The ingredients of soil cement, as already mentioned in our earlier post about soil cement, are cement, soil and water. Each ingredients must have some suitable properties other wise alternatives can be used in order to avoid any problem in future.
Soil Cement is a low cost paving material when used as a base in the pavements for protection of subgrade, or used as a facing material for earth fill dams where suitable riprap is not available, or used as a bedding of drainage concrete heavy pipes, or is also used as slope protection.
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What is Soil Cement
The water should be reasonably clean and free from harmful amounts of alkalies, acids or organic matter to avoid any bad reaction like alkali-silica reaction or carbonation of concrete etc. Any water that is suitable for drinking is also suitable for soil-cement.
Then comes the expensive or relatively expensive ingredient you have to look for The Portland cement. Any type of cement that follows the standards of American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) or American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is good to be used in soil – cement.
Now the most important component that will be used in abundant quantity in soil-cement is the Soil. Actually any soil locally available can be used but some soils due to their properties might need lesser cement content and some may need more. So we should also look for the type of soil we have there at site.
The clay or silt content are the least required in the soil cement owing to the fact that extremes of all silt or clay or materials with no fines such as beach sand, the cement requirement goes up.
Ideally sandy and gravelly soils with about 10 to 35 percent silt and clay and at least 55 percent of passing Sieve no. 4 material will usually give lowest cement content requirement. Soils containing 50 % or more material passing sieve no. 200 are not recommended for use in their natural state.
Local granular materials such as slag, caliche, limerock, and scoria, plus a wide variety of waste materials including cinders, fly ash, foundry sands, and screening from quarries and gravel pits, can be utilized as soil materials. Old granular-base roads, with or without bituminous surface, can also be reclaimed and recycled to make great soil-cement. This shows how sustainable and environmental friendly this soil-cement is.