Comparing the Thixotropic and Lightly Solidified Hardening Behavior of a Dredged Marine Clay

  • C. M. Chan Department of Civil Engineering, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn, Malaysia
  • H. Y. Yong Faculty of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn, Malaysia
Keywords: thixotropic hardening, light solidification, dredged marine clay, undrained shear strength, cone penetration

Abstract

When a soil is disturbed upon remolding, it may lose part or all of its strength. As time passes, the structural arrangement of the soil particles would be restored to a stable form and the soil would regain hardness under constant volume and water content. The process is known as “thixotropic hardening”. On another note, dredged marine soils of the fine-grained type can be reused as a backfill material instead of being disposed to the open sea. The rest period required for the relocated soil to regain strength and stiffness, i.e. thixotropic hardening, needs to be estimated precisely. For this purpose, a study on the phenomena of strength and stiffness gain by a dredged marine clay was carried out. The strength and stiffness improvement with time was measured using the vane shear and fall cone tests respectively. The clay was remolded at different water contents in multiples of the soil’s liquid limit (LL), namely 0.75LL, 1.00LL and 1.25LL, in order to evaluate the effect of initial water content on thixotropic hardening. A separate series of samples were prepared with light solidification using cement, to examine the possibilities of enhancing the soil’s improvement in a shorter rest period. The results showed the dredged marine clay can potentially be used as a backfill material for reclamation works, with lower initial water content and light solidification contributing to accelerated better performance

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