Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

Publications

2 Some Mechanical Properties of Cement Stabilized Malaysian Soft Clay

Authors: Meei-Hoan Ho, Chee-Ming Chan

Abstract:

Soft clays are defined as cohesive soil whose water content is higher than its liquid limits. Thus, soil-cement mixing is adopted to improve the ground conditions by enhancing the strength and deformation characteristics of the soft clays. For the above mentioned reasons, a series of laboratory tests were carried out to study some fundamental mechanical properties of cement stabilized soft clay. The test specimens were prepared by varying the portion of ordinary Portland cement to the soft clay sample retrieved from the test site of RECESS (Research Centre for Soft Soil). Comparisons were made for both homogeneous and columnar system specimens by relating the effects of cement stabilized clay of for 0, 5 and 10 % cement and curing for 3, 28 and 56 days. The mechanical properties examined included one-dimensional compressibility and undrained shear strength. For the mechanical properties, both homogeneous and columnar system specimens were prepared to examine the effect of different cement contents and curing periods on the stabilized soil. The one-dimensional compressibility test was conducted using an oedometer, while a direct shear box was used for measuring the undrained shear strength. The higher the value of cement content, the greater is the enhancement of the yield stress and the decrease of compression index. The value of cement content in a specimen is a more active parameter than the curing period.

Keywords: soft soil, oedometer, Direct shear box, Cementstabilisedcolumn

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1 Effect of Natural Fibres Inclusion in Clay Bricks: Physico-Mechanical Properties

Authors: Chee-Ming Chan

Abstract:

In spite of the advent of new materials, clay bricks remain, arguably, the most popular construction materials today. Nevertheless the low cost and versatility of clay bricks cannot always be associated with high environmental and sustainable values, especially in terms of raw material sources and manufacturing processes. At the same time, the worldwide agricultural footprint is fast growing, with vast agricultural land cultivation and active expansion of the agro-based industry. The resulting large quantities of agricultural wastes, unfortunately, are not always well managed or utilised. These wastes can be recycled, such as by retrieving fibres from disposed leaves and fruit bunches, and then incorporated in brick-making. This way the clay bricks are made a 'greener' building material and the discarded natural wastes can be reutilised, avoiding otherwise wasteful landfill and harmful open incineration. This study examined the physical and mechanical properties of clay bricks made by adding two natural fibres to a clay-water mixture, with baked and non-baked conditions. The fibres were sourced from pineapple leaves (PF) and oil palm fruit bunch (OF), and added within the range of 0.25-0.75 %. Cement was added as a binder to the mixture at 5-15 %. Although the two fibres had different effects on the bricks produced, cement appeared to dominate the compressive strength. The non-baked bricks disintegrated when submerged in water, while the baked ones displayed cement-dependent characteristics in water-absorption and density changes. Interestingly, further increase in fibre content did not cause significant density decrease in both the baked and non-baked bricks.

Keywords: Density, Strength, Clay Bricks, natural fibres, water absorption

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