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Geotextiles and Geomembranes xxx (2015) 1e7

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Geotextiles and Geomembranes


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Technical note

Stressestrain behavior of a silty soil reinforced with polyethylene


terephthalate (PET)
E. Botero a, *, A. Ossa a, 1, G. Sherwell a, 2, E. Ovando-Shelley a, 3
a noma de M
Instituto de Ingeniería, Universidad Nacional Auto n, M
exico, CP. 04510 Coyoaca exico D.F., Mexico

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: In some cases, the production of solid waste is experiencing an uncontrolled and continuous increase,
Received 9 September 2014 especially wastes from plastic products. Therefore, this study proposes an alternative reuse method for
Received in revised form certain types of plastic waste (bottles and containers used for liquid storage that are processed using
9 April 2015
discrete fibers) in geotechnical construction projects. To this end, discrete polyethylene terephthalate
Accepted 12 April 2015
Available online xxx
(PET) fibers were randomly mixed with fine soil to modify their mechanical properties.
The principal objective of this research was to study the mechanical behavior of a silty soil that was
reinforced with aleatorily distributed PET fibers. To meet this objective, UU triaxial laboratory tests were
Keywords:
Geosynthetics
performed on soil specimens with fiber contents of 0.0e1.0% of the soil dry weight. The test results
Reinforced soils indicated that the reinforced specimens presented an increment of shear strength that was associated
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fibers with the increasing quantities of the PET fiber. Furthermore, the laboratory tests indicated that the
Cracking behavior reinforced soil had a greater deformation capacity, which can be a positive characteristic in some cases
because the deformation capacity can reduce the risk of crack formation in certain soil layers for specific
geotechnical problems.
Finally, this reinforced soil presents interesting mechanical properties and could be used in structures
that require a high deformation capacity, such as landfills, sewage treatment deposits and dams (among
other uses), to prevent failures due to cracking and to prevent the possible leakage of contaminants or
water. However, these issues are beyond the scope of this paper.
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction Historically, soils have required improvement for housing,


infrastructure, communications, etc. In addition, due to continued
For the sustainable development of humanity, conceptualization population growth, optimal geotechnical sites (good soil properties,
and implementation of new techniques and concepts are required accessibility, low natural risk potential, magnitude of induced
to enable the reuse and recycling of large quantities of certain waste works, etc.) are increasingly scarce. Consequently, the modification
materials that are commonly and massively discarded. Currently, in of soil mechanical properties with invasive methods (e.g., sand
many countries, in the best-case scenario, the final destination of drainages, piles, partial compensation techniques, etc.) or rein-
solid wastes is a solid waste landfill. Consequently, research has forcement techniques (e.g., geotextiles, geogrids, fibers, etc.) is
been conducted that proposes the possible use of discrete recycled becoming increasingly common. Specifically, alternative fibers
polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fibers for soil reinforcement at a were implemented several years ago and are occasionally used
large scale. today. This method consists of mixing the soil with certain fibers,
such as straw, plant roots, and other natural fibers, to provide more
ductility and prevent of the formation of cracks in masonry mate-
* Corresponding author. Tel.: þ52 55 56233600x8462; fax: þ52 55 56160784. rials. Currently, these types of reinforced masonry structures are
E-mail addresses: eboteroj@iingen.unam.mx (E. Botero), aossal@iingen.unam.
being built in rural areas, and the durability and ductility of the
mx (A. Ossa), billy_sb@hotmail.com (G. Sherwell), eovandos@iingen.unam.mx
(E. Ovando-Shelley). buildings constructed with these materials is well known. How-
1
Tel.: þ52 55 56233600x8524; fax: þ52 55 56160784. ever, proper maintenance and certain construction rules must be
2
Tel.: þ52 55 56233600x8462; fax: þ52 55 56160784. followed to ensure the quality of the construction.
3
Tel.: þ52 55 56233600x3649; fax: þ52 55 56160784.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geotexmem.2015.04.003
0266-1144/© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Please cite this article in press as: Botero, E., et al., Stressestrain behavior of a silty soil reinforced with polyethylene terephthalate (PET),
Geotextiles and Geomembranes (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geotexmem.2015.04.003
2 E. Botero et al. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes xxx (2015) 1e7

At a large scale, the soilefibers (natural or synthetic) mixture were performed by using fiber concentrations of 0.25 and 0.5% with
provides benefits that are of interest for practical engineering. In respect to the dry sand. The results showed an increase in the shear
the last 50 years, several studies regarding the behavior of soil resistance that was directly proportional to the fiber concentration
reinforced with different types of fibers have occurred, especially and initially increased for the fibers that were oriented at 60 to the
regarding soils with low shear resistance capacity. Currently, rein- shear surface. Gray and Al-Refai (1986) performed triaxial tests on a
forcing soils with fibers can be principally realized by using pre- dry sand specimen that was reinforced with oriented and contin-
viously oriented continuous inclusions (geotextiles, geogrids, etc.) uous laminar fibers to compare their stressestrain responses with a
or by using aleatorily oriented discrete inclusions. The first method specimen of sand that was reinforced with discrete and randomly
includes the introduction of several continuous inclusion layers of distributed fibers. These authors showed an increase in the shear
geosynthetic materials, which increase the soil shear tensile resistance during axial deformation at the failure points for both
strength. However, it is important to consider the shear strength configurations. In most cases, a limited reduction in the residual
decreases at the soil-inclusion interface due to the low resistance shear resistance was associated with its increased reinforcement.
generated between them. In addition, when using this method, the Maher (1988) and Maher and Gray (1990) performed triaxial
fiber orientation, number of layers, and interlayer distances are compression tests to determine the stressestrain behavior of sands
decisive parameters that affect the stability, strength, deformability that were reinforced with randomly distributed discrete fibers. In
and durability of the soil structure. In the second case, the soils are this case, a significant increase in the ultimate strength and rigidity
reinforced with fibers in an aleatory orientation and distributed of the sand was observed, which was a function of the gran-
into the soil mass using a suitable mixing process. In this case, the ulometry distribution of the sand and the fiber properties (aspect
formation of weak planes should be absent or reduced, which could ratio Large (L)/diameter (d), weight and elasticity modulus). Wang
increase the long-term stability of the geostructures under several (1999) used carpet waste as a reinforcing fiber in soils and concrete.
services or load conditions. In this case, the carpet was suitable for soil improvement. However,
In last years several techniques, materials and numerical anal- only the nylon and polypropylene carpets were suitable for con-
ysis tools have been developed along with rheological sophisticated crete. Finally, it was demonstrated that the reinforced soils had
geotechnical engineering models to improve the mechanical greater triaxial strengths and ductilities.
properties of soils with a low strength capacity. To present new Consoli and Prietto (1998) and Consoli et al. (2003, 2009)
possibilities for improving the mechanical proprieties of soils with studied loadedeformation and stressestrain behaviors by using
a low strength capacity, a new technique is developed in this paper. two steel plates to apply loads to compacted sandy soils that were
This technique is based on a simple process with low operation unreinforced and reinforced with polypropylene fibers that were
costs that uses easily procured raw materials and has important randomly and equally distributed. The results of these studies
environmental impacts because it reduces the generation of PET showed a significant change in the stressestrain behavior for the
waste and allows for its reuse in permanent geotechnical large deformations. The resistance continuously increased inde-
structures. pendently of the applied pressure confinement and did not reach
A large portion of the waste that is collected to be sent to an asymptotic upper limit, even with an axial deformation of 25%.
landfills, can be reused. In some cases, additional processes and Later Consoli et al. (2012) quantified the influence of the amount of
energy consumption are required. However, in other circum- lime, the porosity and the porosity/lime ratio in the tensile (qt) and
stances, the waste could be reused directly without transformation compressive (qu) strength of polypropylene-fiber-reinforced silty-
(Sherwell, 2014; Botero et al., 2014; Mun ~ oz, 2012). PET, originally in lime-mixtures. The obtained results show that tensile and
the form of bottles, containers or any packaging that is used in compression strengths exhibit a linear and power relationships
markets with additional industrial processes, can be transformed in with lime content and porosity respectively. Finally, the authors
random fibers. found that qt/qu relationship is unique for the fiber-reinforced silty-
In contrast, due to cultural changes in consumption habits, the lime mixtures studied, being independent of the porosity/lime
world population growth and the demand and consumption of ratio.
industrialized products made of plastic compounds has resulted in Fernandez Calvo (2006) and Ferna ndez Calvo et al. (2007)
a continuous increase in the generation of non-degradable waste studied two types of cohesive soil (expansive clay and silty clay)
materials of the same proportions. Thus, it is important to find new that were reinforced with synthetic fiber. In the laboratory tests, a
uses, to develop the technology necessary for new process for this significant increase in the mechanical properties of the soil
waste, and to take advantage of these processes to reduce the occurred following the addition of the synthetic fibers. Namely, the
environmental impacts of engineering works, especially those expansive clay had a greater behavior than the silty clay, which
generated by large-scale construction. reflected the influence of the fiber longitude. In addition, the longer
fibers increased the soil resistance.
1.1. Evolution of the inclusion of aleatory fibers in soils for Al-Akhras et al. (2008) investigated the effects of two types of
reinforcement synthetic fibers (nylon and palmyra) on the behavior of expansive
clayey soils. Both fibers had different aspect ratios large/diameter,
One of the first studies conducted to determine the behaviors of L/d, (25, 50, 75 and 100). The specimens with different fiber
soils that were reinforced with aleatory fibers was conducted by quantities (1, 2, 4 and 5% with respect to the dry soil used in each
Andersland and Khattak (1979). These authors used dry pulp fibers test) were mixed with three types of expansive soils with different
to reinforce a kaolinite-saturated soil. These fibers had a diameter mechanical properties. In this case, the potential soil expansion
of 0.02 mm and a length of 1.6 mm and were added to the soilefiber decreased with both types of fibers. In addition, in the mixed soils
mixture at 16 and 40% of the kaolinite dry weight. Overall, these with the same quantities of fibers, the specimens with palmyra
authors concluded that the addition of fiber to the specimen fiber presented a greater capacity to reduce the expansion pressure
resulted in greater compressive strength, failure strain and rigidity. relative to the nylon-reinforced specimens. Similarly, the lower
Gray and Ohashi (1983) performed direct shear tests on sands aspect ratio (L/d) of the fibers influenced the soil behavior by
that were reinforced with different fibers (natural, synthetic and reducing the expansion pressures for both types of fibers.
metal). The diameters of the fibers that were used in this study The study performed by Mirzababaei et al. (2009a,b) considered
varied from 1 to 2 mm with lengths of 2e25 cm. Most of the tests the influences of fibers on the behavior of a reinforced soil under an

Please cite this article in press as: Botero, E., et al., Stressestrain behavior of a silty soil reinforced with polyethylene terephthalate (PET),
Geotextiles and Geomembranes (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geotexmem.2015.04.003
E. Botero et al. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes xxx (2015) 1e7 3

undrained condition. Four different PET scraps were used (with a compression strength of the sandy soil, increase with cement and
length of 76 mm and a diameter of 38 mm) at quantities of 1, 5 and fiber contents. Additionally, P-wave velocity increases with cement
10% of dry soil mass with a low plastic index. In this case, UU triaxial content and curing time. However, variations in fiber content do
compression tests were performed. Overall, at a fiber specimen not affect significantly this velocity.
concentration of 1%, the deviatoric stress peak increased by 10% Finally, Correira et al. (2015) studied the effect of binder and
relative to the unreinforced soil. Nevertheless, for the 5 and 10% polypropylene fiber quantity on the mechanical behavior of soft
fiber concentrations, the deviatoric stress peaks decreased by 17.6 soil; results reveal that the increment of binder quantity improves
and 25.4%, respectively, relative to the unreinforced soil. Thus, the stiffness, the compressive and the tensile strength of the soil;
adverse effects occurred regarding the strengths of certain fiber however, the presence of fibers may reduce this beneficial effect.
quantities. Finally, all of the tests showed a perfect plastic behavior.
Park (2009) investigated the effect of fiber reinforcement and 2. Experimental work
distribution on unconfined compressive strength of fiber-
reinforced cemented sand and found that where fibers were 2.1. Material properties
evenly distributed throughout the five layers, was twice as strong
as a non-fiber-reinforced specimen. Using the same amount of fi- In this research, two materials were used, a silty soil (MH ac-
bers to reinforce two different specimens, a specimen with five fi- cording to the Unified Soil Classification System (USCS)) and
ber inclusion layers was 1.5 times stronger than a specimen with reinforcement PET fibers, obtained from a recycling process in
one. which PET bottles after crushing and chopping into flakes, are
Ahmad et al. (2010) evaluate the response of randomly distrib- extruded, filtered and passed through a spinneret to produce the
uted oil-palmempty-fruit- bunch fiber on the triaxial compression fiber (Warrel and Reuter, 2014). The soil was obtained from two
strength of reinforced silty sand. The results indicate that the shear samples that were extracted in 2012 from the old Texcoco Lake
strength parameters of the soilefiber mixture can be improved zone, which is located in the northeastern region of Mexico City.
significantly. The soil samples were obtained at depths of 4 and 6 m. In addition,
Diambra et al. (2010) carried out conventional triaxial the soil samples were remolded and passed through a No. 60 sieve
compression and extension tests on sand specimens reinforced before mixing to obtain a homogenized soil with the following
with short polypropylene fibers. Test results indicated that the properties.
contribution of fibers to the strength was significant in compres-
sion while limited in extension confirming that it depends pri-  Particle size: 250 mm
marily on their orientation with respect to tensile strains. On the  Atterberg limits: Liquid limit (LL): 89.7%, Plastic limit (PL):
other hand, a modeling approach was proposed for coupling the 55.2%, Plastic index (PI): 34.5%
effects of fibers with the stressestrain behavior of unreinforced soil,  Specific gravity of the soil (Gs): 2.53
which provide good agreement with experimental data.  Optimum dry density (Gd): 12.2 kN/m3
 and Le (2012) proposed the use of clay reinforcement with
Ple  Optimum water content derived from the adapted compaction
polypropylene fibers to mitigate the formation of cracks due to tests (w): 37.3%
differential settlement in landfills. Compression and tension tests
were performed for reinforced and unreinforced clays. The results The Polyethylene terephthalate fibers were used as reinforcing
showed an important increase in stiffness in the compression tests. elements and were provided by a local recycling enterprise that
In contrast, the specimens became more ductile in the tension tests, industrializes the production of fiber with recycled PET bottles. The
which mitigated the soil cracking potential. characteristics of the resulting fibers are shown in Table 1 with an
Pradhan et al. (2012) used aleatorily oriented polypropylene aspect ratio of 3333.3 (L/d).
fibers as inclusions to study their effects on the strength charac-
teristics of a cohesive soil. Polypropylene fibers had three aspect 2.2. Construction of the laboratory test specimens
ratios (L/d ¼ 75, 100 and 125) at concentrations of 0e1% of the soil
dry weight. These tests revealed that the residual and peak shear The conventional principle for reinforcing fine soils with
strengths increased with the reinforced specimens. The quantities discrete fibers is based on the hypothesis that no potential weak
of the necessary fibers that were required to obtain the maximum planes will develop (failure planes) (due to the aleatorily distrib-
strengths where within 0.4e0.8% of the dry soil weight with an uted fibers in the soil specimen) and the absorption energies for the
aspect ratio of 100 (L/d). soilefibers become mixed during the application of external loads.
Ibraim et al. (2012) proposed a new fabrication procedure for To achieve this external load, the improvement of the reinforced
fiber reinforced soil-samples using vibration of moist sandefiber soils by the discrete aleatory fibers partially depends on the
mixture. Laboratory test results indicate that mechanical responses appropriate mixing process.
of reinforced samples prepared with the two fabrication methods The soilefiber mixing process differs for each type of fine soil,
(conventional and new) are qualitatively similar when tested under depending on its physical properties and on the amounts of added
triaxial conditions. fibers. A specific mixing protocol is currently not available for lab-
Fatahi et al. (2013) carried out bender element tests on 126 oratory or field tests. Thus, diverse mixing procedures were used in
cylindrical samples of cement-treated kaolinite and bentonite clays this study because they were the most efficient for the soil type that
with various cement and fiber (polypropylene and recycled carpet) was used. In these procedures, the PET fibers were weighted (0.0,
contents to discern the relationships between fiber and cement 0.1, 0.3, 0.6 or 1.0% of the soil dry weight) and scattered inside a tray.
content and the small-strain mechanical properties, including the Once the silt was passed through a No. 60 sieve, it was dried in the
shear wave velocity and maximum small-strain shear modulus of oven, and cooled inside a desiccator (to avoid cavitation). Next,
the treated soils. 130 g of this material were spread over the PET fibers. To obtain the
Cristelo et al. (2015) carried out ultrasonic wave and uniaxial optimum water content (37%) 178.1 ml of water were added to the
compression tests to measure P-wave velocity and compression soilefiber mixture. The mixing process was conducted manually
strength in cement-stabilised sandy-clay reinforced with poly- until the material was homogenous while trying to prevent water
propylene fiber. Test results indicated that stiffness and losses due to evaporation and avoid fiber entanglement.

Please cite this article in press as: Botero, E., et al., Stressestrain behavior of a silty soil reinforced with polyethylene terephthalate (PET),
Geotextiles and Geomembranes (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geotexmem.2015.04.003
4 E. Botero et al. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes xxx (2015) 1e7

Table 1
PET fiber characteristics.

Fiber type Color Length Diameter Melting point Chemical resistance

15  50 SIL Ivory 50 mm 15 mm 255  C Excellent in alkaline conditions

the vertical effective stresses (sv) at each depth and are shown in
Table 2. The height/diameter relationship (h/d) of the specimens
with a diameter of 3.53 cm and a height of 9.03 cm was approxi-
mately h/d z 2.56. Overall, 30 reinforced and unreinforced mixed
soil samples were formed. All of the specimens were manufactured
with a compaction energy (Ee) that was equal to Ee ¼ 13.68 kg cm/
cm3 and with an optimum water content (w) of 37%.

3. Laboratory test results

3.1. Stressestrain curves

To examine the behavior of the reinforced and unreinforced


specimens, the stressestrain curves were plotted from the triaxial
test results. In general, Figs. 3e5 indicate that the stressestrain
responses vary with the fiber content and the confining pressure.
Fig. 1. Fiber stamen.
In Figs. 3e5, it is possible to observe important differences in the
behaviors of the unreinforced and reinforced soil specimens. The
The soilefiber mixture was divided in 10 17.3-g portions. Each unreinforced specimens present an approximate linear stresse-
portion was placed in a capsule and covered with a damp cloth. strain response and a higher soil resistance relative to the rein-
Nine capsules (soil lifts) were required for the remolded specimen. forced specimens over a deformation range of 0.0e10%. In the strain
The remaining capsule was only used as a replacement. The spec- range of 10e15%, the unreinforced soil presents a plastic behavior
imens were made by compacting nine soil lifts using 25 blows of a but does not increase the soil resistance until failure is reached. In
206.7-g hammer falling for 26 cm (a compaction energy of 13.68 kg contrast, the reinforced specimens exhibit an increasing stresse-
cm/cm3). Once the specimen was formed, it was wrapped with strain behavior for all of the tested strain ranges. This behavior
plastic and stored in a humidity chamber to avoid water loss and becomes more pronounced as the fiber content increases. However,
achieving a greater homogeneity within the specimen. the specimens manufactured with fiber contents of 0.60 and 1.00%
A fiber stamen in its virgin state after reprocessing PET bottles is exhibit greater resistance increments with strain values near to
shown in Fig. 1. The fiber stamen was separated into independent 10%.
fibers and mixed with the soil (Fig. 2). In this case, the fibers are It is important to consider that the reinforced specimens with
aleatorily distributed into the soil and the fibers remain quasi- added discrete fiber (0.1, 0.3, 0.6 and 1.0%) did not reach a state of
elongated in the soil. failure (Fig. 6), in contrast with the unreinforced specimen. This
situation can be attributed to the tensile resistance of the fiber,
which contributed to the greater shear resistance of the soil and
2.3. Triaxial tests
allowed for a greater soil deformation capacity without propaga-
tion or the formation of cracking. In addition, the final strain of the
UU triaxial compression tests were conducted on remolded
specimens in each test reached the maximum displacement ca-
reinforced specimens to study their behavior under different
pacity of the triaxial test machine. However, the laboratory test
confining pressures that were equivalent to depths of 2.5, 5.0 and
machine used in this research was similar to those previously used
7.5 m in an embankment. The added PET fiber quantities (Xw)
for this type of soil tests (unreinforced soils).
corresponded to Xw ¼ 0.0, 0.1, 0.3, 0.6 and 1.0% of the wet soil
Table 3 presents the tangent modulus E values of the stresse-
weight. The confining pressure (sc) values were used to reproduce
strain curves that were calculated at low strain levels and could
represent the elastic modulus values of the materials. This
parameter was calculated for each fiber content and confining
pressure condition. The magnitudes of the resultant modulus were
higher for the unreinforced soil conditions and increased with the
confining stress in all cases.
Fig. 7 shows the tangent modulus evolution (%) against the fiber
content at strain levels of 10%. From this figure, it can observe that

Table 2
Confinning pressure values.

Depth (m) sv (kPa) sc (kPa)


0.0 0.00 0.00
2.5 61.85 61.85
5.0 123.70 123.70
7.5 185.56 185.56
Fig. 2. Soilefiber mix.

Please cite this article in press as: Botero, E., et al., Stressestrain behavior of a silty soil reinforced with polyethylene terephthalate (PET),
Geotextiles and Geomembranes (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geotexmem.2015.04.003
E. Botero et al. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes xxx (2015) 1e7 5

Fig. 3. Stressestrain curves for sc ¼ 61.85 kPa.

Fig. 6. Reinforced soil specimen after testing.

4. Concluding remarks

The reuse of certain inorganic solid wastes in civil works is


currently gaining popularity for mutually improving the environ-
mental sector by reducing residual wastes and developing new
Fig. 4. Stressestrain curves for sc ¼ 123.70 kPa. geotechnical materials with better mechanical behaviors.
The volume/weight ratio of the PET is higher than most of the
solid wastes in landfills, which results in an increased filling rate
the tangent modulus for the unreinforced soil (0.0% fiber) is and generates the need for building more landfills. Consequently,
significantly greater than the values obtained from reinforced the currently lacking availability of space for landfills is an issue.
specimens. For the reinforced soil, the increase in the tangent In the field construction, the implementation of the culture for
modulus with the fiber content was not significant and remained reusing materials is important for avoiding the important envi-
nearly equal between the confining pressures. ronmental impacts that are generated.
Figs. 8 and 9 present the Mohr circles at 10% of the strain for the The use of discrete randomly oriented PET fibers as a reinforcing
UU triaxial test that was conducted on the unreinforced and fiber- material affected the mechanical behavior of the silty soil. Based on
reinforced soil specimens. In these figures, it is possible to observe the experimental tests results and data analysis, the following re-
the influences of the fiber on the apparent internal friction angle sults were obtained.
and cohesion fa and ca respectively. When the fiber content in-
creases, apparent the internal friction angle decreases and the  During all of the triaxial compression tests, a fragile failure was
apparent cohesion tends to increase. The first point can be attrib- noted on the unreinforced soil specimens. The reinforced
uted to the reduced number of contact points between the soil
particles due to the presence of the fiber. The second point can be Table 3
attributed to the interlocking of the soil particles and fibers. Elasticity moduli at low strain levels.

Fiber content sc (kPa) E (kPa)

0% 61.85 1864.45
123.70 2131.78
185.56 2975.80

0.10% 61.85 970.45


123.70 1383.63
185.56 1659.80

0.30% 61.85 938.22


123.70 1387.59
185.56 1596.02

0.6% 61.85 1026.64


123.70 1259.63
185.56 1732.77

1.00% 61.85 1103.59


123.70 1373.47
185.56 1830.63
Fig. 5. Stressestrain curves for sc ¼ 185.56 kPa.

Please cite this article in press as: Botero, E., et al., Stressestrain behavior of a silty soil reinforced with polyethylene terephthalate (PET),
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6 E. Botero et al. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes xxx (2015) 1e7

specimens presented a ductile behavior, which was character-


ized by barreling deformation and did not fail
 The presence of fibers influenced the apparent internal friction
angle and the apparent cohesion in the reinforced soil. Greater
fiber contents resulted in a lower friction angle and greater
apparent cohesion. Changes in the friction angle could be
attributed to a reduction in the number of contact points be-
tween the soil particles due to the presence of fibers and the
greater apparent cohesion of the soil particles and fibers.
 The reinforced specimens showed an increase in the apparent
cohesion parameter rather than the unreinforced specimens.

PET fiber reinforced specimens presented a ductile behavior that


varied with the fiber content. This behavior favors the improve-
Fig. 7. Variations of the elasticity moduli for 10% of the strain. ment of the soil cracking resistance.
The reinforcement of the silty and clayey soils with discrete PET
fibers in an aleatory orientation can be implemented in situations
that involve low loading applications to the soil due to its low shear
strength resistance or when the soil would be susceptible to dif-
ferential settlements. Examples of this situation include the con-
struction of embankments, landfills (as liners) and earth-filled
dams (as a fine-soil blanket or core) where impermeable fine soil
layers are needed to avoid the leakage of leachates in the subsoil
and water seepage and to improve the cracking behavior. However,
hydraulic and dynamic properties of the fiber-reinforced soil is an
issue that should be study in detail, to define a clearer scenario for
the application of this kind of reinforcement.
Additional studies must be developed to use polyethylene
terephthalate as a reinforcing material for earthy structures that are
Fig. 8. Mohr circles for the unreinforced soil at a unitary deformation of 10%. formed of fine soils with characteristics that are different from the
characteristics used in this research. Particularly, the lengths and

Fig. 9. Mohr circles for the reinforced soil at a unitary deformation of 10%.

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E. Botero et al. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes xxx (2015) 1e7 7

the diameters of the fibers and the permeability of reinforced soils Consoli, N.C., Vendruscolo, M.A., Fonini, A., Dalla Rosa, F., 2009. Fiber reinforcement
effects on sand considering a wide cementation range. Geotext. Geomembr. 27,
should be addressed. Undoubtedly, the formed specimens will have
196e203.
different mechanical behaviors than those presented in this Consoli, N.C., Bellaver Corte, M., Festugato, L., 2012. Key parameter for tensile and
research and each specimen will have a different application for compressive strength of fibre-reinforced soilelime mixtures. Geosynth. Int. 19
engineering issues. (5), 409e414.
Correira, A.A.S., Oliverira, P.J.V., Custodio, D.G., 2015. Effect of polypropylene fibres
on the compressive and tensile strength of a soft soil, artificially stabilised with
Acknowledgments binders. Geotext. Geomembr. 43, 97e106.
Cristelo, N., Cunha, V., Dias, M., Topa Gomes, A., Miranda, T., Araújo, N., 2015. In-
fluence of discrete fibre reinforcement on the uniaxial compression response
The authors would like to acknowledge DGAPA of the Uni- and seismic wave velocity of a cement-stabilised sandy-clay. Geotext. Geo-
versidad Nacional Auto noma de Me xico for financial support membr. 43 (1), 1e13. Elsevier Publishers.
through project PAPIIT TB10021. In addition, we are grateful to the Diambra, A., Ibraime, E., Muir Wood, D., Ruessell, A.R., 2010. Fibre reinforced sands:
experiments and modelling. Geotext. Geomembr. 28, 238e250.
Tecnología del Reciclaje S.A de CV, for providing the fibers that were Ferna ndez Calvo, C., 2006. Estudio experimental de refuerzo de suelos con fibras
used in this study. sinteticas. Geogaceta 40, 303e306.
Ferna ndez Calvo, C., Martínez Santamaría, J.M., Thode Mayoral, J.M., 2007. Refuerzo
de Suelos con Fibras Sinte ticas. Asociacio
 n Te
cnica de Carreteras, Comite de
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Fatahi, B., Fatahi, B., Le, T.M., Khabbaz, H., 2013. Small-strain properties of soft clay
Gs density of solids treated with fibre and cement. Geosynth. Int. 20 (4), 286e300.
Gray, D.H., Ohashi, H., 1983. Mechanics of fiber reinforcement in sand. J. Geotech.
Gd optimum dry density, kN/m3
Eng. 109 (3), 335e353.
w optimum water content, % Gray, D.H., Al-Refai, T.O., 1986. Behavior of fabric versus fiber-reinforced sand.
L/d aspect ratio J. Geotech. Eng. 112 (8), 804e820.
Ee compaction energy, kg cm/cm3 Ibraim, E., Diambra, A., Russell, A.R., Muir Wood, D., 2012. Assessment of labo-
ratory sample preparation for fibre reinforced sands. Geotext. Geomembr. 34,
Xw fiber quantity, % 69e79.
h height, cm Maher, M.H., 1988. Static and Dynamic Response of Sands Reinforced with Discrete,
d diameter, cm Randomly Distributed Fibers. Thesis submitted to the University of Michigan, at
Ann Arbor, Mich., in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
sc confining pressure, kPa Doctor of Philosophy.
E tangent modulus, kPa Maher, M.H., Gray, D.H., 1990. Static response of sand reinforced with randomly
sv effective vertical stress, kPa distributed fibers. J. Geotech. Eng. 116 (11).
Mirzababaei, M., Miraftab, M., McMahon, P., Mohamed, M., 2009a. Undrained
Ca apparent cohesion, kPa behaviour of clay reinforced with surplus carpet fibres. In: Second International
fa apparent internal friction angle, 
Symposium on Fiber Recycling, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A..
Mirzababaei, M., Miraftab, M., Mohamed, M., 2009b. Undrained Behaviour of Clay
Reinforced with Surplus Carpet Fibres. Carpet Recycling UK, University of Bol-
Abbreviations ton and Bradford University.
PET polyethylene terephthalate Mun ~ oz, L., 2012. Estudio del uso del polietileno tereftalato (PET) como material de
restitucio n en suelos de baja capacidad de carga (Tesis de licenciatura). Uni-
versidad Nacional Auto  noma de Me xico.
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Please cite this article in press as: Botero, E., et al., Stressestrain behavior of a silty soil reinforced with polyethylene terephthalate (PET),
Geotextiles and Geomembranes (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geotexmem.2015.04.003