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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 28, Number 4, February25 2022 , pages 375-384
DOI: https://doi.org/10.12989/gae.2022.28.4.375
 


Weathering durability of biopolymerized shales and glacial tills
Soroosh Amelian, Chung R. Song, Yongrak Kim, Mark Lindemann and Layal Bitar

 
Abstract
    The glacial tills and shales in Midwestern states of the USA often show strength degradation after construction. They are often in need of applying soil modification techniques to remediate their strength degradation with weathering process. This study investigated the weathering durability of these natural soils and biopolymer treated soils by comparing direct shear test results for wet-dry and wet-freeze-thaw-dry cycled specimens. The tests showed that untreated glacial tills maintained only 62% and 50% initial shear strength after eight wet-dry cycles and eight wet-freeze-thaw-dry cycles, respectively. These untreated soils could not withstand by themselves after 16 weathering cycles. The same soils treated with 1.5% (by dry weight) food-grade Xanthan gum maintained 140% and 88% initial shear strength of untreated soils after 16 weathering cycles for wet-dry cycles and wet-freeze-thaw-dry cycles, respectively. The same soils treated with 1.5% (by dry weight) Gellan gum maintained 82% and 60% initial shear strength of untreated ones after 16 weathering cycles, respectively. Similar results were obtained for crushed shales, manifesting that the biopolymerization method may be adopted as a new eco-friendly method to enhance the weathering durability of these problematic soils of glacial tills and shales.
 
Key Words
    biopolymer; glacial till; Gellan gum; shale; weathering; Xanthan gum
 
Address
Soroosh Amelian: University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Lincoln, 362B Whittier, 2200 Vine St. Lincoln, NE 68503, USA
Chung R. Song: University of Nebraska – Lincoln, 362N Whittier, 2200 Vine St. Lincoln, NE 68503, USA
Yongrak Kim: Texas A&M University, 503H, DLEB, College Station, TX 77843, USA
Mark Lindemann: Geotechnical Engineer, Nebraska DOT, 1500 NE-2, Lincoln, NE 68502, USA
Layal Bitar: University of Nebraska – Lincoln, 362B Whittier, 2200 Vine St. Lincoln, NE 68503, USA
 

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