Volume 46, N. 3

July-September 2023

Brackish water in swelling soil stabilization with lime and sugarcane bagasse ash (SCBA)


Volume 46, N. 3, July-September 2023 | PAPER (71 downloads)


This research shows that brackish water increases the unconfined compressive strength of swelling soil/sugarcane bagasse ash (SCBA)/lime blends. Therefore, brackish water may substitute tap water in soil stabilization. Sodium chloride (NaCl) has been used in lime-ashes-soil treatments. In northeast Brazil, swelling soils are usual and artesian wells sometimes provide brackish water containing NaCl. Northeast Brazil also has a strong sugar and ethanol industry producing sugarcane bagasse ash (SCBA) as a byproduct. Therefore, brackish water can be used in soil-SCBA-lime stabilization. Hence, this work aims to evaluate the use of brackish water as a substitute for tap water in swelling soil-SCBA-lime blends stabilization. Two series of unconfined compression tests were carried out: one with tap water and the other with brackish water. In each group, the lime content varied from 4% to 8%, and the dry density from 13 kN/m3 to 15 kN/m3. All tests were carried out with a swelling soil-SCBA proportion of 75/25 and a water content of 22%. Results have shown that increasing lime content or dry density or using brackish water allowed to increase unconfined compression strength of swelling soil-SCBA-lime blends. The porosity/volumetric content of lime index (η/Liv) was suitable to predict the unconfined compressive strength of swelling soil-SCBA-lime blends, no matter if tap or brackish water was used in the molding process. Thus, brackish can be a feasible substitute for tap water in swelling soil-SCBA-lime stabilization, increasing blends unconfined compression strength, and preserving tap water, a scarce asset in Northeast Brazil.

Keywords: Unconfined compressive strength, Chemical stabilization, Tap water saving,

Submitted on September 27, 2022.
Final Acceptance on April 01, 2023.
Discussion open until November 30, 2023.
DOI: 10.28927/SR.2023.010022