Construction companies have to select correct soil stabilizers depending on the soil type and project type to make the soil more stable for construction. For example, clay soil stabilizer, loam soil stabilizer, and Silt stabilizer are used depending on the type of soil on which construction is going to happen.
What is Soil Stabilization?
Soil Stabilization is the process of mixing sand with some chemicals or compacting the soil depending on the problem with that soil. This process locks the soil and will not let it move.
Soil can be wet or dry but depending on the purpose of the usage, soil stabilization can be done for both construction and erosion control.
Types of soils:
To decide on the type of stabilization it is essential to understand the type of soil for which this process has to be done. Four main types of soil include:
Soil’s organic content plays a major role in deciding the type of stabilization method it requires. The Atterberg Test gives soil’s Plasticity index which in turn will be used to measure soil’s organic content. The idea of soil’s organic content is important as this will help in figuring out how the shape of soil will change.
Clay soils are the smallest out of all 4 soil types. There are various types of clay soil. Some of them include
- Red-colored clay soil
- White clay soil
- Dark black-colored soil.
Clay soils differ from normal soils because of the development of plasticity whenever clay soil is wet. That means when wet, clay soil undergoes permanent deformation. Because of this expansion and contraction of soil in wet conditions, it will be difficult to construct anything on top of this without a clay soil stabilizer.
How to Stabilize Clay Soil:
It’s common to see more clay soil in the North Texas region. Whenever there is rainfall in this area the grains in clay soil allow voids and pores to retain rainwater. As soil soaks up water, they shrink and expand making it difficult for the retaining walls to uphold.
To stabilize this kind of clay soil, a non-hazardous acid-based liquid stabilizer will be used as a clay soil stabilizer. The technicians inject this into the clay soil with steel pipes at pressures up to 600 psi.
Main agents used for Clay Soil Stabilization:
There are many stabilizing agents used for this process. But according to research most prominent agents are lime followed by Portland cement.
The primary ingredient necessary for stabilizing soil is calcium which can be provided by both lime and Portland cement. But they differ in how they react in presence of water and their chemical nature making lime more suitable.
When to decide on Soil Stabilization:
Both old and new construction can benefit from the soil stabilization process. Following problematic soils can opt for soil stabilization to prevent future issues.
- Extended wet weather
- Extended Dry weather
- Having poor drainage.
- Irregular slope or negative sloping.
Soil stabilization methods are cost-effective these days. When proper equipment is used, they ensure fast service and guaranteed results. Most of the stabilizers used are non-toxic and hence they are environment friendly.