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The geotechnical engineers design foundations and other structures on the soil after
investigation of the type of soil, its characteristics and its extent. If the soil is good at
shallow depth below the ground surface, shallow foundation such as footings and
rafts, are generally most economical. However if the soil just below the ground
surface is not good but a strong stratum exist at a great depth, deep foundations, such
as piles, wells and caissons are required. Deep foundations are quite expensive and
are cost effective only in the where the structure to be supported is quite heavy and
huge. Sometimes the soil conditions are very poor even at greater depth and it is not
practical to construct even deep foundation. In such cases various methods of soil
stabilization and reinforcement technique is adopted. The objective is to improve the
characteristics at site and make soil capable of carrying load and to increase the shear
strength decrease the compressibility of the soil.
In the investigation done by S A Naeini and S M Sadjadi,(2008) ,the waste polymer
materials has been chosen as the reinforcement material and it was randomly included
in to the clayey soils with different plasticity indexes at five different percentages of
fiber content (0%, 1%,2%, 3%, 4%) by weight of raw soil.CBR tests are conducted by
Behzad Kalantari, Bujang B.K. Huat and Arun Prasad, (2010) and their experimental
findings are analysed with the point of view of use of waste plastic fibers in soil
reinforcement. Effects of Random Fiber Inclusion on Consolidation, Hydraulic
Conductivity, Swelling, Shrinkage Limit and Desiccation Cracking of Clays
(Mahmood R. Abdi, Ali Parsapajouh, and Mohammad A. Arjomand,(2008) ) point to
the strength and settlement characteristics of the reinforced soil and compared with
unreinforced condition.
Moreover an environmental concern is also included by utilization of waste
plastic materials and they can be made useful for improving the soil characteristics
and to solve problems related to the disposal of waste plastic material.

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Fiber reinforced soil is subjected to CBR test by Behzad Kalantari, Bujang B.K. Huat
and Arun Prasad, (2010) and the results are published.
2.1.1 Test materials
Peat soil used in the study were collected as disturbed and undisturbed samples
according to AASHTO T86-70 and ASTM D42069 (Bowles, 1978; Department of the
Army, 1980) from Kampung, Jawa, western part of Malaysia. Binding agent used for
this study was ordinary Portland cement and its properties are presented in Table
1.Polypropylene fibers, shown in Fig. 1 were used as chemically non-active additive.
Table 1: Properties of polypropylene fibers (, 2007)




Specific gravity


Fiber Length

12 mm

Fiber Diameter

18 micron

Tensile strength

300-440 MPa

Elastic modulus

6000-9000 (N mm2)

Water absorption


Softening point

160 C

Fig.1 polypropylene fibers, (Kalantari, 2009)

2.1.2 Experimental program
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In order to examine the effect of cement admixtures and polypropylene fibers on the
CBR values of peat soil, index properties tests on the peat soil have been conducted.
The tests include: water content, liquid limit, plastic limit, organic content, specific
gravity and fiber content. Shear strength parameters of the undisturbed peat soil has
been found out by triaxial test and shear strength is found out by unconfined
compressive strength. Rowe cell consolidation test has been carried out to evaluate
the compressibility behavior of undisturbed peat soil. The CBR test has been carried
out on the stabilized peat soil (mixture of peat cement and polypropylene fibers) to
investigate the increase in strength of the samples. Peat soil samples used for the CBR
tests were at their natural moisture contents and therefore no water was added or
removed from the samples during the mixing process of peat, cement and
polypropylene fibers.
2.1.3 California Bearing Ratio (CBR)
CBR tests have been conducted on the undisturbed peat soil as well as stabilized peat
soil with cement and polypropylene fibers. For the stabilized peat soil with cement
(mixture of peat soil and cement) the soil samples used were samples at their natural
moisture contents of about 200%. Specified dosage of cement and polypropylene
fibers were mixed well with the peat soil for uniformity and homogeneity, before
molding the samples according to the specified standard. Stabilized peat soil samples
with cement and polypropylene fibers were placed in the CBR mold for air curing for
90 days. CBR tests were performed on samples under both, un-soaked and soaked
2.1.4 Curing procedure
In order to cure the stabilized peat soil samples with cement and polypropylene fibers,
air curing technique has been used. In this technique, the stabilized peat soil samples
for CBR tests were kept in normal room temperature of 302C and relative humidity
of 805% without any addition of water from outside. This technique is used to
strengthen the stabilized peat soil samples by gradual moisture content reduction,
instead of the usual water curing technique or moist curing method which has been a
common practice in the past for stabilized peat soil mixed with cement . The principle
of using this air curing method for strengthening stabilized peat is that, peat soil has
very high natural water content and when mixed with cement has sufficient water for
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curing or hydration process to take place and does not need more water (submerging
the samples in water) during the curing process. The technique used for curing
samples will cause the stabilized peat soil samples to gradually lose moisture content
during the curing period and become dry and thereby gain strength.
2.1.5 Cement dosages
For CBR (un-soaked and soaked) tests, each sample consists of peat soil at its natural
water content added with 15, 25, 30, 40 and 50% cement by weight of wet soil, with
and without polypropylene fibers as an additive. The amount of polypropylene fibers
used for the stabilized CBR soil samples was based on the result obtained from CBR
tests to be carried out to determine the optimum percentage by weight of the wet peat
soil samples.
2.1.6 Percentage of polypropylene fibers
The usual dosage recommended for cement mixes varies from 0.6-0.9 kg m3. In
this study, in order to find the optimum percentage of fiber content for the stabilized
peat soil that would provide the maximum strength, peat soil samples at their natural
water content were mixed with different percentages of cement and polypropylene
fibers and were cured in air for a period of 90 days and then CBR test was performed
on them. The samples examined for this purpose were prepared by adding 5, 15 and
25% cement and 0.1, 0.15, 0.2 and 0.5% polypropylene fibers. The sample which
showed the maximum value of CBR after 90 days of curing was chosen as the
optimum percentage of polypropylene fibers for further evaluation of strength of the
stabilized peat soil.

CBR test procedure for soaked condition

According to AASHTO T193-63 and ASTM D1883-73, the soaking period of CBR
samples for normal soil is 96 h or 4 days (Bowles, 1978). For this study, in-order to
investigate the CBR values of the soaked stabilized peat soil, a set of CBR samples
prepared with different dosages of cement and polypropylene fibers (15, 25, 40 and
50% cement with 0.15% of polypropylene fibers) to soil at its natural water content
were cured in air for 90 days and then soaked in water for a period of 5 weeks. During
these five weeks of soaking period, the soil samples were weighed periodically for |

possible weight increase due to increased saturation. When the samples attained a
constant weight and no further increase in weight was observed, it was assumed that
the samples became completely saturated. The samples were weighed every day for
the first 2 weeks, every 2 days during the next 1 week and every 5days for the last 2
2.1.8 Optimum percentage of polypropylene fibers
The results of increase in CBR values for different cement and polypropylene fibers
content are shown in Fig. 2. It appears that the samples with 0.15% polypropylene
fibers gives the maximum percentage increase in of CBR value (ratio of obtained
CBR value/highest CBR value) after curing for 90 days.

Fig.2 Increase in CBR values-Different cement and polypropylene fibers content

(Ismail, 2002)
Based on the results obtained, it is possible to that 0.15% of polypropylene fibers as
chemically non-active additive would provide the maximum CBR values for the peat
soil stabilized with cement. Also, based on the result of this test, 0.15% of
polypropylene fibers have been chosen as an optimum amount for the stabilization of
peat soil samples.
2.1.9 CBR soaking test
According to the results shown in Fig. 3, stabilized peat soil sample with 15% cement
reached 100% saturation and therefore constant weight at the end of four days of
soaking period. On the other hand, the sample with the maximum amount of cement
(50%) reached constant weight (100% saturation) at the end of six days of soaking. |

Based on the results of this test, all stabilized peat soil samples were submerged in
water for at least 6 days before performing the CBR tests under soaked condition.

Fig.3 weight increase during soaking Soaking time

(S. A. Naeini et al., 2008)
2.1.10 Effect of stabilization on CBR value
The results of CBR tests for stabilized peat soil samples with cement and
polypropylene fibers after air curing for 90 days are shown on Fig.4 . The CBR value
of undisturbed peat soil is 0.785%. With the addition of 50% cement, it increased to
34% for unsoaked condition and 30% for the soaked condition. With the addition of
0.15% polypropylene fibers with 50% cement, this increased to 38% and 35% for
unsoaked and soaked conditions. The results indicate that as cement amount in the
mixture is increased, the CBR values also increase and addition of polypropylene
fibers causes a further increase of the CBR values. Polypropylene fibers as additive
contributes more strength to the stabilized peat soil samples. |

Fig.4 CBR (%) values of undisturbed peat and different percentage of OPC and
polypropylene fibers for the stabilized peat soil cured for 90 days
(S. A. Naeini et al., 2008)
The air curing technique of peat soil stabilized with cement and polypropylene fibers
increased the general rating of the in situ peat soil from very poor (CBR from 0-3%)
to fair and good (CBR from 7 to above 20%) (Bowles, 1978). Also, visual inspection
of soaked CBR samples depict that the polypropylene fibers not only increase the
CBR values but also contribute towards the uniformity and intactness to the stabilized
peat soil samples, as compared with the soaked samples with cement only.
S. A. Naeini and S. M. Sadjadi, (2008) published the journal "effect of waste polymer
materials on the shear strength of unsaturated clays" and being a receiver of their
journal, their tests and results are analyzed.
2.3.1 Tested materials
Three clayey soils with different plasticity indexes used in the present experimental
testes were obtained from the three parts of Iran named as (soil A, soil B, soil C) They
are defined as high plasticity soils (CH) according to the Unified Soil Classification
The grain-size distribution and engineering properties of the collected soils are
presented in table 2. The polypropylene fibers are shown in fig.5, fig 6.The rubber |

fibers used in this study were obtained from polymer west materials. The scrap tire
rubber fibers were supplied by local recapping Track Tyres producer in Qazvin city of

Fig.5 Waste plastic strips

Fig.6 Waste Tyre RubberChips

(S. A. Naeini et al., 2008)

These fibers reproduced by shaving off the old tires into 150 mm and smaller strips
and then ground into scrap rubber. The product specifications of the polymer fibers
are given in Table 3.
Table 2: Engineering properties of collected soils
(S. A. Naeini et al., 2008) |

Table 3: Physical and engineering properties of fibers

(S. A. Naeini et al., 2008)
Length (mm)
7-12 mm
Thickness (mm) 0.25 mm
Width (mm)
0.35 mm
Density (g/m3) 1.15
2.3.2 Testing program
This experimental work has been performed to investigate the influence of Plasticity
Index and percentage of waste polymer materials on the shear strength of waste
polymer materials on the shear strength of unsaturated clayey soils. For this purpose,
clayey soils with different plasticity Indexes were used and mixed with different
percentage of waste materials to investigate the shear strength parameters of
unreinforced and reinforced samples in terms of direct shear test.
In order to determine the shear strength parameters (C and ) of unreinforced
and reinforced samples, a series of shear box tests at vertical normal stresses of 100300 KPa and strain rate of 0.2% mm/min were carried out in accordance with
ASTMD 3080.shear stresses were recorded as a function of horizontal displacement
up to total displacement of 17 mm to observe the post failure behavior as well.
Verification tests were also performed in order to examine the repeatability of the

Results and Discussion

The shear stress-horizontal displacement curves obtained from the tests for reinforced
and unreinforced soils with the fiber content of 2% at normal stresses of 200 are
shown in Fig.7. It is seen that initial stiffness at the same normal stress for reinforced
and unreinforced soils remains practically the same. Therefore fiber reinforcements
have no discernible effect on the initial stiffness of the soils. It can be also seen that
the peak shear stresses are significantly affected by fiber content especially at high
normal stresses. |

Fig 7 shear stress-horizontal strain for unreinforced and reinforced Soil B

with 2% fiber content. (S. A. Naeini et al., 2008)
The values of shear strength () cohesion (c) and internal friction angle () for both
unreinforced and reinforced soils obtained from tests showed that the addition
amounts of fiber have the significant influence on the development of cohesion and
internal friction angle and similar trends are found in three suit type with different
Plasticity Indexes.
It is indicated from Fig.8 that the variation of cohesion with percentage of fiber
content is a non-linear variation. The cohesion of fiber specimens increases while
increasing fiber content up to 2% and then decreases slightly with addition amounts of

Fig.8 Effect of fiber content on cohesion of soils A, B and C.

(S. A. Naeini et al., 2008)
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The increase in cohesion of soil-fiber matrix may be due to the increase in the
confining pressure because of the development of tension in the fiber, and the
moisture in the fiber helps to form absorbed water layer to the clay particles, which
enables the reinforced soil to act as single coherent matrix of soil fiber mass.
The decrease in cohesion of soil-fiber matrix with addition amount of fibers
(more than 2% fiber content) may be due to separation of clay particles due to the
addition of fibers. The maximum cohesion is observed at 2% fiber content as 110 kPa
for soil-A which is 1.12 times more than that of unreinforced samples, and 168 kPa
for soil-B which is a.05 times more than that of unreinforced samples and 194 kPa for
soil-C which is 1.04 times more than that of unreinforced samples.
These results showed that fiber reinforcement have more effect on soils with
low Plasticity Indexes. The variation of internal friction angle with fiber content,
illustrated in Fig.9 As seen, the variation of internal friction angle with tire rubber
fibers contents in showed a non-liner variation.
In general the internal friction angle value of each reinforced samples increased, and
these values in soil-A ranged from 27.3 to 37.4, in soil-B ranged from 20.35 to
25.64, and in soil-C ranged from 17.5 to 25.3.

Fig.9 Effect of fiber content on friction angle of soils A, B and C.

(S. A. Naeini et al., 2008)

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The effects of scrap tire rubber fibers on shear strength values of clayey soils
are given in Figure 10.for soil A, B and C respectively. The contents of fiber played an
important role in the shear strength. Figure 9 indicate that the shear strength values of
clayey soil-fiber mixtures have a tendency to increase first, after a peak value, the
shear strength values of these mixtures decrease. It was found that the shear strength
values of unreinforced samples increased due to the raise of 2% tire rubber fiber
content from 142 to 177 kPa, from 189 to 210 kPa, and from 210.7 to 229 kPa for the
clayey soils A,B and C, respectively.
The maximum shear strength value of soil-A (soil with lower Plasticity Index) being
177 kPa is 1.24 times more than that of unreinforced samples. These findings
indicated that the optimum tire rubber fiber content based on shear strength values is

Fig.10 Effect of fiber content on shear strength of soils A, B and C.

(S. A. Naeini et al., 2008)
Materials used for consolidation, swelling, shrinkage, desiccation and
hydraulic conductivity tests
Mahmood R. Abdi, Ali Parsapajouh, and Mohammad A. Arjomand,
(2008) experimentally investigated the effect of waste polymer
fibers in the soil stabilization of soil by conducting consolidation test,
swelling test, shrinkage limit, desiccation cracks and hydraulic
conductivity test.
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Soil Type: A soil comprised of a mixture of kaolinite and montmorillonite was used in
this research. Preliminary investigations conducted by the authors showed a mixture
of 75% kaolinite and 25% montmorillonite to be suitable. Not only it was workable, it
also showed pronounced consolidation settlement, swelling, hydraulic conductivity,
shrinkage limit and desiccation cracking characteristics. In order to be brief, instead of
referring to the above composition, the word "soil" is used here after. All soil particles
passed No. 200 sieve and hydrometer test data indicated 98% passing 0.071mm,
82.6% passing 0.036mm, 76.6% passing 0.021mm, 50.1% passing 0.009mm and
15.3% passing 0.001mm. Atterberg limits (ASTM D: 4318-87) and specific gravity
(ASTM D: 854-87) tests were also carried out on representative samples. The soil had
a liquid limit of 110(%), plastic limit of 29(%), plasticity index of 81(%), shrinkage
limit of 21(%) and specific gravity of 2.68.
Fiber Type: Most of the researches carried out on fiber reinforcement of soils have
made use of polypropylene fibers. This is the most commonly used synthetic material
mainly because of its low cost and the ease with which it mixes with soils [19, 21, 23,
24]. Miller and Rifai [25] also reported that polypropylene has a relatively high
melting point ( 160C), low thermal and electrical conductivity, high ignition point
( 590C), with a specific gravity of 0.91. It is also hydrophobic and chemically inert
material which does not absorb or react with soil moisture or leachate. Therefore, to
be consistent with earlier researches carried out, bearing in mind the foregoing
characteristics, polypropylene fibers having 5, 10 and 15mm lengths and contents of
1, 2, 4 and 8% by dry weight of soil were adopted in this research. Preliminary
investigations showed that longer and higher fiber contents could not be effectively
mixed with the soil and therefore were not investigated.
2.3.1 Test procedure
In order to assess the effect of random fiber inclusion on consolidation settlement,
swelling and hydraulic conductivity, oedometer tests were Conducted according to
ASTM D2435-96. Earlier research conducted by Nataraj and McManis [21], Abdi and
Ebrahimi [23] and Miller and Rifai [25] had shown that fiber addition has little or no
effect on compaction characteristics. For that reason, in the current investigation all
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samples were prepared using the same dry density and molding moisture content
equal to 70% of the liquid limit. Initially several kilograms of kaolinite and
montmorillonite were weighed and thoroughly mixed in dry form by appropriate
proportions of 75 and 25 percent respectively. The soil was kept in a container and all
samples were subsequently made using the same mixture. For each particular mixture
initially enough soil and appropriate amount of fiber were weighed and thoroughly
dry mixed. Then, water was gradually added and mixing continued until a uniform
mixture was obtained. Samples were then molded directly into the confining ring and
tested according to ASTM standard procedure. Pressure increments of 50, 100 and
200kPa were used and verification of the results was assessed by randomly selecting
and testing duplicate samples of some mixtures. A maximum difference of 5% was
observed in results of duplicate samples tested which were considered acceptable.
2.3.2 Consolidation Settlements Results
Effects of random fiber inclusion on consolidation settlement of soil samples were
evaluated as function of fiber length, content and consolidation pressure. These
relationships are shown in Figures 1, 2 and 3 for fiber lengths of 5, 10 and 15mm
respectively. Prior to the fiber inclusion, consolidation settlement of unreinforced soil
sample was determined. This settlement is also shown in the above figures to be used
as a reference behavior for comparison with those from different fibrous samples. It
can be observed from Figures 1, 2 and 3 that at a Constant pressure, increasing the
fiber contents from 1 to 8% resulted in reducing consolidation settlement of the
samples. This is a common trend with all fiber lengths examined. Maximum and
minimum consolidation settlements of 7.5 and 2.6 mm were respectively measured
for the unreinforced sample and the sample reinforced by 8% fibers having 5mm
length (e.g., Fig. 11). This shows a reduction in consolidation settlement of
approximately 25%. Although increasing the fiber length from 5 to 10mm resulted in
slightly higher consolidation settlements, but in general this soil characteristic did not
appear to be very sensitive to the fiber lengths. It can be speculated that random fiber
inclusion resulted in increasing stiffness of the samples and subsequently reduced the
consolidation settlements.

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Fig.11 Variations of consolidation settlement with

Fiber content (Fiber length=10mm).
(Mahmood R. Abdi et al., 2008)
To support this speculation, laboratory triaxial compression tests conducted by
Consoli et al. [26] on fiber reinforced soils also showed a greater than 20%. In
contrast, unreinforced samples demonstrated an almost perfectly plastic behavior at
large strain. Their field plate load test results also showed a noticeable stiffer response
with increasing settlement. This potential applications of fiber reinforced soils in
shallow foundations, embankments over soft soils, and other earthworks that may
suffer excessive deformations. From the above figures it can also be seen that at
constant fiber contents, for all fiber lengths investigated, higher pressures resulted in
greater consolidation settlements. This is mainly attributed to the higher excess pore
water pressures initially generated and subsequently dissipated. Higher pressures also
grant greater potential for soil particles to slip and rearrange relative to each other,
resulting in greater deformations or settlements.
Oedometer was used for swelling saturated on molding; they showed no affinity for
further water absorption after flooding the oedometer water bath. Therefore, they did
not exhibit much free swelling in order to be able to assess the effects of fiber
inclusions on this characteristic. Therefore, volume changes during the unloading
stage of the consolidation tests were measured and used as an indication of the
possible effects of fiber inclusion on swellings. The swellings presented were
measured after unloading the maximum consolidation pressure of 200kPa.
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2.4.1 Test result

The relationship between swelling and fiber content and length are presented in
Fig.12. It can be seen that by increasing the fiber content, the amount of swellings
decreased. The unreinforced sample produced the highest swelling of about 3.4mm.
This was reduced to approximately 1.5mm for the sample reinforced with 8% fibers
having 5mm length which is a substantial reduction in swelling. For constant fiber
contents, an increase in the fiber length from 5 to 10mm resulted in a slight increase
in swelling.

Fig.12 Variations of swelling with fiber content and length.

(Mahmood R. Abdi et al., 2008)
As a whole, however, the increase in the fiber length did not have a significant effect
on swelling reduction. This was particularly true when the fiber contents remained
constant. It can therefore be concluded that with the increase in fiber contents and
lengths, the soil/fiber surface interactions were increased. This resulted in a matrix
that binds soil particles and effectively resists tensile stresses produced due t swelling.
Resistance to swelling is mainly attributed to cohesion at the soil/fiber interfaces.
Puppala and Musenda [22] have reported that fiber reinforcement reduces the
swelling pressures in expansive soils. Reduced swelling pressures result in less
volumetric changes, which is exactly what has been observed in this investigation.

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Shrinkage limits of fiber reinforced and unreinforced samples were investigated using
the test procedure outlined in ASTM D4943-02. Because of standard sample size
limitations and the difficulty in soil-fiber mixing to obtain uniform distribution of
fibers within the soil, shrinkage limits of specimen reinforced with 8% fibers and
varying lengths could not be determined.
2.5.1 Test result
Variations of the shrinkage limits as function of fiber content and length are shown in
Fig. 13. It can be seen that increasing fiber contents and lengths resulted in increasing
the shrinkage limit of the samples. The resulted increase in the shrinkage limits
became more pronounced by increasing fiber length from 5 to 10mm as compared to
when it changed from 10 to 15mm. The shrinkage limit determined for the
unreinforced sample was approximately 21%. This was increased to 33% for the
sample reinforced with 4% fibers having 15mm length. This significant increase
means that samples reinforced with random inclusion of fibers experienced less
volumetric changes due to desiccation. Increase in the shrinkage limits means that
longer fibers having greater surface contacts with the soil have shown greater
resistance to volume change on desiccation. It can be said that random fiber inclusion
improved the soil tensile strength very effectively, thus resisting shrinkage on

Fig.13 Variations of shrinkage limit with Fiber content and length.

(Mahmood R. Abdi et al., 2008)

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Oedometer rings were used to investigate the effects of random fiber inclusion on
desiccation cracking of the soil. After molding, confining rings containing the
specimen were placed in open air in the laboratory at a temperature of about 30C.
Samples were regularly weighed and when no changes in three consecutive
measurements were observed, they were considered completely dried. Then, samples
were used for observational examination of the extent of cracking.
2.6.1 Test result
Observational examination of samples after desiccation showed that by increasing the
fiber contents and lengths, the extent and depth of cracks were significantly reduced.
As an example, in Fig.14 surface cracking features of the unreinforced sample and the
sample reinforced with 8% fibers of 10mm length are shown for comparison.

Fig.14 Desiccation cracking:

(a) Unreinforced sample

(b) Reinforced sample

(Mahmood R. Abdi et al., 2008)

It can be seen that extensive, deep and wide cracks were formed in the
unreinforced sample. The reinforced sample, however, has mainly experienced
separation from the metal ring with no visible sign of cracks forming within the
sample. This clearly shows the effectiveness of random fiber inclusion in resisting and
reducing desiccation cracking which is of paramount importance in surface cracking
of clay covers used in landfills. Therefore, it can be concluded that random fiber
inclusion seems to be a practical and effective method of increasing tensile strength of
the clayey soils to resist volumetric changes.
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The relationship between hydraulic conductivity and fiber content is presented in
Fig.15. The hydraulic conductivity of the fibrous soil is dependent on the fiber
content, generally increasing with fiber content increase. The slight decrease of
hydraulic conductivity noted around 0.2% fiber content is within the limits of
experimental error, and should not be used to infer that minor fiber additions improve
the hydraulic conductivity. The increase in hydraulic conductivity was most
significant for fiber contents exceeding 1%.

Fig.15 : Hydraulic conductivity for various fiber contents.

(Carol J. Miller et al., 2004)


Dushyant Kumar Bhardwaj and J.N.Mandal conducted a model

analysis on the fiber reinforced soil when subjected to centrifuge
modeling and their response was noted.


Centrifuge tests were performed on fly ash without and with fiber reinforcement at
slope angle, = 78.6. Front and back sides of the container were covered with glass
plates. silicon grease was applied in the inner sides of the glass plates to minimize
the effect of friction. Figure 20 shows the dimensions of the slope model used in the
test for = 78.6. Width of the model taken was 7.5 cm. Remaining portion was
covered using geofoam pieces. To minimize the friction in between the soil and
geofoam, plastic sheets were used, after applying silicon grease. All samples were
made at optimum moisture content. Because the height and the base width of slope
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models were fixed due to restriction of container dimensions, therefore other

dimensions of the slope models were taken in such a way that the inclination of slope
will remain 78.6. All three potentiometers were adjusted in such a manner that their
locations were 2.5 cm, 4.0 cm and 5.5 cm respectively from the back face of sample.
No surcharge was used in this case; the sample was allowed to fail under self weight,
by increasing the RPM.

Fig.16 Dimensions of the slope model used in centrifuge test, for = 78.6.
(Dushyant Kumar Bhardwaj et al., 2008)


To observe the effect of fiber reinforcement in fly ash slope models all the centrifuge
tests were performed at 80 % compaction effort and all the necessary properties of fly
ash were calculated at 80 % compaction. Polypropylene fibers were mixed in the soil
1 % by dry weight of soil and water was taken according to the optimum moisture
content. After mixing the fiber in the soil at optimum moisture content, samples were
taken in three different and equal parts. Each part was compacted such that its width
should remain 2.5 cm to make the total width as 7.5 cm.


Small centrifuge present in IIT Bombay was used for the experiments. It is a
balanced beam type centrifuge. Potentiometers were used in the experiments to
measure the vertical displacements of the slope models.
Reading obtained from these potentiometers were not the actual displacements of the
slope models. To find out the actual displacements of the slope models, first these
potentiometers were calibrated.
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Unreinforced Soil

Fig. 17 (a) Before Failure

(b) After Failure

Fig.17 Slope model for unreinforced soil, before failure at = 78.6.

(Dushyant Kumar Bhardwaj et al., 2008)
Figure 17 (a) and (b) show the unreinforced fly ash slope model before and after
failure (at = 78.6) respectively. Data obtained from the centrifuge test, shows that
unreinforced slope fails at an angular velocity of 440 rpm and after 851 seconds from
the beginning of the test. Scale factor of unreinforced slope at 440 rpm was 50.
Reinforced Soil

(a) Before Failure

(b) After Failure

Fig.18 Slope model for polypropylene fiber reinforced soil,

Before failure at =78.6.
(Dushyant Kumar Bhardwaj et al., 2008)
Figure 18 (a) and (b) show the polypropylene fiber reinforced fly ash slope model
before and after failure (at =78.6) respectively.
Data obtained from the centrifuge test, shows that polypropylene fiber reinforced
slope achieves the angular velocity equal to that of unreinforced soil i.e. 440 rpm after
825 seconds from the beginning of the test. And finally polypropylene fiber reinforced
slope failed at 722 rpm after 1833 seconds from the beginning of the test. Scale factor
of polypropylene fiber reinforced slope at 722 rpm was 134.
21 |

(a) Unreinforced

(b) Reinforced

Figure 19 Variation of potentiometer reading with time.

(Dushyant Kumar Bhardwaj et al., 2008)
With the help of potentiometer reading v/s time graph, reading of first potentiometer
at 852 seconds was 1.3 mm. From the calibration curve of first potentiometer, actual
displacement of model was 2.90 mm. For reinforced soil, with the help of
potentiometer reading v/s time graph, reading of first potentiometer at same scale
factor as that of unreinforced soil was 0.55 mm. From the calibration curve of first
potentiometer, actual displacement of model was 1.9 mm. After multiplying this
model displacement with the scale factor, prototype displacement was 95 mm. Results
of centrifuge tests and maximum vertical displacements for unreinforced and
reinforced soil are given in Table 8 and Table 9 respectively.
Table 8. Centrifuge test results at = 78.6.
(Dushyant Kumar Bhardwaj et al., 2008)

*g = Earths gravity; Re = Effective radius; = Angular velocity; N = Scale factor

Table 9 Maximum vertical displacements obtained from centrifuge tests.
(Dushyant Kumar Bhardwaj et al., 2008)

22 |



Factor of safety of the slope models were found out by using student version of
software GEOSLOPE. This software uses the limit equilibrium theory to compute the
factor of safety of earth and rock slopes. Simplified Bishops method was used in
analysis the factor of safety. For the comparison of factor of safety between
unreinforced and reinforced slopes, factor of safety of all slope models were found out
at the same scale factor as that of unreinforced slopes. Values of minimum factor of
safety obtained from Bishops Method are given in Table 10.
Table 10 Factor of safety (FOS) obtained from Bishops Method.
(Dushyant Kumar Bhardwaj et al., 2008)

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From a critical receiver of literature on the use of randomly distributed waste plastic
fibers for the stabilization of soil which are having very poor strength characteristics,
the following conclusions are drawn:
1. The soils are reinforced with randomly distributed polypropylene fibers
and the CBR values obtained for this type of soil is around 38% high than
the unreinforced soil. For the CBR test we have used cement as a binder,
even though the percentage of cement is

very high fiber content is

responsible for the increase in CBR value.

2. The value of cohesion also increases due to the inclusion of fiber. The
variation of cohesion with percentage of fiber content is observed to be
non-liner . The value obtained for cohesion (c) indicates that soil obtained
is of very stiff nature.
3. In general angle of internal friction increased with fiber content. The
variation of with percentages of fiber contents leads to a conclusion that
the behavior of the fiber included soil can be non-liner variation because
the reinforcement materials exhibited a distribution with horizontal and
vertical directions to the shear surface.
4. The shear strength of fiber reinforced soil is improved due to the addition
of the waste polymer fibers and it is a non linear function. Up to a critical
fiber content shear strength increased considerably and later small
reduction is observed. However shear values are greater than unreinforced
5. The soil stabilization with waste fibers improves the strength behavior of
unsaturated clayey soils and can potentially reduce ground improvement
costs by adopting this method of stabilization.
6. The addition of randomly distributed polypropylene fibers resulted in
substantially reducing the consolidation settlement of the clay soil. Length
of fibers had an insignificant effect on this soil characteristic, where as
fiber contents proved more influential and effective.
7. With increase in fiber content the swelling after unloading is reduced to
almost half of the unreinforced situation. At constant fiber content the
length of fiber does not have much effect on swelling.

24 |

8. The shrinkage limit is showing a rising graph with both the increase in
fiber content and fiber length. It indicates that the soil is susceptible to less
volume change and it has got enough tensile strength with reinforcing.
9. Fiber reinforcement significantly reduced the extent and distribution of
cracks due to desiccation as observed by the reduced number, depth and
width of cracks. These results show that it can be used for covering waste
material in containments and also can be used for canal slopes.
10. Hydraulic conductivity is increasing with fiber content up to particular
11. Centrifuge modeling gives a clear idea about the performance of the fiber
reinforced soil and it points to the vast scope of this method of reinforcing
soil with waste plastic fibers.
12. The most important point is the environmental concern regarding the
effects of waste plastic in soil and the problems and threats that is related
with their excessive usage and disposal. This gives an effective solution to
waste treatment with the advent of soil reinforcement.

25 |

1. Carol J. Miller and Sami Rifai, (2004), Fiber Reinforcement for


Containment Soil Liners, (ASCE) Journal,(1-5).

2. Behzad Kalantari, Bujang B.K. Huat and Arun Prasad, (2010) , Effect of
Polypropylene Fibers on the California Bearing Ratio of Air Cured Stabilized
Tropical Peat Soil , American J. of Engineering and Applied Sciences,(1-6).
3. Mahmood R. Abdi, Ali Parsapajouh, and Mohammad A. Arjomand,(2008),
Effects of Random Fiber Inclusion on Consolidation, Hydraulic Conductivity,
Swelling, Shrinkage Limit and Desiccation Cracking of Clays, International
Journal of Civil Engineering, Vol. 6, No. 4, (284-292).
4. S. A. Naeini and S. M. Sadjadi ,(2008) , Effect of Waste Polymer Materials on
Shear Strength of Unsaturated Clays, EJGE Journal, Vol 13, Bund k,(1-12).
5. Dr. D S V Prasad, Dr. G V R Prasada Raju and M Anjan Kumar,
(2009),Utilization of Industrial Waste in Flexible Pavement Construction,EJGE
Journal,vol 13,Bund d,(1-12)
6. Pradip D. Jadhao and P.B.Nagarnaik, (2008), Performance Evaluation of Fiber
Reinforced Soil- Fly Ash Mixtures, The 12th International Conference of
International Association for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics
(IACMAG). Goa, India,(1-10)
7. Dr. K R Arora ,soil mechanics and foundation engineering, published by
Standard Publishers Distributors , Delhi.