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ABSTRACT

The preliminary investigation of the black cotton soil collected from New Marte,
Borno State, shows that it belongs to A-7-6 (13) in AASHTO and CH in the
Unified Soil Classification System (USCS), respectively. Soil under these groups
are usually very poor for engineering use which was why it was treated with an
ordinary Portland cement – locust beans waste ash (LBWA) blend in stepped
concentration of 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8% by dry weight of soil. Compaction was carried
out using three energy levels namely: the British Standard Light, West African
Standard and the British Standard Heavy. The liquid limit increased from 63% for
the natural soil to 77% at 6% OPC/6% LBWA while the plastic limit decreased
from 26.6% for the natural soil to 21.4% at 6% OPC/4% LBWA treatment.
Unconfined compressive strength (UCS) values of 151, 324 and 637kN/m2
recorded for the natural soil were increased to 837, 1220 and 1420kN/m2 at 6%
OPC/6% LBWA for specimens compaction using British Standard Light (BSL),
West African Standard (WAS) and British Standard Heavy (BSH) energies
respectively. The unconfined compressive strength (UCS) values for natural soil
compacted with BSL, WAS and BSH energies at 7 days curing period are 179,
381 and 750kN/m2 respectively and increased to 986, 1436 and 1650kN/m2 at 6%
OPC/6% LBWA treatment. The treated specimens did not attain the 7 days UCS
value of 1710kN/m2 recommended for an adequate cement stabilized base, but the
value is, however, acceptable for a sub-base material. The CBR values of the natural soil are 5, 6 and 9% for BSL, WAS and BSH energies. For the
recommended value of 80%, the unsoaked CBR values of 73% at 6% OPC/6%
LBWA for WAS compaction and 83% obtained for BSH compactive efforts also
at 6% OPC/6% LBWA could be acceptable. The soaked CBR values obtained was
66% for both WAS and BSH compactive energies both at 6% OPC/6% LBWA; a
value which meets the recommendation of 30% sub-base when compacted at
optimum moisture and at 100% West African Standard compactive effort. The 6%
OPC/6% LBWA blend at BSH compaction attained 71% resistance to loss in
strength (when subjected to 7 days curing then 7 days soaking) as against 80%
recommended for 7 days curing and 4 days soaking.

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TITLE PAGE – – – – – – – – – i
DECLARATION- – — – – – – – – ii
CERTIFICATION- – — – – – – – iii
DEDICATION- – — – – – – – – iv
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS- — – – – – – v
ABSTRACT- – – – – – – – – viii
TABLE OF CONTENT- — – – – – – – x
LIST OF FIGURES- – – – – – – – xiv
LIST OF TABLES – – – – – – – – xviii
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Preamble – – – – – – – – – 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem – – – – – – – 2
1.3 Justification for the Study – – – – – – – 4
1.4 Aim and Objectives – – – – – – – 5
1.5 Scope of Research- – – – – – – – 5
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Expansive Soils- – – – – – – – 7
xi
2.1.1 Origin of black cotton soil – – – – – – 8
2.1.2 Mineralogy and chemical composition of black cotton soil- – 9
2.1.3 The effects of black cotton soil on highway pavement- – – 9
2.2 Soil Stabilization – – – – – – – – 10
2.2.1 Mechanical stabilization – – – – – – – 11
2.2.2 Chemical stabilization- – – – – – – 12
2.2.2.1 Lime stabilization- – – – – – – – 12
2.2.2.2 Cement stabilization – – – – – – – 13
2.2.3 Admixture stabilization – – – – – – – 15
2.2.3.1 Chemical admixture stabilization – – – – – 16
2.2.3.2 Industrial/agricultural wastes admixtures stabilization – – 16
CHAPTER THREE: MATERIAL METHODS AND TEST RESULTS
3.1 Materials- – – – – – – – – 18
3.1.1 Black cotton soil – – – – – – – – 18
3.1.2 Locust bean waste ash- – – – – – – 19
3.1.3 Cement – – – – – – – – – 20
3.2 Methods – – – – – – – – – – – 20
3.2.1 Natural moisture content- – – – – – – 20
3.2.2 Specific gravity- – – – – – – – 21
3.2.3 Linear shrinkage – – – – – – – – 21
3.2.4 Free swell – – – – – – – – – 22
xii
3.2.5 Particle size distribution – – – – – – – 22
3.2.6 Atterberg limits – – – – – – – – 23
3.2.6.1 Liquid limits – – – – – – – – 23
3.2.6.2 Plastic limits- – – – – – – – – 24
3.2.6.3 Plasticity index – – – – – – – – 24
3.2.7 Compaction – – – – – – – – – 25
3.2.7.1 Maximum dry density- – – – – – – 25
3.2.7.2 Optimum moisture content – – – – – – 26
3.2.8 Strength characteristics – – – – – – – 27
3.2.8.1 Unconfined compressive strength- – – – – – 27
3.2.8.2 California bearing ratio – – – – – – – 28
3.2.9 Durability Assessment (Resistance to loss in strength) – – 29
CHAPTER FOUR: ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION OF RESULTS
4.1 Physical and Chemical Properties of the Natural Soil- – – 30
4.1.1 Natural soil- – – – – – – – – 30
4.1.2 Additives- – – – – – – – – 32
4.2 Atterberg Limits- – – – – – – – 33
4.2.1 Liquid limit – – – – – – – – – 33
4.2.2 Plastic limit – – – – – – – – 35
4.2.3 Plasticity index – – – – – – – – 35
4.3 Compaction Characteristics- – – – – – 36
xiii
4.3.1 Maximum dry density – – – – – – – 37
4.3.2 Optimum moisture content – – – – – – 39
4.4 Strength Characteristics- – – – – – – 42
4.4.1 Unconfined compressive strength – – – – – 42
4.4.1.1 UCS for 7 days curing period- – – – – – 42
4.4.1.2 UCS for 14 days curing period- – – – – – 45
4.4.1.3 UCS for 28 days curing period- – – – – – 47
4.4.1.4 UCS for 7 days curing then 7 days soaking- – – – 49
4.4.2 California Bearing Ratio – – – – – – – 51
4.4.2.1 Unsoaked CBR- – – – – – – – 51
4.4.2.2 CBR for 24 hours soaking – – – – – – 53
4.5 Durability Assessment- – – – – – – 55
CHAPTER FIVE CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
5.1 Conclusions – – – – – – – – 59
5.2 Recommendations – – – – – – – – 62
References- – – – – – – – – 63
Appendix- – – – – – – – – 74

 

Project Topics

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

INTRODUCTION
1.1 Preamble
To the Civil Engineer, soil is any uncemented accumulation of mineral
particles formed by weathering of rocks. Soils are generally used as foundation or
as construction materials. A class of soil, known as expansive soils, when used as
foundation material, is usually affected by environmental conditions and they
undergo detrimental volumetric and hydraulic conductivity changes because of the
variation in moisture contents. Expansive soils are, therefore, soils with potential
for shrinking or swelling under changing moisture condition (Fredlund and
Rehardjo, 1993). These soils cause more damage to structures, particularly light
building and pavements, than any other natural hazards, including earthquakes and
floods (Jones and Holtz, 1973)
Black cotton soil (BCS) is a type of expansive soil that principally occurs in
semi arid and arid regions of the tropical/temperate zones marked with dry and
wet seasons; and with low rainfall, poor drainage and exceedingly great heat. The
climate condition is such that the annual evapotranspiration exceeds precipitation
(Chen, 1988; Nelson and Miller, 1992; Warren and Kirby, 2004). Black cotton
soils are black clays that are produced from the breakdown of basic igneous rocks
where seasonal variation of weather is extreme. The Nigerian black cotton soils
are formed from the weathering of shaly and clayey sediments and basaltic rocks.
xxiii
They contain more of montmorillonite with subsequent manifestation of swell
properties and expansive tendencies (Ola, 1983).
Although poor and undesirable for engineering purposes, its properties
could be improved to meet standard specification by modification/stabilization
processes. Stabilization of the soil with chemical admixtures is a common method
of reducing the swell – shrink tendencies of the soil and also makes the soil less
plastic (Ola, 1983; Balogun, 1991; Osinubi, 1995; 1999). Cement stabilization is
one of the most widely used means to improve the shrink – swell characteristics of
the soil (Matawal and Tomarin, 1996).
More recent research works (Mohammedbhai and Bagant, 1990; Osinubi,
1995; 1998a, b; 1999; 2000a, b; Cokca, 2001; Medjo and Riskowski, 2004;
Stephen, 2006, George, 2006; Akinmade, 2008; Ochepo, 2008) in the field of
geotechnical engineering focus on the search for cheaper and locally available
materials for use in stabilization; and a large percentage of such materials are
agricultural wastes that produce cementituous compounds on exposure to
moisture. These studies try to match the need for safe and environmental disposal
of waste, for the society, and the engineer’s need for better and cost effective
construction materials (Collins and Ciesiellski, 1993).
1.2 Statement of the problem
In Nigeria, black cotton soil occupies an area of about 10.4×104 Km2 in the
north eastern part (Ola, 1983); including major roads linking the country with
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neighbouring West African countries like Niger, Chad Republic and Cameroun.
These roads are so poor that it takes vehicles plying them about three times as
much time as they are supposed to spend; and with high degree of damages to
their vehicles. This poses a danger to the economy of the country because the
roads carry an estimated 250,000 tones of assorted goods from Nigeria to these
countries and vice versa (Diden, 2001). This calls for more concern especially at a
time members of the African Union (AU), are clamouring for Free Trade Zones; to
promote international trades within the continent. Furthermore, the country is
aspiring to be among the most successful economies of the world. These therefore
pose a big challenge to the geotechnical engineers in their efforts to forstall our
bad image from the neighbouring countries using these roads and in their own
way, help the country to achieve her set goals.
In line with the above challenges, the geotechnical engineers are working
hard to provide the most cost effective approach to shallow and deep ground
improvement techniques so as to meet the engineering requirements necessary for
the design and construction of stable and durable infrastructure facilities. The
choice of conventional method of stabilization has been employed successfully but
with a relatively high cost. Consequently, recent researches have focused on the
use of locally available (agricultural) materials with pozzolanic properties, as
possible substitutes or admixtures to achieve more economic stabilization of the
soil.
xxv
Most recent research (Akinmade, 2008) in the Department of Civil
Engineering, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, focused on the use of locust bean
waste ash (LBWA), the product of combustion of the waste husk of locust bean
pod, to stabilize black cotton soil. The result showed that LBWA has a good
potential in improving some of the geotechnical properties of the soil. This
research is intended to use LBWA as an admixture in the cement stabilization of
black cotton soil.
1.3 Justification for the Study
For highly cohesive soils like black cotton soil (BCS), a number of
guidelines for determining the suitability of the soil for any type of
modification/stabilization have been proposed by researchers on the basis of major
soil components’ responses to modification/stabilization (Osinubi, 1995). The
efficacy of lime and Portland cement stabilization of problem soils have been
highlighted by researchers (Osinubi and Umar, 2003; Umar and Elinwa, 2005;
Matawal and Tomarin, 1996), and hydrated and quicklime have been found to be
the most effective agents in reducing the swelling properties of expansive soils
(Osinubi, 1997). But in regions where lime is scarce, cement has been found to be
a suitable alternative. Cement has therefore been confirmed as one of the most
successful stabilizers for the improvement of the geotechnical properties of
expansive soils (Ola, 1974; Osinubi, 1999).
xxvi
The cost of blending these soils with cement is usually exhorbitant. To
minimize the cost of construction of stabilized roads and airfield, a practical
alternative is to mix the cement–soil blend with requisite quantity of a cheap
admixture (like locust bean waste ash). Since the potential of LBWA as a
stabilizer has been established, there is need, therefore, to assess its effect as an
admixture in cement stabilization of soil. This is with a view to reduce the amount
of cement to be used for stabilization and consequently to reduce the cost of
stabilization.
1.4 Aim and Objectives
The aim of this research is to establish the effect of using locust bean waste
ash, as an admixture, on the geotechnical properties of cement stabilized black
cotton soil.
The objectives are highlighted below.
i. Determination of the natural properties of the black cotton soil
ii. Determination of the properties/oxide composition of LBWA
iii. Evaluation of the effect of LBWA (0, 2, 4, 6 and 8% by dry weight of
soil) on the index and strength properties of the black cotton soil
stabilized with cement (0, 2, 4, 6, and 8% by dry weight of the soil)
iv. Determination of the optimum amount of cement and LBWA
admixtures needed for the stabilization of the soil.
xxvii
1.5 Scope of Research
The research was limited to finding the engineering properties of stabilized
black cotton soil when used as highway pavement material under changing
environmental conditions (e.g. access to excessive moisture content).The oxide
compositions of locust bean waste ash and ordinary Portland cement were
determined. The optimum percentages that produced an economic mix proportion
for the stabilization of the black cotton soil if used as fill material, in line with the
Nigerian General Specification (1997), requirements for road contraction materials
were determined.
xxviii

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