Materiales de Construcción, Vol 70, No 337 (2020)

Clayey soil stabilization using alkali-activated cementitious materials

J. F. Rivera
GMC (CENM), School of Materials Engineering, Universidad del Valle, Colombia

A. Orobio
Applied Research in Construction Group (GRUA), School of Civil Engineering, Universidad del Valle, Colombia

R. Mejía de Gutiérrez
GMC (CENM), School of Materials Engineering, Universidad del Valle, Colombia

N. Cristelo
CQVR, Department of Engineering, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal


In this study, a clayey soil classified as A-7-5 according ASTM D3282, was stabilized using alkali-activated cementitious materials (AAC) added to the soil dry in percentages of 20 and 30%. Fly ash (F1, F2) with high unburned carbon content (up to 38.76%), hydrated lime (L) and granulated blast furnace slag were used. Unconfined compressive strength and flexural strength at 28 days of curing and the durability after 12 wetting-drying cycles were evaluated. The results were compared with a soil-cement reference mixture. The soil treated with AAC-F1L showed a volume expansion of 0.51% and volume contraction of -0.57% compared with the 0.59% expansion and -0.68% contraction of the soil-cement reference mixture. Additionally, the mass loss after the wetting and drying cycles is only 3.74% which is slightly lower than the mass loss of the soil stabilized with ordinary Portland cement (OPC) (3.86%) and well below the value specified in Colombian regulations (7%).


Soil stabilization; Clayey soil; Alkali-activated cement; Fly ash; Blast furnace slag

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