ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCES, vol.60, no.6, pp.1137-1151, 2010 (SCI-Expanded)
Lime stabilization is an effective way of stabilizing expansive clays, which cause significant environmental problems both as earth and foundation materials. There are considerable environmental benefits in using the in situ lime-stabilized expansive soils in the construction of road pavements, fill or foundations instead of importing valuable granular materials. However, due to high plastic nature of these clays, achieving appropriate pulverization in field applications is a difficult task. This paper presents the results of a laboratory investigation to determine the effects of soil pulverization quality on lime stabilization of a local expansive clay. Effect of mellowing the soil-lime mixtures for 24 h was also studied to find out whether this would compensate for poor pulverization. The clay studied had swelling pressures varying between 300 and 500 kN/m(2) and free swell potential as high as 19%. In this study, 3, 6 and 9% lime by dry weight were used for lime-stabilized samples. Unconfined compression strength, failure strain and Secant Elasticity Modulus values were measured through unconfined compression strength testing. The results of the study showed that lime stabilization improved plasticity, workability, compressive strength, elastic moduli and swelling and compressibility behavior of the expansive clay. While mellowing did not have a definite effect on the measured strength and moduli values, soil pulverization quality considerably affected the unconfined compression strength and Secant Elasticity Modulus values. The higher the percentage passing No. 4 sieve, the higher the effectiveness of lime treatment. Based on the data obtained in this study, two original equations were derived to assign Secant Elasticity Modulus based on unconfined compression strength, for different soil pulverization qualities. Microfabric investigations conducted by Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope and Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry exposed the effect of lime stabilization on fabric, porosity and pore size distributions. The results of the study clearly demonstrated that if enough time and effort were not given to soil pulverization process in lime stabilization works in field applications, lower performance and therefore increased environmental problems should be expected.