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Reutilization of Organic and Peat Soils by Deep Cement Mixing

Authors: Bee-Lin Tang, Ismail Bakar, Chee - Ming Chan


Limited infrastructure development on peats and organic soils is a serious geotechnical issues common to many countries of the world especially Malaysia which distributed 1.5 mill ha of those problematic soil. These soils have high water content and organic content which exhibit different mechanical properties and may also change chemically and biologically with time. Constructing structures on peaty ground involves the risk of ground failure and extreme settlement. Nowdays, much efforts need to be done in making peatlands usable for construction due to increased landuse. Deep mixing method employing cement as binders, is generally used as measure again peaty/ organic ground failure problem. Where the technique is widely adopted because it can improved ground considerably in a short period of time. An understanding of geotechnical properties as shear strength, stiffness and compressibility behavior of these soils was requires before continues construction on it. Therefore, 1- 1.5 meter peat soil sample from states of Johor and an organic soil from Melaka, Malaysia were investigated. Cement were added to the soil in the pre-mixing stage with water cement ratio at range 3.5,7,14,140 for peats and 5,10,30 for organic soils, essentially to modify the original soil textures and properties. The mixtures which in slurry form will pour to polyvinyl chloride (pvc) tube and cured at room temperature 250C for 7,14 and 28 days. Laboratory experiments were conducted including unconfined compressive strength and bender element , to monitor the improved strength and stiffness of the 'stabilised mixed soils'. In between, scanning electron miscroscopic (SEM) were observations to investigate changes in microstructures of stabilised soils and to evaluated hardening effect of a peat and organic soils stabilised cement. This preliminary effort indicated that pre-mixing peat and organic soils contributes in gaining soil strength while help the engineers to establish a new method for those problematic ground improvement in further practical and long term applications.

Keywords: peat soils, organic soils, cement stabilisation, strength, stiffness.

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