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Effects of the maximum soil aggregates size and cyclic wetting-drying on the stiffness of a lime-treated clayey soil

Anh Minh Tang 1 M.N. Vu 2 Yu-Jun Cui 1, *
* Corresponding author
1 cermes - Géotechnique
navier umr 8205 - Laboratoire Navier
Abstract : Lime treatment is a well-known technique to improve the mechanical response of clayey subgrades of road pavements or clayey soils used for embankment. Several studies show that lime treatment significantly modifies the physical and hydro-mechanical properties of compacted soils. Nevertheless, studies on the scale effect under climatic changes are scarce. Actually, wetting-drying cycles might significantly modify the microstructure of treated soils, giving rise to changes in hydro-mechanical properties. This modification could be dependent on the size of soil aggregates before lime treatment. In the present work, this scale effect was studied by investigating the stiffness of a compacted lime-treated clayey soil using bender elements. The studied soil was first air-dried and ground into a target maximum soil aggregates size (Dmax). For each aggregates size, the soil was humidified to reach the target water contents wi, then mixed with 3% of lime powder (mass of lime divided by mass of dried soil) prior to the static compaction at a dry density of 1.60 Mg/m3. Two initial water contents (wi = 14 and 18%) and four maximum soil aggregates sizes (Dmax = 0.4, 1.0, 2.0 and 5.0 mm) were considered. After the compaction, the soil specimen (50 mm in diameter and 50 mm in height) was covered by plastic film in order to prevent soil moisture changes. The soil stiffness was then monitored at variable time intervals until reaching stabilisation. Afterwards, the soil specimen was subjected to full saturation followed by air-drying to come back to its initial water content. The results show that: i) the soil stiffness after lime-treatment is significantly dependent on the aggregates size: the finer the aggregates the higher the soil stiffness; ii) the effect of initial water content on the stiffness is negligible and iii) the wetting-drying cycles seem to slightly increase the soil stiffness in the case of lime-treated specimens and decrease the soil stiffness in the case of untreated specimens. Furthermore, when an intensive drying was applied reducing the soil water content lower than the initial one, the soil stiffness decreased drastically after the subsequent wetting.
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 2:58:12 PM
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Anh Minh Tang, M.N. Vu, Yu-Jun Cui. Effects of the maximum soil aggregates size and cyclic wetting-drying on the stiffness of a lime-treated clayey soil. Geotechnique, Thomas Telford, 2011, 61 (5), pp.421-429. ⟨10.1680/geot.SIP11.005⟩. ⟨hal-00589308⟩



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