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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 8, Number 1, January 2015 , pages 53-66

Unconfined compressive strength of PET waste-mixed residual soils
Jian-Jun Zhao, Min-Lee Lee, Siong-Kang Lim and Yasuo Tanaka

    Plastic wastes, particularly polyethylene terephthalate (PET) generated from used bottled water constitute a worldwide environmental issue. Reusing the PET waste for geotechnical applications not only reduces environmental burdens of handling the waste, but also improves inherent engineering properties of soil. This paper investigated factors affecting shear strength improvement of PET-mixed residual soil. Four variables were considered: (i) plastic content; (ii) plastic slenderness ratio; (iii) plastic size; and (iv) soil particle size. A series of unconfined compression tests were performed to determine the optimum configurations for promoting the shear strength improvement. The results showed that the optimum slenderness ratio and PET content for shear strength improvement were 1:3 and 1.5%, respectively. Large PET pieces (i.e., 1.0 cm2) were favorable for fine-grained residual soil, while small PET pieces (i.e., 0.5 cm2) were favorable for coarse-grained residual soil. Higher shear strength improvement was obtained for PET-mixed coarse-grained residual soil (148%) than fine-grained residual soils (117%). The orientation of plastic pieces in soil and frictional resistance developed between soil particles and PET surface are two important factors affecting the shear strength performance of PET-mixed soil.
Key Words
    Polyethylene terephthalate (PET); plastic waste; soil improvement; stress strain behavior; unconfined compressive strength
(1) Jian-Jun Zhao, Min-Lee Lee:
State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment Protection (Chengdu University of Technology), Number 1, Erxianqiao East 3 road, Chengdu, China;
(2) Min-Lee Lee, Siong-Kang Lim, Yasuo Tanaka:
Faculty of Engineering and Science, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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