The Principles of Soil Stabilization

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The Principles of Soil Stabilization

Stabilization in a broad sense incorporates the various methods employed for modifying the properties of a soil to improve its engineering performance. Stabilization is used for a variety of engineering works, the most common application being in the construction of roads and airfields, where the main objective is to increase the strength or stability of soil and to reduce the construction cost by making best use of locally available materials.

Principles Of Stabilization:

Natural soil is both a complex and variable material. Yet because of its universal availability and its low cost winning it offers great opportunities for skillful use as an engineering material.

Not uncommonly, however the soil at any particular locality is unsuited, wholly or partially, to the requirements of the construction engineer. A basic decision must therefore be made whether to:

• Accept the site material as it is and design to standards sufficient to meet the restrictions imposed by its existing quality.
• Remove the site material and replace with a superior material (costly).
• Alter the properties of existing soil so as to create a new site material capable of better meeting the requirements of the task in hand.

The latter choice, the alteration of soil properties to meet specific engineering requirements is known as “soil stabilization.” This is precisely what RoadPacker Solutions specializes in providing via its ionic soil stabilization methods.

It must also be recognized that stabilization is not necessarily a magic wand by which every soil property is changed for the better. Correct usage demands a clear recognition of which soil properties must be upgraded, and this specific engineering requirement is an important element in the decision whether or not to stabilize. Properties of soil may be altered in many ways, among which are included chemical, thermal, mechanical and other means. However, in most cases, ionic soil stabilization (which falls under the chemical category) is the most cost-efficient and long-lasting solution.

The chief properties of a soil with which the construction engineer is concerned are: volume stability, strength, permeability, and durability.

Methods of stabilization may be grouped under two main types:

1. Modification or improvement of a soil property of the existing soil without any admixture.
2. Modification of the properties with the help of admixtures.

Compaction and drainage are the examples of the first type, which improve the inherent shear strength of soil.

An example of the second type is apply a project-specific formulated ionic soil stabilization solution and coat the soil surface or blend it into the top layers of the soil, depending on the nature of the soil and the project’s requirements.

Related Reading: How Does Ionic Soil Stabilization Work?

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