New Ways of Dealing With Soil in Constructions? Soil Stabilization Using Brick, Dust and Cement

Bachelor Thesis, 2019

40 Pages, Grade: A








1.1 Overview
1.2 Advantage of soil stabilization
1.3 Purpose of the Work
1.4 Objectives of the study
1.5 Scope of the study
1.6 Thesis layout

2.1 General
2.2 Related Work
2.3 Atterberg Limits
2.4 Specific gravity of soil
2.3 Unconfined compression Strength

3.1 Geology of the Site
3.1.1 Soft Soil
3.1.2 Brick Dust and Cement
3.2 Sample Preparation
3.3 Laboratory test conducted in the laboraty
3.4 Grain size analysis
3.5 Determination of Specific Gravity of Soil
3.6 Unconfined Compression test of Soil Sample

4.1 General
4.2 Grain size analysis
4.3 Atterberg Limits
4.4 Specific gravity of soil
4.5 Unconfined compression Strength

2.1 General
2.2 Conclusion
2.3 Recommendation for future study



All the praises to Allah (SWT) for giving us the opportunity to complete this book. We are expressing profound gratitude to the almighty ALLAH for giving the capability of overcoming all the difficulties and problems that has been encountered during this research work and its completion.

We wish to express our sincere gratitude to our thesis supervisor Imran Khan Apu sir for providing us with all the necessary facilities, giving undivided attention and fostering us all the way through the research. His useful comments, remarks and engagement helped us with the learning process throughout the thesis.

Special thanks also goes to Md. Asraful Islam sir for sharing his great ideas and correction for evaluating this research work as a co-supervisor.

Thanks to the member of the Geotechnical Engineering laboratory for their continuous operation during the lab tests.

We will ever be grateful to our family for their continuous inspiration and blessings. We are grateful to all our friends who supported us physically and mentally throughout the research work.


September, 2019


The nature of soil is an ambiguous property unlike it is treated to know the basic engineering parameters. Soil usually soft soils cause difficulties in construction site when having low strength and low stiffness. To enhance the engineering property, soil needs to be stabilized. This study is an experimental base research where brick dust and cement are used to stabilize the soil to explore the more uses of raw materials like this as well as to improve the quality of soft soil at the proposed site of Manikdi, Dhaka. The soil is classified as a clayey soil and determined the plastic limit, liquid limit, specific gravity, grain size. Secondly, to compare the strength and characteristics of existing soil before and after treating with the combination of brick dust and cement. We used two different mixed ratio and natural soil to conduct this experiment. From unconfined compression strength test of natural soil, soil with mix ratio (Cement: Brick Dust: Soil=1:1.5:7) and soil with mixed ratio (Cement: Brick Dust: Soil=1:2:7) were 483.7 kPa, 737.2 kPa and 967.8 kPa consequently. So, we found that the stress is increasing with increasing amount of cement and brick dust. From The grain size analysis, the Cu value of natural soil, soil with mix ratio (Cement: Brick Dust: Soil=1:1.5:7) and soil with mixed ratio (Cement: Brick Dust: Soil=1:2:7) were 4.3, 5.06 and 3.25 consequently. Also we found that the Cc value of natural soil, soil with mix ratio (Cement: Brick Dust: Soil=1:1.5:7) and soil with mixed ratio (Cement: Brick Dust: Soil=1:2:7) were 0.84, 0.879 and 0.83 consequently. So for this three cases the soil sample was poorly graded. From the Atterberg limit test the liquid limit for natural soil, soil with mix ratio (Cement: Brick Dust: Soil=1:1.5:7) and soil with mixed ratio (Cement: Brick Dust: Soil=1:2:7) were 36.07%, 34.63% and 33.17% consequently, the plastic limit were 24.81%, 22.09% and 21.08% consequently. So, we can say that the liquid limit and plastic limit is decreasing with increasing amount of cement and brick dust.


Fig. 3.1 Location on Google Map (Manikdi, ECB Chottor)

Fig. 3.2 Picture of laboratory experiment

Fig. 4.1 Percent finer vs. Sieve opening (Natural soil)

Fig. 4.2 Percent finer vs. Sieve opening (Cement: Brick Dust: Soil=1:1.5:7)

Fig. 4.3 Percent finer vs. Sieve opening (Cement: Brick Dust: Soil=1:2:7)

Fig. 4.4 Water content vs. No. of blows (Natural soil)

Fig. 4.5 Water content vs. No. of blows (Cement: Brick Dust: Soil=1:1.5:7)

Fig. 4.6 Water content vs. No. of blows (Cement: Brick Dust: Soil=1:2:7)

Fig. 4.7 Compressive stress vs. strain (Natural soil)

Fig. 4.8 Compressive stress vs. strain (Cement: Brick Dust: Soil=1:1.5:7)

Fig. 4.9 Compressive stress vs. strain (Cement: Brick Dust: Soil=1:2:7)

Fig. 4.10 Comparison between unconfined compression strength


Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten



1.1 Overview

The minimum geotechnical consideration for any construction is the engineering parameters existing at the surface. Soft soils have the nature of either low strength or low stiffness property. Construction sites need to choose a compressible soil especially for industrial construction or transportation project. Soil having lower strength is something proved as a low quality site for good construction. On the other hand, ground or soil condition is one of the important factors in foundation design. Before starting to design a foundation, a Civil engineer must first obtain the required soil, information from soil investigation carried out at the proposed site. For soils with characteristics that are not capable of supporting the loads of such foundation, the stabilization of soil is very important in the construction.

The main purpose of soil stabilization is to modify the soil, accelerate construction and improve the strength and durability of the soil. Besides that, soil stabilization also can be defined as the modification of the characteristics or improvement of the characteristics of soil in order to enhance the engineering performance of the soil. For example, improve the density of soil, mixing the soil with additives to change the chemical and physical properties such as stiffness, compressibility, permeability, workability, lower the ground water level and eliminate weak soil. Brick dust is considered as a low cost waste material and is available also. In this study the combination of cement, brick dust used with soil following the proper mix proportion (Cement: Brick Dust: Soil=1:1.5:7) and (Cement: Brick Dust: Soil=1:2:7) which where suits the best

1.2 Advantage of Soil Stabilization

The Clay Soil is known as cohesive soil. Many time locally available soil properties does not match with the desired standard due to which improvement in soil properties are required. The improvement of such engineering properties or the desired standard of properties can be conveyed by the stabilization of weak soil with brick kiln dust or brick powder. Soil stabilization is process to treat a soil to maintain after or improve the performance of soil as a construction material. The role of brick kiln powder in improving the characteristics of expansive subgrade material and then sub base is analyzed the amount of cost saving for soil when it stabilized. With brick kiln waste initially the physical properties of clay brick kiln dust and red soil have been studies by conducting wet sieve analysis, liquid limit, plastic limit, then for the purpose of determining the strength of virgin and stabilizer material, California bearing ratio test have been conducted [Rajat et al., 2017].

1. Stabilized soil functions as a working platform for the project.
2. Stabilization water proofs the soil.
3. Stabilization improve soil strength.
4. Stabilization helps reduce soil volume change due to temperature and moisture.
5. Stabilization improve soil workability.
6. Stabilization reduce dust in work environment
7. Stabilization upgrade marginal materials.
8. Stabilization improve durability.
9. Stabilization dries wet soil.
10. Stabilization conserves aggregate materials.
11. Stabilization reduce cost

1.3 Purpose of the Work

The purpose of the study was to stabilize and characterize the relevant geotechnical aspect of soil collected from the site which is located at Savar, Hemayetpur, New Tannery. This study will provide geotechnical information about different properties of soil of the proposed site as well as various engineering parameters.

The improvement of engineering properties of soil by adding chemicals such as cement, fly ash, lime, or a combination of these, often alters the physical and chemical properties of the treated soil. There are the two primary mechanisms by which chemicals alter:

1. Increase in particle size due to cementation, increase in shear strength, change in the plasticity properties, and reduced deformation potential.
2. Absorption and chemical binding of moisture that will facilitate compaction. It is more than several years that the focus of the researches has been on the stabilization of soils using various additives such as lime, cement, fly ash, industrial waste products, potassium nitrate, calcium chloride and phosphoric acid [Bayat et al., 2013].

1.4 Objectives of the study

The objectives of this research can be stated as follows:

- To determine the effects of brick dust and cement as a stabilizing agent
- To determine the specific gravity, Atterberg limit, unconfined compression strength of soil using different mix ratios
- To determine any sign of improvement under obtained experimental data and graph by observing the behaving of soil condition.
- To improve the engineering properties of the clay soil and make it suitable for construction.

1.5 Scope of the study

In this study we use two different ratio of soil, cement and brick dust to determine the effect of cement and brick dust as stabilization agents. The ratios are (Cement: Brick Dust: Soil=1:1.5:7) and (Cement: Brick Dust: Soil=1:2:7) Using this ratio we prepared a soil sample and did many laboratory test including unconfined compression test.

1.6 Thesis layout

The thesis is decorated into five chapters.

Chapter 1 describes the background of this research, the objectives of this research along with research scheme.

Chapter 2 contains the review of this research, definition of different related terms, overview of the laboratory tests done and parameters for comparison of different samples in different conditions.

Chapter 3 narrates the experimental program which covers the description of collection of sample, sample preservation, methodology and details of laboratory tests performed.

Chapter 4 accommodates the details of the results obtained from different tests for determination of soil properties and shear strength parameters and analysis of the results.

Chapter 5 illustrates the conclusion of the investigation, comments on the results obtained and recommendation for further research in this field.



2.1 General

A number of investigations have been conducted on soil stabilization using fly ash, lime or other waste materials. Also, some researchers have worked on behavior of soil when polypropylene fiber is mixed with it.

Soil stabilization are usually performed to evaluate the soft soil conditions that affect the safety, cost design and executions of Civil Engineering projects such as dams, embankments, roads, highways bridges, towers, water tanks, air ports multi-storied building etc. Insufficient geotechnical properties and wrong interpretation to test result may lead to inappropriate design, delay in construction schedules and increase cost of construction, even misinterpretation of test may cause the failure of the structure and subsequent litigation. High-rise buildings have been growing very rapidly in Dhaka Metropolitan City, Geotechnical properties of soils usually vary from place to place both in lateral and vertical directions even for a short distance. These are the reasons why geotechnical properties are needed for the design and construction of Civil Engineering project. That is why soft soil needs to be stabilized for further improvement of engineering properties of existing soil [Rajat et al., 2017].

Soft soils are well known for their low strength and high compressibility. Several techniques, including reinforcement, are commonly used to increase the strength and decrease the deformation of this kind of soil. This thesis represents the effects of brick dust and cement on unconfined compression strength, Atterberg limit and specific gravity of soil. and two different mix ratios of soil [Rajat et al., 2017].

2.2 Related work

Ayyappan et al. 2010 studied the influence of polypropylene fibers on engineering behavior of soil-fly Ash mixtures for road construction. The purpose of this investigation was to identify and quantify the influence of fiber variables (content and length) on performance of fiber reinforced soil- fly ash specimens. It was observed that inclusion of randomly distributed fibers significantly improved the unconfined compressive strength of soil fly ash mixtures, increase in fiber length reduced the contribution to peak compressive strength while increased the contribution to strain energy absorption capacity in all soil fly ash mixtures, optimum dosage rate of fibers was identified as 1.00% by dry weight of soil- fly ash, for all soil fly ash mixtures and maximum performance was achieved with fiber length of 12 mm as reinforcement of soil fly ash specimens.

Nadgouda and Hegde 2010 studied the effect of lime stabilization on the properties of black cotton soil. Changes in various soil properties such as liquid limit, plastic limit, maximum dry density, optimum moisture content, differential free swell, swelling pressure and California bearing ratio were studied. The inclusion of lime reduced the swelling of soil. Also, the plastic nature of the soil decreased and the stiffness of the soil increased as the lime content increased.

Malekzadeh and Bilsel 2012 studied the effect of polypropylene fiber on mechanical behavior of expansive soils. It was concluded that mitigation of expansive soils using polypropylene fiber might be an effective method in enhancing the physical and mechanical properties of sub-soils on which roads and light buildings are constructed.

Kharade et al. 2014 studied the effect of bagasse ash from sugar industry on the stabilization of expansive soils. The study laboratory experiments were conducted on black cotton soil with partial replacement by bagasse ash. It was found that increase in properties of black cotton soil obtained at 6 %replacement of bagasse ash without any cementing or chemical material.

One of the main advantages of using randomly distributed fibers is the maintenance of strength isotropy and the absence of potential planes of weakness that can develop in soils with oriented reinforcement [Gray and Maher, 1982 & Maher, 1988]. Although the concept of randomly reinforced soil is relatively new in geotechnical engineering but the reinforcement of clay soils with natural fibers has been practiced from the time of Pharaohs. Recently soil reinforcement with short, discrete, randomly oriented fibers is getting more attention from many researchers around the world. Many investigators have used fiber to improve various properties of sandy soil [Gray and Ohashi, 1983; Maher and Gray, 1990; Al-Rafeai, 1991; Consoli et al., 2009; Yetimoglu and Salbas, 2003 & Ahmad et al. 2010].

Although the majority of the published literature on randomly oriented fiber focus on reinforcement of cohesion less or granular soils, results from a limited number of studies have indicated that cohesive soils can also be reinforced and such reinforced soils can be beneficial in practice [Andersland and Khattak, 1979; Freitag, 1986; Maher and Ho, 1994; Consoli et al., 2002; Mesbah et al., 2004; Kumar et al., 2006; Tang et al., 2007 & Attom et al., 2009]. It is resulted from the above studies that addition of fibers can affect the behavior of the reinforced soil in different ways. The size and quantity of fibers are very important factors governing the mechanical behavior of randomly reinforced soil.

However, it should be noted that natural fibers are biodegradable and may not last for many years. Nylon fibers are not affected by the presence of salts in soils, biological degradation and ultraviolet degradation.

Kumar and Tabor 2003 indicated that the tensile strength of nylon fiber is greater than many of the other materials such as paper and rubber from used tires. Andersland and Khattak 1979 conducted triaxial tests on kaolinite clay reinforced with paper pulp (cellulose) fibers. The samples were consolidated from a slurry mix and tested under two different cell pressures.

2.3 Atterberg Limits

Atterberg limits tests with different cement or lime contents were done to determine the effect of stabilizer contents on the Atterberg limits of the soil. For this purpose, Atterberg limits tests were conducted 30 minutes after addition of cement according to ASTM D, 4318. Whereas the Atterberg limits were done on the soil samples two-days after addition of lime [Bayat et al., 2013].

The study indicate that initially liquid limit of the soil-cement mixture specimens increased slightly at the addition of 3% cement and after which liquid limit decreased with an increase in cement content. In other words, cement caused the maximum increase in liquid limit (32%) at the addition of 3% cement. While plastic limit increased slightly relatively constant. Consequently the plasticity index of soil-cement mixture increased initially (in cement content equal to 3%) followed by a decrease with increasing of cement content. According to the tests results, the liquid limit and plastic limit of the soil- lime mixture increased slightly due to increasing of lime content. Also with lime added to make up approximately 3%, plasticity index starts to increases slightly and soil samples maintained an overall decrease in plasticity index by the further addition of lime [Bayat et al., 2013]

2.4 Specific gravity of soil

The clayey soils of Kameyama Mountain in Mie prefecture were studied experimentally in the laboratory with the idea of improving some of its engineering properties by using a very small amount of ordinary Portland cement. Laboratory tests on shear strength, compressive strength, consistency limits, compaction and specific gravity of soil were carried out with cement content of 0%, 0.2%, 0.4% and 0.6% by weight. It was observed that the cohesion which is a major component regarding the strength of soil was increased with the increase in the amount of cement and angle of internal friction at higher cement content was decreased. Compressive tests under two different room temperatures showed the compressive strength to be increased with the increase in the quantity of cement depending upon the temperature providing on it. Plasticity index, a measure of soil plasticity was found to decrease with the increase in the percentage of cement mixed with it. A close observation of results plotted in the plasticity chart also noticed that the addition of cement reduced the compressibility, dry strength and toughness of soil whilst increasing the volume change ratio and specific gravity of soil [Hossain et al., 2006]

2.5 Unconfined compressive strength

The peak axial stress increases significantly due to cement treatment. Effect of lime content is not same as the effect of cement content. In fact, the effect of lime content is more dependent on initial moisture content of sample than effect of cement content. In other words, optimum lime content is not constant in varying moisture content. The result of tests indicated that optimum lime content is dependent on initial moisture content of soil. Generally, optimum lime content decreases due to decreasing of initial moisture content. In the specimens in dry side, low lime content has significant effect on strength improvement. However, cement content has a significant effect on strength, producing an accelerating increase in strength with increasing cement content [Bayat et al., 2013].



3.1 Geology of the Site

The soil sample was collected from Manikdi, ECB Chottor which is suited at the heart point of Dhaka. The location of the site is beside “Aziz Master Academy”. The soil sample was collected from 8 ft. below the earth ground level.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Fig. 3.1: Location on Google Map (Manikdi, ECB Chottor)

3.1.1 Soft Soil

Soil is a natural body consisting of layers (soil horizons) of mineral constituents of variable thicknesses, which differ from the parent materials in their morphological, physical, chemical and mineralogical characteristics. Soft Soil can be considered as near- normally consolidated clays, clayey silts and peat. The special features of these materials are their high degree of compressibility. But in the same time soft soil has a high sensitivity and low strength and low strength compared to another types of soil and the most important problem related to building on soft is settlement which is related large and take long time to complete. Usually, due to sedimentary process on different environments, both physical engineering properties such as void ratio, grain size distribution, liquid limit, plastic limit, moisture content, maximum dry unit weight, compressibility, permeability and shear strength are show a significant variation. Further, they exhibit high compressibility (including an important secondary consolidation), reduced strength, low permeability and compactness, and consequently low quality for construction [Alam and Rayhan, 2015].

3.1.2 Brick Dust and Cement

Fly ash, rice husk, coconut fibers, geo fibers and different types and kinds of additives are used generally to stabilize the soil condition. In this research work brick dust is chosen to justify weather any change is noticed or not. Brick dust is easily available in our country so to have proper utilization of such waste materials along with soil to stabilize it. Additional cement is used with this two combination [Alam and Rayhan, 2015].

3.2 Sample Preparation

All of the experiment were carried using the natural soil first. Then we prepared the soil sample by mixing the brick dust and cement with the natural soil. We used brick dust, cement and soil in a ratio of (Cement: Brick Dust: Soil=1:1.5:7) and (Cement: Brick Dust: Soil=1:2:7) by their weight to prepare the sample.

3.3 Laboratory tests conducted in the laboratory

After collecting the soil, we took the soil to the geotechnical laboratory of European University. Then we conducted the following tests using the soil we collected.

Table 3.1: Names and No. of tests conduced

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Fig. 3.2 : Picture of laboratory experiment

3.4 Grain size analysis

Grain size analysis is universally used in engineering classification of soils. The three general procedure of analysis are sieve, hydrometer and combined analysis. A sieve analysis consists of shaking the soil through a sack of wire screens with opening of known sizes, the definition of particle diameter for a sieve test is, therefore, the size dimension of a square hole. If nearly all its grains are so large that they cannot pass though square opening of 0.075 mm (No. 200 sieve) the sieve analysis is preferable [Lab manual, 2019].

These relations are used in this test:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

The particle size distribution curve (gradation curve) is used to determine Percentage contents of particle sizes necessary for classification of soils, and to define the grading of the soil. The grading is defined in terms of ‘the uniformity coefficient’ and the ‘coefficient of curvature'.

Three sizes are determined from the grading curve:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Low values of Cu imply a uniform grading. If all the particles are of the same size, Cu is unity. A granular soil is termed “Well graded” if Cc is greater than or equal to 1 but less than or equal to 3 and Cu is greater than 6 in case of sand, and if Cc is greater than or equal to 1 but less than or equal to 3 and Cu is greater than 4 in case of gravels. When these requirements are not met, the soil is termed “poorly graded” [Lab manual, 2016].

3.5 Determination of Specific Gravity of Soil

Specific gravity test was also conducted to check the difference between existing condition of soft soil and advance condition of mixed soil following the ASTM standards. The specific gravity of a soil is the ratio of the weight in air of a given volume of particles to the weight in air of an equal volume of distilled water at a temperature of 4° C [Lab manual, 2016].


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New Ways of Dealing With Soil in Constructions? Soil Stabilization Using Brick, Dust and Cement
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ways, dealing, with, soil, constructions, stabilization, using, brick, dust, cement
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Nimur Rahaman Durjoy (Author), 2019, New Ways of Dealing With Soil in Constructions? Soil Stabilization Using Brick, Dust and Cement, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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