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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 8, Number 2, February 2015 , pages 173-186

Engineering behavior of expansive soils treated with rice husk ash
Mubashir Aziz, Masood Saleem and Muhammad Irfan

    The rapid urbanization in Pakistan is creating a shortage of sustainable construction sites with good soil conditions. Attempts have been made to use rice husk ash (RHA) in concrete industry of Pakistan, however, limited literature is available on its potential to improve local soils. This paper presents an experimental study on engineering properties of low and high plastic cohesive soils blended with 0-20% RHA by dry weight of soil. The decrease in plasticity index and shrinkage ratio indicates a reduction in swell potential of RHA treated cohesive soils which is beneficial for problems related to placing pavements and footings on such soils. It is also observed that the increased formation of pozzolanic products within the pore spaces of soil from physicochemical changes transforms RHA treated soils to a compact mass which decreases both total settlement and rate of settlement. A notable increase in friction angle with increase in RHA up to 16% was also observed in direct shear tests. It is concluded that RHA treatment is a cost-effective and sustainable alternate to deal with problematic local cohesive soils in agro-based developing countries like Pakistan.
Key Words
    rice husk ash; expansive soil; soil stabilizer; plasticity; compaction; compressibility; swell pressure; shear strength
(1) Mubashir Aziz:
College of Engineering, Al Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia;
(2) Masood Saleem:
Geotechnical Engineer, Keller Grundbau GmbH, Dubai, United Arab Emirates;
(3) Muhammad Irfan:
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan.

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