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Effect of Humic Acid on Physical and Engineering Properties of Lime-Treated Organic Clay

Authors: N. Z. Mohd Yunus, D. Wanatowski, L. R. Stace


The present work deals with the stabilisation of organic clay using hydrated lime. Artificial organic clays were prepared by adding kaolin and different humic acid contents. Results given by physical testing show that the presence of humic acid has a drawback effect on the untreated organic clay. The decrease in specific gravity value was accompanied by a decrease in dry density and plasticity of clay at higher humic acid contents. Significant increase in shear strength at 7 days of curing period is observed in the lime-treated samples up to 5% lime content. However shear strength of lime-treated organic clay decreases at longer curing periods. The results given by laboratory testing is further verified by microstructure analysis. Based on the results obtained in this study, it can be concluded that the presence of more than 1.5% humic acid reduces significantly the efficiency of lime stabilization in organic clays.

Keywords: Humic acid, kaolin, lime, organic clay

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