrade improvement. The
research were conducted soil engineering properties, standard compaction, four days soaked
California Bearing Ratio (CBR) and Triaxial test to some clayey soil samples from various
sites in Kuantan. The 4 days soaked CBR of clayey soil samples were prepared at optimum
water content. The variation of additive content on stabilized soil: 4%, 8%, 12% by dry total
weight of soil sample respectively. The chemical element was investigated by Integrated
Electron Microscope and Energy-Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS). Test result
were shown that engineering properties and CBR on stabilized clayey samples were increased
when the content of waste HDPE and Glass were increased.


Following are the materials which are to be used in this study.

1 Soil
In this study, the soil under investigation is collected from Nadiad (Latitude 22.70000 N &
Longitude 72.87000 E), Gujarat where the road is going to pass, Ahmedabad to Vadodara
NH8. The visual examination indicated that soil under investigation is brown in color made
of fine particles that cause it to stick together when wet, preventing normal drainage
processes. Once it is wet it does not become dry soon. In like manner, when thoroughly dry, it
is not soon wetted and shrinks causing cracks
2 Cement
Cement is increasingly used as a stabilizing material for soils, particularly for the
construction of highways. It can be used to stabilize sandy and clayey soils. The cement has
an effect to decrease the liquid limit and to increase the plasticity index. The quantities of
Portland Pozzolana cement is a multi-mineral compound made up of oxides of calcium,
silica, alumina and iron. Portland Pozzolana cement is a multi-mineral compound made up of
oxides of calcium, silica, alumina and iron. In presence of suitable amount of water, PCC
hydrates help to stabilize flocculated clay particles through cementation. In these studies, 2 %
of Portland pozzolana cement is used with the soil under investigation.

Test Results

Various tests were performing for identify the Engineering property of soil as per Indian
Standard are as below:

1.Test Result of Untreated Soil

.1.1 Atterberg Limits of Soil: As far as possible, they are an essential measure of the way of a
fine grained soil. The behavior of the soil is related to the amount of water in the system and
may show up in four states in particular Solid, Semi solid, Plastic, Liquid. In each, one
express the consistency and conduct of a soil is distinctive and along these lines are its
designing properties. Therefore, the limit between each one state can be characterized
focused around a change in the Soil's conduct. The cutoff points were refined by Arther
1.2 Plasticity Index: It is the range of water content over which a soil behaves plastically. It is
defined as the range of consistency with in which the soil exhibit plastic properties i.e. the
numerical difference between the liquid limit and plastic limit.
1.3 Soil: Soil consistence provides a means of describing the degree and kind of cohesion and
adhesion between the soil particles as related to the resistance of the soil to deform or rupture

Table 1 Soil Classification, FSI & Atterbergs Limit

Grain size distribution Atterbergs Limit FSI (%)

Gravel(% Sand(%) Silt/Clay(% L.L(%) P.L(%) P.I(%)
) )
Inorganic clay soil 3.56 37.64 58.80 30.40 19.43 10.97 17.50

1.4 Stabilizing Agent: A balancing out specialists is a mechanical, chemical or bituminous

added substance used to keep up or build the properties of soil or other material utilized as a
part of development.
The knowledge of the soil consistency is important in defining or classifying a soil type or
predicting soil performance when used as a construction material. The soil consistency is a
practical and an inexpensive way to distinguish between silts and clays. IS code 2720 (part V
1985) is followed for evaluating the Atterbergs limits in the laboratory for classification of
soil. The test result for untreated soil is shown in table 1.
The soil is characterized as inorganic clay (CL) with low plasticity as per unified soil
classification system (USCS) as fine grained soil passing 0.075 mm sieve is more than
50percent and liquid limit falls in the range of 0 to 35.

1.5 Compaction result for Untreated Soil

Maximum density and optimum moisture are needed for field control during compaction so
as to achieve satisfactory results. IS: 2720 (Part VII 1978) is followed for compaction test
was on inorganic clayey soil with low plasticity (CL). From this test Moisture Dry Density
and Optimum Moisture Content are found out as shown in Fig.
MDD Vs OMC Graph for soil

1.6 CBR Result of Untreated Soil

As per IS: 2720 (Part 16 1987) CBR test was performed for 100 % inorganic clayey soil
with low plasticity (CL), remolded at OMC (10.10%) & MDD (2.052%). The surcharge
weight of 5.0 kg is placed on the sample and was soaked for 96 hours. During testing, initial
loading is applied on it so that the plunger is properly in contact with soil and penetration
values are consistent with respect to the load applied.

Load penetration curve for untreated soil

CBR value from graph

Standard penetration Load*100/Std. load CBR (%)

2.5 mm (78*100)/1370 5.69
5 mm (136.5*100)/2055 6.64
As the value of CBR at 5 mm is more, tests were repeated and values again obtained were
more than CBR at 2.5 mm hence CBR at 5 mm is considered.

2 Test Result for Treated Soil with Cement

The collected soils and 2 % cement content was oven dried at 105 C overnight to remove
moisture and repress microbial activity. The oven dried samples were mixed thoroughly by
hand in a large tray in a dry state. The index property of soil is obtained from Atterbergs test

Atterbergs Limit
L.L(%) P.L(%) P.I(%)
26 16.5 9.95

2.1 Compaction result for treated soil

MDD vs OMC for soil +2% Cement

In field control, maximum dry density for specific input energy level is carried out on fine
grained soil with 2 % cement as additive with suitable amount of water is added to lubricate
the contact surfaces of soil particles and improve the compressibility of the soil matrix added
prior to achieve compaction mechanically increasing the density of soil. The densification of
soil is achieved by reducing air void space

2.2 CBR result of treated soil

CBR Graph for soil + 2% Cement

CBR value from Graph

Standard penetration Load*100/Std. load CBR (%)

2.5 mm (257.40*100)/1370 18.79
5 mm (448.50*100)/2055 21.82

There is a significant change in CBR value is noted for CL soil with 2% PCC content. The
graph shows that the value of CBR at 5 mm is more compared to 2.5 mm penetration. Tests
were repeated as per the codal practice and values again obtained for 5 mm penetration is
more than CBR at 2.5 mm penetration, hence CBR at 5 mm is considered for carrying out


In this, experiments were conducted to stabilize the inorganic clay with low plasticity with
fixed 2% PCC. The following conclusions are drawn.
1.There is a need for enhancing the engineering characteristics of CL soil for road
construction by the addition of 2% PCC so that the engineering property of clayey soil is
improved. It has been noted that liquid limit decreases and plastic limit values are declining
but the plasticity is decreasing compared with untreated soil. The increase in maximum dry
density is a result of flocculation and agglomeration of inorganic clay with low plasticity soil
particles with PCC which is due to the result of initial coating of soils by cement to form
larger aggregate, which consequently occupy larger spaces.

2.Comparing CBR value of untreated CL soil and same treated with 2 % PCC indicates the
good rise from 6.64 % to 21.82 %. This signifies that the strength of subgrade soil is
improved thereby increasing the load carrying capacity of pavement. From economy point of
view benefit associated with the utilization of 2 percent PCC is attractive and supports the
sustainable development in road construction.

3. The engineering properties of stabilized clayey samples were improved:

i. The PI values were decreased when content of waste HDPE and Glass were increased.
ii. The value of opt and d.max were decreased and increased respectively when
content of waste HDPE and Glass were increased.
iii. The CBR values were Increased when content of waste HDPE and glass increased.
iv. C, were decreased and increased respectively when content of waste HDPE and
Glass were increased.

4. By doing stabilization total pavement construction cost is reduced up to 15.5 %. Even

though the savings in cost is less, but the improvement of the strength of the pavement is
really considerable
5. There is an essential need to study the technique of removal and replacement for improving
soil behavior taking into consideration geotechnical requirements and cost to achieve the
optimum replacement layer thickness and the most suitable material corresponding to
minimum total cost of foundation works