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Proceedings of Indian Geotechnical Conference December 15-17, 2011, Kochi (Paper No.

J-258)

STUDY OF RUT BEHAVIOUR OF COIR REINFORCED BLACK COTTON SOIL USING WHEEL TRACKING APPARATUS
A. K. Raji, Assistant Professor, NSS College of Engineering - Palakkad, email: rajiudayakumar@gmail.com R. Karthika, G. R. Amruthalekshmi, Anju K. Peter, M. Mohamed Sajeer, Under Graduate Students, NSS College of Engineering - Palakkad, email: karthikar7@gmail.com

ABSTRACT: In flexible pavement construction, if a problematic or weak subgrade soil is encountered, then either chemical stabilisation or replacement with a good soil is the general solution. Stabilisation with chemical agents like cement or lime is neither economical nor eco-friendly. The application of fly ash and/or coir geotextile is investigated in this study by conducting various laboratory tests, including compaction and California Bearing Ratio (CBR) tests. A field simulation was carried out on selected subgrade systems using a Wheel Tracking Apparatus fabricated in the laboratory. The rut depth and wheel repetitions obtained can be utilised for predicting the design life of unpaved roads in terms of number of load repetitions.

INTRODUCTION Pavement is a structure formed by natural or borrowed soil, on which other granular layers such as sub-base, base, asphaltic concrete and cement concrete are laid. The quality and stability of subgrade are some of the major factors responsible for adequate performance and service of the road during its lifespan. One of the main problems faced by the highway engineers is the instability of subgrade[1]. Several research works are being carried out all over the world to improve its mechanical or engineering properties[2-11]. Among these researches, major development is the reinforced soil. Reinforced soil is formed by association of frictional soil and tension resistant element in the form of sheets, strips, nets or mats of metal, synthetic or fibre reinforced plastic, coir, jute, etc. Though many published works are available on the study of strength characteristics of stabilised soil, rut analysis is still under research. This paper discusses the strength of subgrade in terms of rutting behaviour of plain soil (i.e. unreinforced) and to compare it with that of soil stabilised with fly ash and coir geotextile using Wheel Tracking Apparatus and thereby to frame a mechanistic design methodology for pavements. OBJECTIVES Roads running on black cotton soils are known for bad condition and unpredictable behaviour. Modification of black cotton soils by chemical admixtures is a common method for stabilizing the swell-shrink tendency of expansive soils[4,6,7]. Advantages of chemical stabilisation are that they reduce the swell-shrink tendency of the expansive soils and also render the soils less plastic. Stabilisation of problematic black cotton soil with chemical agents like cement or lime is neither economical nor ecofriendly and increases carbon footprints. This work aims
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at studying the rut behaviour of subgrade soil or unpaved roads reinforced with coir geotextiles and also stabilised with fly ash in place of ordinary Portland cement and thereby to evolve a mechanistic design approach for the pavements[12]. MATERIALS USED The materials used in the study are subgrade soil, fly ash, ordinary Portland cement and coir geotextile. Subgrade Soil: The subgrade soil selected was black cotton soil from Menonpara region in Vadakarapathy Panchayat, Palakkad, where the pavement distress was found to be very high. The engineering properties of the soil were studied in detail and the soil was classified[13,16]. The properties of the soil are summarized in Table 1. The soil was found to have a very low CBR value of 5 per cent and hence proved to be poor in action as subgrade. Table 1 Physical properties of the Subgrade soil selected Property Subgrade soil Specific gravity 2.59 Gradation size >4.75mm (%) 0 4.75mm-0.075mm (%) 73.2 <0.075mm (%) 26.8 Liquid limit (%) 30 Plastic limit (%) 11 Plasticity index 19 Shrinkage limit (%) 10.7 18.6 Maximum dry density (kN/m3) Optimum moisture content (%) 12.1 CBR value (%) (soaked) 5 Free swell Index (%) 17 50 Angle of internal friction (O) Cohesion C (MPa) 0.09 Expansion ratio 34 IS Classification CL

A. K. Raji, R. Karthika, G. R. Amruthalekshmi, Anju K. Peter & M. Mohamed Sajeer Fly Ash: The fly ash procured from Neyveli Lignite Corporation, Neyveli was selected for stabilisation of the subgrade and its properties are listed in Table 2. Table 2 Properties of Fly ash Properties Specific Gravity Gradation size (%) >4.75mm 4.75mm-0.075mm <0.075mm Maximum dry density (g/cc) OMC (%) CBR value(Unsoaked) Comparison of rut formations with CBR values

Value 2.9 6.00 35.00 59.00 1.41 24 3.60

Estimation of design number of load repetitions from rut analysis EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION The list of experiments carried out in the laboratory on various subgrade soil systems can be summarized as shown in Table 4. Table 4 Experimental programme Soil Combination Tests Conducted i. Soil alone i. Consistency limits ii. Soil + Fly ash ii. Maximum dry density iii. Soil + Fly ash + Coir iii. Optimum moisture Content Geotextile iv. CBR value iv. Soil + Coir Geotextile v. Rut depth measurement at different load repetitions using Wheel Tracking Apparatus Field Simulation Using Wheel Tracking Apparatus Rut analysis was performed on stabilised soil with the help of Single Wheel Tracking Test Assembly. Repetitive loads were applied to different types of subgrade samples and their densification and shear deformation resulting in rut are measured which will help in developing a design methodology for flexible pavements. As per IRC 37-2001, the permissible rut depth is 20 mm[17]. Researchers reported that nearly 50 per cent of the total rut formed is attributed to the subgrade beneath and the remaining to the pavement layer over it[12]. Thus by limiting the rut depth to the permissible value for the subgrade the design repetitions can be estimated through a field simulation study using Wheel Tracking Apparatus. Wheel Tracking Test Apparatus consists of a single wheel (test wheel) on which a pan is mounted to keep weights simulating vehicular loads. The test wheel is driven by means of 3 phase, 2 HP electric motor and the load repetitions are counted by means of a digital counter. With the help of the wheel tracking apparatus, wheel loads giving a contact pressure of 0.5-0.7 MPa are applied repeatedly to form rut on the subgrade. Then the rut depth is measured using a vernier depth gauge (least count = 0.02 mm) at different intervals of load repetitions at different locations of the rut produced. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The black cotton soil collected was characterised and its strength parameters were studied in detail. It was found that the CBR value of the soil comes to about 5 per cent only which indicates a weak subgrade. The free swell index and expansion ratio obtained were 16.98 per cent and 33.86 respectively indicating that the soil can absorb water
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Coir Geotextile: Coir Geotextile supplied by the Kerala State Coir Corporation Ltd was used for the study. The properties of the geotextile selected are listed in Table 3[14]. Table 3 Properties of Coir Geotextile : H2M8 Properties Value Material 100 % natural coir fibre Construction Plain weave Weight (g/m2) 700 (H2M8) Maximum length (m) 50 Width (cm) 120 to 300 Ends / dm 11.00 Picks / dm 7.00 Thickness (mm) 6.34 Aperture size (mm) 7 x 10 Breaking Load -Machine direction 20.34 (Dry); 20 (Wet) (kN/m) -Cross direction 9.52 (Dry); 8.5 (Wet) Maximum elongation at break (%) Machine direction 22 (Dry); 52 (Wet) Cross direction 33 (Dry); 42 (Wet) METHODOLOGY The methodology adopted for the study is detailed as follows. Characterisation of the materials for the study

Determination of Compaction & CBR of soil under different conditions of Fly ash content and/or geotextile

Selection of possible combination of subgrade soil

Conduct of field simulation tests on subgrade soil systems using Wheel Tracking Apparatus

Study of rut behaviour of coir reinforced black cotton soil using wheel tracking apparatus heavily, swell, become soft, loose strength, be susceptible to compression and with a tendency to heave during wet condition. They are expansive and can undergo volumetric changes leading to pavement distortion. Also it is susceptible to shrinkage characterized by extreme hardness and cracks when dry. When tested for rut behaviour using Wheel Tracking Apparatus, the soil underwent a rut depth of about 12mm at 1300 load repetitions indicating the poor strength of the soil. The properties like CBR and rut depth of the black cotton soil were found to vary with the introduction of marginal materials such as fly ash, cement and geotextile. The results obtained from the experiments conducted are presented in Table 5 and are illustrated in Figures 1 and 2.

Fig. 1 Load Vs penetration for different soil systems

Table 5 Variation in properties with introduction of marginal materials CBR value Average rut at 1000 Sl no. of repetitions No. Value % Value % increase decrease 1. Soil 5 8.9 2. Soil + Geotextile 12 140 7.4 17 3. Soil + 5% Flyash + 20 300 6.2 30 2.5% Cement Fig. 2 Comparison of Rut depth for different soil systems 4. Soil + 5% 28 460 5.1 43 Flyash + 2.5% geotextile was provided at a depth of 15cm and above that Cement + the soil was compacted in layers to form the subgrade. The Geotextile following inferences were drawn from the experiments conducted on soil reinforced with geotextile: Fly ash as a Stabilizing Agent In order to find out the optimum fly ash content giving the x CBR of soil reinforced with geotextile is increased to maximum strength, the fly ash content was varied and the 12 per cent, i.e. about 140 per cent increase. different properties were studied. At about 5 per cent fly ash content, the CBR was found to increase by 73 per cent. x CBR of soil stabilised with 5 per cent fly ash and 2.5 Also, with the addition of 2.5 per cent cement along with 5 per cent cement and reinforced with geotextile is per cent fly ash, the CBR was further increased and the found to be excellent and comes to 28 per cent, i.e. an following observations were made. increase of 460 per cent. x x x The CBR value gets increased to 20 per cent, i.e. an increase of about 300 per cent. A dry density of 19.2kN/m3 is obtained at 12 per cent water content. The rut depth has decreased from 8.9mm to 6.2mm at 1000 load repetitions giving a per centage decrease of 30 per cent. x x Maximum rut depth in soil reinforced with geotextile at 1000 number of repetitions is 10.6mm. Maximum rut depth in soil stabilised with 5 per cent fly ash and 2.5 per cent cement and reinforced with geotextile at 1000 number of repetitions is 5.72mm.

Geotextile as Reinforcement The soil was stabilised with coir geotextile (H2M8). For performing the CBR test, the geotextile was placed at a mid depth of the mould while compacting. In the field simulation test for the measurement of rut depth, a layer of
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Estimation of Design Load Repetitions In the light of the above discussion, a design approach to estimate the wheel load repetitions has been suggested in the study. Thus, from the plot, rut depth (in mm) Vs number of load repetitions, equations correlating rut depth (Y) and number of load repetitions (X) were formulated. Using the above equations, for a specified rut depth, the number of load repetitions can be estimated from which the

A. K. Raji, R. Karthika, G. R. Amruthalekshmi, Anju K. Peter & M. Mohamed Sajeer design life of the pavement can be predicted. The details are given in Table 6. Table 6 Equations for Mechanistic Design approach Soil combination Equation Coefficient of Determination (R2) -6 2 Soil alone Y = -2x10 X + 0.990 0.005X + 5.223 Soil + Geotextile Y = -1x10-6X2 + 0.988 0.004X + 4.127 Soil + 5% Flyash Y = 2x10-8X2 + 0.954 + 2.5% Cement 0.001X + 5.003 0.989 Soil + 5% Flyash Y = -2x10-6X2 +0.002X + 3.900 + 2.5% Cement + Geotextile Note: Y is the rut depth in mm and X is the number of wheel load repetitions. CONCLUSIONS The strength characteristics of the selected subgrade soil in terms of CBR and rut depth were studied in detail through various experiments. Measures were adopted to improve the strength by the introduction of marginal materials. The following conclusions were arrived at from the experiments: i. Wheel Tracking Apparatus can be effectively used for studying the rut failure of pavements simulating the field conditions. ii. The results of rut analysis found to correlate with the CBR values obtained. iii. Stabilisation of black cotton soil with flyash and cement increases its CBR by 300 per cent and decreases the rut depth by 30 per cent. iv. Reinforcing the soil with geotextile can improve the strength characteristics of the soil. It can increase the CBR by 140 per cent and decrease the rut depth by 17 per cent. v. The highest performing subgrade was obtained with the application of flyash, cement and coir geotextile. vi. Equations for mechanistic design approach have been formulated by which the design life of pavement can be estimated. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The financial assistance rendered by the Kerala State Council for Science Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) for the study is gratefully acknowledged. REFERENCES 1. Bhavanna Rao, Poor condition of Roads on black cotton soils and Steps to improve, NBMCW, September 2007. 2. Dutta N. and Sarda V. K., CBR Behaviour of Waste Plastic Strip-Reinforced Stone Dust/Fly Ash Overlying Saturated Clay, Turkish J. Eng. Env. Sci., 31 (2007), 171 182. Guide for Designing Subgrade Enhancement Geotextiles. Katti R. K., Dinesh R. Katti, Katti A. R., Behaviour of Saturated Expansive Soil and Control Methods, Revised and Enlarged edition, A. A. Balkema. Kulkarni A. W., Shah M. H., Decate M. N. and Adhikari A., Strengthening of Road in Black Cotton Soil Region and Improvement of Overlay against Reflective and Fatigue Cracking using Geosynthetics, Geosynthetics Asia97, 26-29 November, Banglore, India. Osinubi K. J., Oyelakin M. A. and Eberemu A. O., Improvement of Black Cotton Soil with Ordinary Portland Cement - Locust Bean Waste Ash Blend, EJGE Vol. 16 [2011], Bund. F. Rama Rao M and Sridevi G, Effect of Lime Stabilised Flyash Layer On CBR Values Of Black Cotton Soils, IGC-2005, 17-19 December 2005, Ahmedabad, INDIA. Ramesh H. N., Manoj Krishna K. V. and Mamatha H. V., Compaction and strength behavior of lime-coir fiber treated Black Cotton soil, Geomechanics and Engineering, Vol. 2, No. 1 (2010) 19-28. Sahu B. K., Improvement in California Bearing Ratio of various soils in Botswana by Flyash, 2001 International Ash Utilisation Symbosium, Center for Applied Energy Research, University of Kentucky. Subaida E.A., Chandrakaran S. and Sankar N., Laboratory Performance of Unpaved Roads Reinforced with Woven Coir Geotextiles, Geotextiles and Geomembranes, Volume 27, Issue 3, June 2009, Pages 204-210. Vinod P. and Minu Michael, California Bearing Ratio of Coir Geotextile Reinforced Subgrade, 10th National Conference on Technological Trends (NCTT09) 6-7 Nov 2009. Partha Chakraborty and Animesh Das, Principles of Transportation Engineering, Prentice Hall of India Private Ltd, New Delhi 2003. Arora.K.R., Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, Standard Publishers Distributers, Delhi. http://www.keralacoir.co.in/moregeo_frm.htm Kadiyali.L.R., Principles of Highway Engineering, Khanna Publishers, New Delhi. Khanna S.K. and Justo, CEG, Highway Engineering, NemChand and bros. IRC 37-2001, Guidelines for the Design of Flexible Pavements, Indian Roads Congress, New Delhi.

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