Influences of Curing Conditions and Organic Matter on Characteristics of Cement-treated Soil for the Wet Method of Deep Mixing

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Virginia Tech

The wet method of deep mixing constructs binder-treated soil columns by mixing a binder-water slurry with soft soil in-situ to improve the engineering properties of the soil. The strength of binder-treated soil is affected by characteristics of the in-situ soil and binder, mixing conditions, and curing conditions.The study presented herein aims to investigate the influences of curing time, curing temperature, mix design proportion, organic matter in the soil, and curing stress on the strength of cement-treated soil. Fabricated and natural soft soils were mixed with a cement-water slurry to mimic soil improved by the wet method of deep mixing. Laboratory-size samples were cured under various curing conditions and tested for unconfined compressive strength (UCS).The experimental test results showed that (1) a higher curing temperature and longer curing time generally increase the strength; (2) organic matter in cement-treated soil decrease and/or delay the strength development; and (3) curing stress affects the strength but its effect is influenced by drainage conditions. Based on the test results, strength-predicting correlations for cement-treated soil that account for various curing conditions and organic contents were proposed and validated.This research contributes to advancing the knowledge about the effects of strength-controlling factors of soil improved by cement and to improving the reliability of strength predictions with the proposed correlations. Therefore, the number of sample batches that need to be prepared and tested in a deep mixing project can be reduced, thereby saving the project's time and costs while achieving the target strength of the improved soil.

Deep Mixing, Curing Conditions, Organic Soil, Consolidation During Curing