A soil’s physical characteristics can be altered with the help of the process of soil stabilization. Its main function is to increase the soil’s strength over time, permanently. Growing soil’s power and general bearing capacity is responsible for its stabilization. Once it gets stabilized, a solid monolith is created, responsible for reducing permeability, the potential for shrinkage and expansion, and the negative effects of the freeze-thaw cycles.
Importance of Soil Stabilization
When it comes to all other project components, stabilized soils offer a stable working surface. However, weak soils can see an alteration through the development of long-lasting pozzolanic reactions after the stabilizing procedures. This means soils are not susceptible to leaching and have significantly decreased permeability. This results in less potential when it comes to shrinkage and expansion and greater resilience in the case of freeze-thaw cycles. Furthermore, stabilized soils have also had to go through some alteration. To put it another way, the earth has undergone a certain physical change, making compaction simpler and decreasing flexibility.
Achieving maximal dry density is simplified by employing easier compaction. The crucial water content of soils is considered with the help of the important geotechnical metric known as the plasticity index. Reduced soil plasticity results in the soils being more brittle and workable.
Methods of Soil Stabilization
There are three different methods when it comes to soil stabilization, namely:
Mechanical Stabilization: With the help of combining and compacting two or more soil types or aggregates, mechanical stabilization focuses on producing dense, well-graded material.
Chemical Stabilization: Chemical stabilization is the process in which there is a modification of the chemical composition of soil by adding diverse additions such as lime, cement, fly ash, and many more. It also includes chemicals like polymers, resins, and enzymes.
Biological Stabilization: To stop soil, water, and wind erosion, one needs to carry out vegetation as part of the biological stabilization process. Although initially, various stabilization techniques are required to assist the growth of seeds and seedlings, the roots retain and agglomerate soil particles.
Some of the benefits attached to the stabilization of soil:
There are multiple benefits attached to the stabilization process
- It makes an offer of both erosions as well as sediment management. And with the help of managing both, they try to keep the topsoil, the soil’s most productive layer, in place.
- It enables the setting up of barriers to stop water and air from passing over the soil and causing the removal of soil particles.
- It transforms poor or weakened soil into stronger ones.
- It permits the preservation of the soil, which in turn encourages plant development and contributes to a stronger structure.
- The environment benefits from the longer-lasting effects of the whole process of stabilization during road building since it uses relatively less energy, resources, and machinery.
- It provides strength enhancement that also includes compression and shearing strength.
- It controls shrinkage, mitigates, and lowers volume instability and swelling potential.
The process of stabilizing soil is quite comprehensive and involves many steps. But it is important to keep in mind that it ultimately has a lot of benefits attached to it. This is because it has been around for a long time and has created a strong foundation. It has also proven to be beneficial when it comes to the processing of recycled and waste products. One can easily use the soil to their advantage by improving its engineering characteristics through this process.
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