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Laboratory evaluation on the effectiveness of
polypropylene fibers on the strength of fiberreinforced and cement-stabilized Shanghai soft
Impact Factor: 2.38 · DOI: 10.1016/j.geotexmem.2015.05.004



Shui-Long Shen
Shanghai Jiao Tong University

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Waste textile bags generated from polyolefinic sources can be recycled and reprocessed into polypropylene pipes. Al-Salem et al..2015.05. Huai-Na Wu d. possible to some extent to reprocess discarded polymer textile bags. the thermos-chemical treatment methods used still require the involvement of new polymer material and crude oil. Shanghai 200240. All rights reserved. In the tests. a series of laboratory investigation are conducted on fiber-reinforced cement-improved soft Shanghai clay. 2009). 1999. 2003a. In order to verify the effectiveness of fiber bundles used in soil mixing.. However. The UCS of fiberesoilecement admixture is related to both content and length of fiber. Woolridge et al. Hou).004 0266-1144/© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. thus providing a novel approach to treat waste polymer textile bags. Waste polymer textile bags are harmful to the environment and sustainable means to reuse them are urgently being sought.. two types of polymer fibers were employed. fax: þ86 21 6419 1030. China c Department of Civil Engineering. 2007). Ideally. Tel. http://dx. It was estimated that. 800 Dong Chuan Road. Xu). Koch and Domina. Laboratory evaluation on the effectiveness of polypropylene fibers on the strength of fiber-reinforced and cement-stabilized Shanghai soft clay Mu Chen a. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Shanghai Jiao Tong University. A novel method to recycle these waste polymer textile bags is applying them in soft soil improvement projects. Shanghai Jiao Tong (S. Department of Civil Engineering. etc. but significant quantities inevitably end up in landfills. 2008).g. Ground improvement technology is essential for the construction of underground structures and infrastructure in deeper ground conditions.b. Ye-Shuang Xu d a Department of Civil Engineering. E-mail addresses: channel_m@163. xuyeshuang@sjtu. These results indicate that the fiber bundles split from polymer bags can be used as the reinforcement in soil mixing. in China. Wu). Pappu et al. Victoria (M. Even though. Keywords: Waste polymer textile bag Fiber-reinforced soil Cement Polymer fiber Unconfined compression strength 1. China State Key Laboratory of Ocean Engineering. (Zhang et (D. *. The tests were conducted using unconfined compressive strength (UCS) test after the specimen of fiberesoilecement admixture were cured for some period. wu-hn@sjtu. Australia d Department of Civil Engineering. Swinburne University of Technology. Shanghai Jiao Tong University. China b a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t Article history: Received 10 March 2015 Received in revised form 28 April 2015 Accepted 21 May 2015 Available online 17 August 2015 This paper presents a laboratory evaluation on the strength behavior of cementeclay admixture improved by polypropylene fiber. (Y. Minhang District. All rights reserved.elsevier. e.-N.1016/j. Shanghai 200240.doi. slshen@sjtu.: þ86 21 3420 4301. such as compacted-pavement base/subbases. Arul Arulrajah c. Shen). Shanghai 200240. Arulrajah). plastic bags and petroleum products. The results show that fiber additive can significantly improve the strength and ductility of the cement treated Shanghai clay.-L.5%.Geotextiles and Geomembranes 43 (2015) 515e523 Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Geotextiles and Geomembranes journal homepage: www. Dong-Wei Hou d.-S. Both two kinds of fiber-reinforced cement clay reached their peak strength at fiber content of chemical processing is * Corresponding author. due to its low economic cost and practicalities. the first one is monofilament polypropylene fiber and the other is fiber bundles split from polymer textile bags. Shui-Long Shen b. Introduction Polymer bags woven from bundle polypropylene fibers are extensively used in packaging applications as well as for industrial products.geotexmem..-W. Reutilizing waste bags by physical means would be much more economical and practical (Adanur et al. (A. used polymer bags are a waste material destined for landfills.. the difference is less than (H. deep mixing columns (Shen et al. Chen). nearly 3 million tons of polymer textile bags are discarded every year. aarulrajah@swin. Even though the polypropylene fiber works better than the fiber bundles. 800 Dong Chuan Road. Minhang District. UCS will slowly reverse if the fiber content continues to increase. resulting in significant cost and .edu. dongwei_hou@163.

Park. 2007). 2009. Mohammadinia et al. 2007. and coefficient of volume compressibility. Furthermore.035 mm in thickness and 3. Utilizing tensile elements. Several past studies have proved the effectiveness of polymer fiber reinforcement in treating cemented soft soil and provided experimental evidence on the improvement in its mechanical behavior (Li et al. Fig. their specific gravity was 0. Porcino et al. 3 and 4. the usage of fibers in combination with cement to stabilize soft clayey soils in-situ. Therefore.485 (ASTM C109/C109Me02. were used. Kaniraj and Gayathri. Kolias et al. researchers have improved the strength of soft soils and aggregates by mixing them with cement and fly ash to improve their compression strength (Kaniraj and Havanagi. 2011). Wang et al. 2005. 2012. Its compressive strength sbc was about 42.035 mm in diameter.08.b. 2003. the use of backfill of high quality sandy soil borrowed far away from construction sites may lead to high haulage costs and long construction period. 40 mm.. Tang et al. such as fibers and fiber bundles to improve the tensile strength and the flexural strength. 2010. environmentally savings and economical cost (Kaniraj and Havanagi.. Onyejekwe and Ghataora. haulage of coarsegrained soil as suitable engineering fill materials for these road infrastructure projects is becoming increasingly expensive and furthermore impacts significantly on the environment. The fibers and fiber bundles were both made of polypropylene.. thick deposits of soft soils are prevalent. improvement in peak friction angle and cohesion. 30.. Tang and Gu.55 m to 17. The polypropylene fibers were 3. a sustainable method to easily reuse discarded polymer textile bags. absence of potential failure plane. The underlying layer from a depth of 2. elastic modulus of 3 GPa and linear strain at failure of 80%. Increasingly. 2011. Hejazi et al. 2005. The initial water content of the soft clay before mixing with cement and fiber was around 47.. The bags were cut into squares with size of 10. 2014). 2014). 2013. Shen et al. Polypropylene fibers and fiber bundles were the two kinds of polymer fiber investigated for reinforcement of the cemented soil. Moreover. Portland cement was chosen as the cementing agent for the improvement of the soft silty clay. However. The soil were air-dried and broken into pieces after its initial water content was determined. It is known that soil resists well against compression and shear forces but behaves poorly in resistance to tension. as compacted-base/subbase layers. 2009. the Portland cement was classified as Type II according to ASTM C150 (2007). Yetimoglu et al. Materials The soft soil sample used in this research was soft silty clay and was obtained from a depth of 9. Park. reutilizing excavated clayey soil as backfill or subgrade after treatment is increasingly prevalent (Hufenus et al. For the unconfined compression tests. Kumar et al. 3CaO$Al2O3 and 4CaO$Al2O3$Fe2O3. The soft deposit of Shanghai is composed of six aquifers and five aquitards. 2013). 2012. distribution of liquid limit (wL) and natural water content (w) with depth are almost the same. polymer fiber. 1 shows the soil profile and geotechnical properties obtained by borehole at this site based on the method. 2002). Large scatter is noticed in the distribution of unit weight. Limited studies have also been attempted on the effect of curing time (Sukmak et al. void ratio. 20. 2. Along the coastal regions of China. 39. Disfani et al. Sample preparation The fiber-reinforced cement silty clay is a combination of silty clay. the woven polymer squares were split into fiber bundles. (1) and (2): . However. with tensile strength of 120 MPa. respectively. 9. The Portland cement used in this research was procured from Conch Cement in southwest Shanghai.516 M. 2014. Since the cement is applicable for general use. Noorzad and Mirmoradi.. Viswanadham et al. For instance. 1999. A dark yellow silty clay layer (SC) exists near the ground surface (from 0 to 2. 2001.. whose color is gray (from 17. 2014. 2006.. Jamsawang et al. The fiber bundles were obtained from woven polymer bags. fiber content and fiber length. Chen et al. Thus. 2. 12 mm in length and 0.91. 40 in length. 2 depicts the grain size distribution curve of the soil sample used in this test.5 mm in width. no research has been attempted to date on the behavior of soilecement admixture reinforced by fiber bundles split from waste polymer bags.88 m in an excavation pit at South Hongmei Road Tunnel construction site in Shanghai.1 mm in diameter and 80 mm in height..5 m to 43. As shown in Fig. Horpibulsuk et al. 1. most of these earlier investigations have focused on polypropylene fiber as a reinforcement material only and furthermore neglected crucial information such as the effect of cement content. As China continues to develop at a rapid rate. Then.. 2014) and shallow ground to be used as subgrade of road (Shen et al.. Materials and methods 2. 2013a. cement.. The soft silty clay was collected in a disturbed state by manual excavation. The major composition are 3CaO$SiO2..8 m deep). 2015). 2009. with fusion point of 160  C.5 m is gray mucky silty clay (MSC).. using a waterecement ratio of 0. China. as shown in Figs. and water. Consoli et al. one overburdened another (Xu et al.. is both economical and sustainable.6%.. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes 43 (2015) 515e523 List of notations e qu mv m0 mw V w wp wL w0 wt rt gt sbc void ratio (dimensionless) unconfined compressive strength (ML1 T2) coefficient of volume compressibility (LT2 M1) mass of dry soil need to be added (M) mass of water needed (M) volume of one specimen (L3) natural water content (%) plastic limit (dimensionless) liquid limit (dimensionless) water content of the soil sample before mixing (%) natural water content of the undisturbed soil (%) dry density of soil (ML3) unit weight (LT2) compressive strength of cement (ML1 T2) jet grouting columns (Shen et al. 2006. some traditional techniques are significantly expensive and impractical. cylindrical specimens...5 MPa after 28 days curing time. with an overall specific gravity of 3. 2002. 6. The changes of plastic limit (wP) are very small. 2011. In recent years. Mirzababaei et al. 0. 2009. Sobhan and Mashnad. there has been an ever increasing need to construct road infrastructure projects as these soft soil locations.. 2010). This study therefore aims i) to investigate the mechanical behavior of the fiber-reinforced cementeclay and ii) to discuss the potential usage of waste polymer bag as a new reinforcement material in soft soil improvement. 2010. the mass of the dry soil and water needed for one specimens can be determined by Eqs.55 m deep). has the advantage of improving the strength and durability of improved soil and will furthermore be effective because of its strength isotropy. The resulting fiber bundles were 10.1. 1995. 20.. The two types of fibers also behaved satisfactorily with regards to acid and alkali resistance. 30. 2012.2. Poor durability is furthermore a shortcoming of cementeclay stabilized materials. Below the MSC layer there is a silty clay (SC) layer. Fig.. 2CaO$SiO2.

respectively. 2. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes 43 (2015) 515e523 517 Fig.5%.6%). In this research. the specimens were prepared with cement content varying from 0% to 8%. 3. 1.1 Grain sizes (mm) Fig. wt ¼ the water content of the intact soil (in this program: wt ¼ 47. This was based on the mass of dry soil and water added. Chen et al. both polypropylene fibers and fiber bundles were added into the cementeclay. Soil profile and geotechnical properties of borehole samples. Fig. rt ¼ the dry density. Polypropylene fibers applied in this research. the amount of the fibers and cement to be added was calculated according to their target ratios. 0. . For each mixing. Pecent finer by weight (%) 100 m0 ¼ ð1 þ 0:01w0 Þrt V (1) 90 80 mw ¼ 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0. 1. Grain distribution size curve for Shanghai clay used in the tests. mw ¼ water needed.001 0. This varied from 10 mm to 40 mm at an Fig.01 0. For cementeclay improved by polypropylene fibers. its fiber length varied from 3 mm to 12 mm at an increasing rate of 3 mm. 2. at an increasing rate of 2% and with fiber contents of 0%. Fiber bundles split from waste polymer textile bags. 1 m0  0:01ðwt  w0 Þ 1 þ 0:01w0 (2) where m0 ¼ the dry soil need to be added. 1. V ¼ the volume of one specimen.M. w0 ¼ water content of the studied soil (in this program: w0 ¼ 0).5%.0%.5%. For each kind of fiber-reinforced cement soft clay. 4.

2.5% 0. However.5% 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 3 6 9 12 28 28 28 28 28 28 28 28 28 28 28 28 G1 G2 G3 G4 H1 H2 H3 2% 4% 6% 8% 8% 8% 8% e e e e 0.5% 2. Initially. Serial number Cement content Fiber content Fiber length (mm) Curing time (days) Serial number Cement content Fiber content Fiber length (mm) Curing time (days) A1 A2 A3 A4 B1 B2 B3 B4 C1 C2 C3 C4 2% 4% 6% 8% 8% 8% 8% 8% 8% 8% 8% 8% 1.5% 1. Chen et al. 14. Effect of cement content Groups A and D were tested and the strength compared for both types of specimens of fibers and fiber bundle with cement content . was used for the unconfined compression tests. 14.5%. 9 gives a comparison of stressestrain curves of Group G3 and Group F4. water was added into the cementesoil admixture prior to the addition of fibers.6%. 7.5% 0. For the acceptance criteria. 14.5% 0. Figs. 7 and 8 give the stressestrain curves for the specimens with the optimal cement content 8%. the cementation effect was an influencing factor on the ductility of the improved clay when the cement content increased.5% 0.5% 1. the specimens with optimal ratios were prepared to investigate their strength.5% 1.5% 0.1. dry soil and required cement were mixed for 2 min. the unconfined compression strength was chosen as the main indicator to study the effectiveness of the stabilization of soft silty clay with cement and fibers. as shown in Table 3. 7. Interestingly. a series of preliminary tests were conducted to evaluate the possible optimal mixing ratios as well as to eliminate some ratios that have little influence on the strength of improved clay. fiber content and fiber length. as shown in Fig. 6. the unconfined compression strength of the three specimens at the same ratio should not deviate by more than 15% of the mean value. Table 1 shows parameters of specimens of polypropylene fibers used in the test. Methods In this research.5% 1. For specimens remolding.3. or until 15% strain was reached. Serial number Cement content Fiber content Fiber length (mm) Curing time (days) D1 D2 D3 D4 E1 E2 E3 E4 F1 F2 F3 F4 2% 4% 6% 8% 8% 8% 8% 8% 8% 8% 8% 8% 1. 7.5% 1.5%. the specimens with fiber bundles gained significant improvement in its strength. Results and discussion 3. Both G3 and F4 have cement content of 8%.8% when the others reached their peak stress at nearly 1. with maximum capacity of 5 kN. The various factors that influenced on the mechanical behavior of the improved soil were furthermore studied. After 3 min of mixing. fibers were gradually added and the soil admixture was stirred throughout the mixing process for additional 3 min. As shown in Fig.5%. 5. 7. The fiber-reinforced and cement stabilized clay admixture was prepared and mixed with a cement mixer. to investigate the influence of curing time on the development of the unconfined compression strength.0% 1. 3.5% 1. 3. The entire procedure was in accordance with the ASTM D2166-06 (2006).5% 0.5% 0. with an applied shearing rate of 2. The peak stress of specimens without fiber is at 0.0% 1.5% 2. 14. 7. Thus. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes 43 (2015) 515e523 Table 1 Parameters of specimens with polypropylene fibers.5% 1. 14. tests were conducted with polypropylene fiber-reinforced cement soft clay as well as the cement clay without fibers.4 mm/min. the improved clay behaved better in ductility than those without any fiber. fiber content and length. To reduce some unnecessary tests. After 28 days of curing. The specimens were extracted out of the mold after 24-h molding and curing. The addition of fiber bundles was found to improve ductility of cement clay as well as its bearing capability. An automatic strain-controlled unconfined compression apparatus. which can be attributed to the bonds between soil particles provided by fiber reinforcement. 7. 28 28 28 28 28 28 28 2. increasing rate of 10 mm for the cementeclay improved by fiber bundles. Evidently. specimens with cement content of 2% performed much more ductile when others reached their peak strength at the strain 1.5% 1. Both polypropylene fibers and fiber bundles were supposed to be randomly distributed in the clay admixture. The specimens were then immediately wrapped in plastic bags and cured in a controlled environment at 23e28  C with humidity of 90% for 28 days. the unreinforced and fiberreinforced compacted soft clay specimens were filled in a lubricated three axial saturation appliance and statically compacted several times. All these specimens reached their maximum axial stress at the strain of around 1. To ensure the precision of the test results. 14. three identical specimens for each ratio was tested and the average value reported. all the tests were carried out according to the ASTM D2166-06 (2006).5% e e e e 6 6 6 7. the specimens were taken out and soaked in a water tank for 24 h for saturation prior to loading. Table 2 Parameters of specimens added with fiber bundles.5% 0. regardless of the fiber type.518 M. Table 3 Parameters of specimens with different curing time. In the whole loading procedure. To prevent the fibers from floating.5% 2. Table 2 shows the parameters of specimens of fiber bundles.5% 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 10 20 30 40 28 28 28 28 28 28 28 28 28 28 28 28 14.5% 0. In addition. Loading was continued until the load values reached the maximum and subsequently decreased with increasing strain.5% 1. Fig. Effect of fiber additive Figs. but G3 has no fiber and F4 has a fiber content of 0. It is suggested that both types of fiber additives assisted with ductility of improved clay with low cement content.5% 0. 6e8 depict the stressestrain curves for the cementeclay improved by fibers and fiber bundles with the variation of cement content.

10 presents the relationship between UCS of the improved clay versus cement contents.5%. excessive fiber inclusion might tangle together in some parts of the specimens so that the cementation and fiber bonds there were obstructed. if the cement content of the specimens increases. 1000 1000 Group B 600 Fiber content 0. 1. 3. In the cement content range investigated. Stressestrain curves for specimens improved with different cement content under fiber content 1. . the strength will subsequently reduce. 4%. 1. 11 plots UCS of the two types of fiber-reinforced cementeclay with fiber content of 0. For specimens improved with polypropylene fibers and fiber bundles. 2. 0. both types of improved soil had relatively higher unconfined compression strength. In addition.5% 1.0%.5% and that. However practically. It can be concluded that both two types of improved soil reached their peak strength at the fiber content of 0.5%. According to the figures. the strength of the two types of specimens increased drastically with the increase of the cement content. its strength increased when the fiber content increased from 0 to 0. 2012). Thus. Stressestrain curves for specimens improved with different fiber content under cement content 8%: a) fibers and b) fiber bundles. 6. which subsequently improved the mechanical behavior of the improved soil. 7.M. the strength had an overall trend to decrease with the increase of fiber content beyond the threshold.0% 1. But it would be hard to blend the fiber or strips discretely if the fiber contents were excessive.3.5% 2. 6%. of 2%. The addition of cement was found to have a significant effect on the improvement in strength of soft clay.5% 1. and 8%.. Fig.0% 1.5% as a threshold. Fig. As evident.5% 400 200 0 0 1 2 3 Axial strain (%) (a) 4 Improved by fiber bundles Cement content = 8% Fiber length = 40 mm 800 Axial stress (kPa) 800 Axial stress (kPa) Group E Improved by fibers Cement content = 8% Fiber length = 6 mm 5 600 Fiber content 400 0.5%. 5. Effect of fiber content Fig.5% 2.5% 200 0 0 1 2 Axial strain (%) 3 4 (b) Fig. The fiber inclusion could be easily distributed in the specimens and bear the pulling stress inside when the fiber content is relatively low. Chen et al. Fiber-reinforced cementeclay specimens.5% but decreased if the fiber content is further increased. respectively. the cementation effect binds the fiber bonds and soil grains together resulting in an 1000 1000 800 Cement content 2% 4% 6% 8% 600 400 200 0 Group D Improved by fibers Fiber length = 6 mm Fiber content = 1.5%: a) fibers and b) fiber bundles. the hydration reaction between cement and water reduced the water content of the improved soil. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes 43 (2015) 515e523 519 increase in the overall strength (Horpibulsuk et al. In fact. considering the fiber content of 0.5% Axial stress (kPa) Axial stress (kPa) Group A 0 2 4 6 Axial strain (%) 8 800 Improved by fiber bundles Fiber length = 40 mm Fiber content = 1. the relationship of strength versus cement content is approximately linear.5% 600 Cement content 2% 4% 6% 8% 400 200 0 10 0 2 (a) 4 Axial strain (%) 6 8 (b) Fig.

for the specimens with cement content of 4% and 6%. Therefore.4. Stressestrain curves for specimens without & with fiber bundles.5. with the growth rate accelerating. 13 shows the unconfined compression strength of the two types of improved soil with varying fiber lengths. it can be concluded that the more cement added. the strength of polypropylene fiber-reinforced cement soil also grew. In the tests of Group G1eG4. Effect of curing time 3. When the fiber content was 2%. The fiber bonds and tensile strength provided by fibers were the main source of improvement for specimens with low cement contents. Chen et al.5%. The same results came again as for cementeclay improved by fiber bundles. Therefore.5% and 1% at a cement content of 6%. it appears that the cementation effect became the dominant source of improvement and that excessive fibers do not further assist in increasing the strength of improved clay.5% Group F Fiber length 3 mm 6 mm 9 mm 12 mm 5 600 Fiber length 10 mm 20 mm 30 mm 40 mm 400 200 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 Axial strain (%) (b) (a) Fig. mixing with fiber bundles of 40 mm or with polypropylene fibers of 6 mm. 3 600 300 0 Fiber content = 1. Since the cement content for improved clay is usually higher than 8% in practice. based on Fig. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes 43 (2015) 515e523 1000 1000 Group C 600 800 Axial stress (kPa) Axial stress (kPa) 800 400 Improved by fibers Cement content = 8% Fiber content = 0. were cured for 28 days and tested to show the relationship between their strength versus fiber contents.5%: a) fibers and b) fiber bundles.5% 200 0 0 1 2 3 Axial strain (%) 4 Improved by fiber bundles Cement content = 8% Fiber content = 0. For the improved clay with a cement content of 4%. Therefore. To verify whether the threshold was similar for all cement contents. the lower the optimal content of the fibers. Effect of fiber length Fig. the inclusion of longer length fibers means that fewer single fibers will be mixed. Specimen with different cement contents. When the improved clay were mixed with the same content of fibers or fiber bundles. Less single fibers will result in an even distribution of fibers. 8 . the relationship between strength versus fiber contents is approximately linear.5% Curing time = 28 days Fiber bundles length of 40 mm Fiber length of 6 mm 2 4 6 Cement content (%) Fig. the threshold is around the fiber content of 1. For optimal length of fiber additive. stressestrain curves of cement clay with UCS (kPa) Axial stress (kPa) 1200 the same optimal cement content of 8% and the fiber content of 1.5% would be considered optimal for engineering practice. However. both types of fiberreinforced cement soft clay reached their maximum strength when mixed with fibers of the longest lengths. Stabilized with F4 and G3 900 Cement content = 8% Group A & Group D G3 (No fiber) F4 (Fiber content = 0. the optimal lengths of the two fiber additives should be much longer in practice. Stressestrain curves for specimens improved with different fiber lengths under cement content 8% and fiber content 0. the strength of the cementeclay improved by fiber bundles were relatively lower than the specimens added with polypropylene fibers. The threshold is found to be between fiber content 0. When fiber length increased. UCS of the improved clay versus cement contents. 10. The strength of both types of specimens reached a maximum point in the fiber content range tested. it can be estimated that the optimal fiber lengths are probably higher than what the authors have tested.5%. fiber contents lower than 0. 8. more test data on samples were plotted in Fig. Longer fibers are hard to be pulled out and can bond more soil particles together. 3. with an accelerating growth rate. 12. The test results are presented in Fig. considering the magnitude of the ground as well as what the authors have analyzed above.5% Length of bundles = 40 mm) 900 600 300 0 Group G and H tested the strength of the specimens at different curing time points.520 M. 9. It indicates that long fibers were more helpful rather than short fibers in the length range we studied. 12. but the difference is less than 5%. 0 1 2 Axial strain (%) Fig. 14.

the early strength of the improved soil was mainly provided by the fiber bonds. Stressestrain curves for without-fiber specimens and polypropylene fiberreinforced specimens with different curing time. Since the hydration reaction and cementation were not fully accomplished in the early curing periods. Improved clay with high fiber content took a shorter time to reach its final strength. UCS of the improved clay with different cement contents versus fiber contents.0 1. fiber reinforcement will be a serviceable method to improve the strength of cementeclay in practice.5% Fibers content of 0. Therefore. 14 depict the stressestrain curves of the 8% cement content specimens at different curing times. the average strength of improved 9 12 Fibers length (mm) Fig. Specimens with higher cement contents seemed to take a longer time to reach their final strength than others. behaved almost similarly in ductility regardless of the curing time. Fig. Fig. when mixed with high cement contents. reaching their peak stress nearly at the same strain. Its peak strength grew higher with the increase of the curing time while the specimens seemed to be less ductile and more brittle. with different peak strengths. the less the ductility would change with increasing curing times.5% 600 2.6. As apparent.0 0. The specimens with high fiber content performed better in the early curing time periods but strength development grew only slowly afterwards. 3. Compared with those whose cement content was 2%. the other specimens with relatively high contents of cement obtained a remarkable increase in their strength. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes 43 (2015) 515e523 521 Bundles length (mm) 1000 Group B & Group E 1000 20 UCS (kPa) Cement content = 8% Curing time = 28 days Polypropylene fiber length of 6 mm Fiber bundle length of 40 mm 400 0.5 Fiber content (%) 500 3 6 different cement content shared a similar shape.5%.5% and fiber length of 6 mm at different curing times. Take the stressestrain curves of G4 as an example. . which can be attributed to unevenly distribution of excessive fiber additive in soilecement clay admixture. cementeclay was nearly twice as much as the strength of those without fibers for each of the curing periods. 0 1 2 Axial strain (%) 3 4 Fig. hollow symbols in Fig. The fiber-reinforced cement clay appeared to behave better in its early strength stage and have a higher strength growth rate in the first 7 days.5% Fiber length = 6mm 7 days 14 days 28 days 400 200 0 0 Cement content = 8% 800 Axial stress (kPa) UCS (kPa) 40 900 600 0 30 Group C & Group F 800 UCS (kPa) 10 4 Fig.5% that appeared to develop strength rapidly and reach the highest strength. UCS of the improved clay versus fiber lengths. 13. 16 illustrates strength growth curves of fiber-reinforced cement clay. Fig. UCS of the improved clay versus fiber contents. Unlike specimens without fibers. if early strength is required. Chen et al. 14 also presents the stressestrain curves for specimens improved with a cement content of 8%. 14. it is evident that the more fiber added. 15 plots the strength of the cementeclay without fibers. Fiber addition indeed improves the ductility behavior of cement clay. specimens all reached their maximum axial stress 1000 900 G4 & H3 Curing time = 28 days Fiber bundles length of 40 mm Cement content 2% 4% 6% 8% Fiber length of 6 mm Cement content 2% 4% 6% 8% 600 300 1 2 Fiber content (%) 3 Without fibers 7 days 14 days 28 days 600 Fiber content = 2. polypropylene fiber content of 2. The increase of the strength mainly occurred in the first 14 days. as plotted by the solid symbols.0 800 700 Cement content = 8% Curing time = 28 days Fiber bundles content of 0.5 2.M. Fig. for specimens added with polypropylene fibers. Comparison with previous investigations In stressestrain relation of this study.5 1. 14 shows that the specimens with a fiber content of 2. As an illustration. Fig. 12. 11. It was the specimens with less fiber of 0.

when mixed with cement of content 8%. . Conclusions Based on the results of unconfined compression tests on the fiber-reinforced cementeclay and fiber bundles reinforced Shanghai clay. Overall. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes 43 (2015) 515e523 400 Group G UCS (kPa) 300 200 Cement content 2% 4% 6% 8% 100 0 7 14 21 Curing time (days) 28 Fig. 10e13. for fibers of lengths under 12 mm. However. which provides a new way to treat the waste polymer textile bags. This is due to difference in properties between cemented sand and cemented clay. Consoli et al. The fiber-reinforced cement clay behaved better in its early strength stage and had a higher growth rate in the first 7 days than the no-fiber cement clay. the strength of both two types of fiber-reinforced cement clay grew with the fiber length. as well as analysis and discussion all above.g. In the study on the aspect of fiber lengths.. The strength of improved clay will change with the addition of the fiber and cement. the optimal content of fiber diminished with the increase of cement. and cement content are factors that affect the strength and ductility of the improved clay. Chen et al. which has been reported by several researchers (e. Polypropylene fiber works better than the fiber bundles. Effect of curing time for specimens without fiber. Tang et al. Park. Also.25%. since the fiber bundles is a reinforcement material with no previous study. (4) Improved clay with higher cement content took a longer time to reach its final strength. fiber length. which made it impossible for the threshold and the trend of optimal contents to be obtained. long fibers were found to be more effective rather than short fibers in the lengths range tested. The authors also found. the difference between behaviors of the two types of improved clay are compared. the fiber bundles can be used as the reinforcement in soil mixing and provide a novel approach to treat the waste polymer textile bags. the authors conclude that. irregardless of the cement contents. their behaviors in ductility are nearly similar. The fiber contents in their tests ranged only from 0 to 0. Cement content is the most influential factor for the improvement of silty clay. In test results shown in Figs. that the optimal content of fiber for cemented sand are higher than those for cemented silty clay when mixed with the same cement contents. and fiber length. The addition of cement could significantly improve the strength of soft clay. 11 and 12 show the effect of fiber content on the strength of improved clay. Therefore. This is due to the uniform distribution of fibers in the soil. Effect of curing time for specimens with different polypropylene contents. (5) The fiber bundles split from polymer bags can be used as the reinforcement in soil mixing. 16. Fiber bonds and cementation do help the improved clay become more ductile.5%. but its behavior in ductility is not proportional to the fiber content. when compared with the results of Park (2011). the difference in the strength growing curves of different mixing ratios and different fiber contents were not reported. fiber content. 15. fiber content. at the strain of approximately 1. In the strength properties. But the increase of strength could be restrained in its middle and later curing time if too much fiber is added. It is evident that there is a threshold strength in their relationship versus fiber contents.5% 1. reaching their peak stress at the strain 1. 2005. longer fibers behave better as reinforcement.. For improved clay mixed with fiber bundles. (3) The strength of the improved clay will also change along with the change of fiber length. (2007) reported that there was no threshold in their results and the increase of fiber content improve the strength without decline.5% 2. Figs. In terms of the effect of reinforcement and stabilization. 6e8. (2) Both polypropylene fiber and fiber bundles assist with the strength and ductility of the improved clay. 2011). the polypropylene fiber worked a little better than the fiber bundles. the following conclusions can be drawn: (1) Polypropylene fiber can effectively improve the strength of cement treated Shanghai clay. Kolias et al. which can be attributed to more uniform distribution of fibers than fiber bundles in the soil. This is quite different from the trend previously reported by Park (2011) that the peak strain is proportional to the fiber ratios for cemented sand. Furthermore.5% 400 200 0 7 14 21 Curing time (days) 28 Fig. The fiber type. 4. From the strainestress curves as shown in Figs. 2010. 1200 UCS (kPa) 1000 800 600 Group H Cement content = 8% Fiber length = 6 mm Fiber content No fiber 0. it is evident that the two types of improved clay behaved almost identically in their strength versus the influencing factors. the optimal contents of fiber reduced with the increase of cement content. Instead of the high cost for using polypropylene fibers. Kaniraj and Havanagi (2001) have studied the effect of curing time on strength. cement caused an increase in strength of improved clay in linear relationship to the cement content. the difference is less than 5%. However.522 M.5%. irregardless of fiber type.. Based on a similar trend reported by Tang and Gu (2011) with cement content of 15%. reusing fiber bundles split from waste polymer bags is environmentally friendly and furthermore is readily available at no cost.

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