Components of Soil Stabilization
Controlled modification of soil texture, structure, and physicomechanical properties is referred to as soil stabilization. This is performed for various reasons such as
- To promote the use of waste material in construction
- To ensure a reasonable dust control hence the healthy and safe working environment
- Waterproofing natural and manmade structures.
- There are various types of soil stabilization the broadest are discussed below.
Biological Soil Stabilization
Biological soil stabilization Texas is achieved by the planting of trees and vegetation. Plant roots have several benefits some of which are morphological, architectural, physiological, and biotic. These beneficial traits contribute to the chemical and physical development of soil structural stability. In areas where buildings cannot be constructed due to excess wind and water, this method is suitable to promote soil stability. However, this method requires that the plants be transplanted when they are strong enough to avoid being carried away with the elements i.e. wind and water.
This method involves the modification of soil physical properties. It is carried out by the addition or removal of soil fractions to adjust the soil distribution and plasticity. Interparticle friction and soil porosity can also be modified using mechanical stabilization. Physical and mechanical stabilization of soil involves the use of different techniques to achieve soil stability. The techniques include reinforcement, compaction, wetting drying cycles, prewetting, and solid wastes. Compaction is the removal of air voids in the soil such that it cannot undergo further compression when loaded. Prewetting involves the creation of a construction heave by the addition of water to the soil to make it absorb water and swell. Wetting dry soils is the saturation of soil until it is fully wet and swollen then allowing it to dry until it is back to its original moisture content level. This removes the plasticity of the soil.
Soil reinforcement is a mechanical means that involves the addition of natural or synthetic fibrous material to the soil. This makes the soil more stable and improves its mechanical performance due to the interlocking when it forms a 3D network. Solid wastes are the main constituents of soil. Some of the waste include glass, wood, plastic, and rubber. These materials have traits that enhance soil stability such as heat resistance, flexibility, durability, transparency, and chemical resistance. Ensuring a good drainage system is also beneficial in improving soil stability hence preventing soil erosion. Drainage and soil compaction are effective ways in which excess water can be eliminated from the soil while protected from erosion by the flowing water.
Chemical Soil Stability
Involves the use of traditional and non-traditional additives or agents. Traditional chemical stabilization includes the use of calcium-based agents such as cement, lime, and fly ash. These additives when mixed with water and soil improve the soil by reducing its swelling, increasing its shear strength, and make the soil wetting and drying resistant. This is possible because this agent’s chemical composition changes. Mechanisms that occur to enable them to improve soil properties include agglomeration, cation exchange, and flocculation, among others.
Non- traditional additives work by producing physicochemical interactions when they react with soil in the presence of water. These agents include bitumen, furnace slag, steel slag, cement kiln dust, polymers, and sulphonated oils. These agents are used together with other elements that enhance them such as binders and water repellents.
The purpose of soil stabilization is to enhance soil strength and increase water resistance in soil. Several stabilizing agents and enhancers like binders can be used to make the soil more stable. Soil stabilization helps to prevent soil erosion by wind and water.