Volume 45, N. 3, July-September, in progress, 2022 | PDF(10 downloads)
Fibre reinforcement is considered a good alternative for improving the geotechnical properties of soil. However, studies that investigate its behaviour, accounting for the unsaturated condition, and the hydraulic behaviour of soil mixtures with fibre, are limited. Therefore, the current study evaluates the impact of the inclusion of polypropylene fibres on the hydraulic behaviour of soil through geotechnical characterisation, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), macroporosity and microporosity tests, and filter paper tests. The soil-water characteristic curve (SWCC) of different mixtures of fibre-reinforced soil was adjusted by the models enshrined in the literature, using polypropylene fibres of length 6 mm, diameter 18 μm, and fibre contents 0.25% (SF025), 0.75% (SF075), 1.0% (SF100), and 1.25% (SF125) relative to the dry weight of the soil. The results indicated a transition from unimodal to bimodal shape in the SWCC for the polypropylene fibre-reinforcement, suggesting that their inclusion altered the soil structure. The same bimodal behaviour of SWCC was observed in all reinforced samples that produced similar values of air-entry suction and residual volumetric water content, but with increased water retention for the same level of suction for higher fibre content. The results of the tension table test indicated an increase in the volume of macropores with an increase in fibre content and a decrease in micropore volumes. These results agree with the compaction tests, which showed a decrease in the dry maximum density with an increased fibre content, whereas the optimum water content increased.