Research Activities: 2002

A Study to Determine the Effects of Organics on the Results of Quicklime Slurries Treatment of Clay Soils




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Sequential Number


Matching Research Agency

Chemical Lime Company

Principal Investigator

Thomas M. Petry
Professor of Civil Engineering
University of Missouri-Rolla
1870 Miner Circle
Rolla, Missouri 65409-0030

Student Involvement

One student on partial support, 1/4 FTE total

Project Objective

To determine how various percentages of organic soil matter in clay soils can affect the process of improving selected engineering properties of these soils using quicklime slurries.

Project Abstract

1.Select and sample subject clay soil(s) for improvement, and locate a source of suitable heavily organic soil(s).
Determine the basic physical properties of both the subject soil and organic soil:
a.% Volatile Organics
b.Index Properties
c.Chemical Properties
d.Inspection by SEM of Compacted Specimens
3.Select mixtures of the natural soil and organic soil for testing: suggest 0, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 % organic soil as percent of whole sample mixture.
4.Make the mixture of soils and sufficient water to bring to approximately the mixture's plastic limit and allow to equilibrate moisture.
5.Determine the untreated properties of the soil mixtures.
6.Conduct standard lime treatment testing regimen on the natural clay soil and the soil mixtures.
7.Conduct 3-D swell potential tests and wet-dry tests on specimens at LMO and LSO percents lime for each soil mixture.
8.Conduct SEM study of materials tested and taken from the compacted specimens of untreated and treated soil mixtures.
9.Analyze results of testing and provide project report to funding company.

Anticipated Benefits

Better understanding of how lime can improve the behavior of expansive clay soils containing significant organics. This will potentially reduce the cost of construction of all types of transportation structures and redue the damage potential of these problematic soils.

Modal Orientation

All transportation facilities


Project Start Date:09/01/2002
Project End Date:08/31/2003

Relationship to other Research/Projects

Related to other chemical stabilization projects

Technology Transfer Activities

Final report and publications through TRB

Transportation Research Board Keywords

Expansive soils, clays, chemical stabilization