What is Soil Stabilisation and why it is needed?

posted by Sunil Newatia on May 7th, 2021
Soil Stabilization is the alteration of soils to enhance their physical properties. Stabilization can increase the shear strength of a soil and/or control the shrink-swell properties of a soil, thus improving the load bearing capacity of a sub-grade to support pavements and foundations.
Soil Stabilization can be utilized on roadways, parking areas, site development projects, airports and many other situations where sub-soils are not suitable for construction. Stabilization can be used to treat a wide range of sub-grade materials, varying from expansive clays to granular materials. This process is accomplished using a wide variety of additives, including lime, fly-ash, and Portland cement. Other material by-products used in Stabilization include lime-kiln dust (LKD) and cement-kiln dust (CKD). Crushed and granulated recycled asphalt is also being used for improving the properties of soil.

What are the benefits of Soil Stabilization?

Benefits of Soil Stabilization process can include:
•    Higher resistance (R) values
•    Reduction in plasticity
•    Lower permeability
•    Reduction of pavement thickness
•    Elimination of excavation, exporting unsuitable material and laying new materials
•    Aids proper compaction
•    Provides “all-weather” access onto and within project sites
In addition, there are several environmental advantages. When unimproved roadways are stabilized and treated with the right additives, run-off of rain water will not cause erosion, which in turn sends thousands of tons of silt into our rivers and bays. This erosion clogs and silts vital waterways and fish habitat that would have been spawning grounds for future generations. Soil Stabilization methods help to preserve soils, water ways, unimproved roadways and much more.

What is the Soil Stabilization Process?

Proper design and testing is an important component of any stabilization project.  Determining the proper additive and admixture to be used to achieve the desired engineering properties is of primary importance. It is imperative to solicit the expert advice and engineering knowhow of a certified Geotechnical Engineer for all Soil Stabilization work. Having a Geotechnical Engineer is one of the most important components of a successful project.

Soil Stabilization is performed in much the same manner as Full Depth Reclamation.  A dedicated reclaiming machine or a Simex cutter head attachment mounted on a Excavator, first breaks the soil  surface.  An additive is then placed on top of this material. This additive is mixed and re-mixed with the soil until the desired properties are achieved. This operation can be performed using a dedicated soil stabilization machine or a Simex PL series soil stabilizer attachment mounted on a skid steer loader. The new base is then shaped by a motor grader to the proper profile and compacted.
Soil Stabilization can be utilized on roadways, parking lots, site development projects, and in many other situations where sub-soils are not suitable for construction.
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