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This method covers the determination of the lime demand of material to be used in lime
and cement stabilisation. lt gives an indication whether the soil in question can be
stabilised. The test is done by mixing the material passing the 0.425mm sieve with set
amounts of lime, creating a train of samples containing 0% lime to say 12%. By means of a
pH meter the hydrogen ion concentration (pH) of each prepared sample/water suspension
is measured and a graph of pH vs lime content is produced, the ICL/ICC then being
determined from the graph.
The pH of a suspension expresses the degree of alkalinity or acidity and can be defined as
the negative logarithm of the hydrogen ion concentration of the solution i.e. pH=
log[H+].The practical pH range of a solution extends from 0 to 14, where the
acid range = 0 to 7
alkalinity range= 7 to 14.



An electrically-operated, pH-meter with temperature compensation accurate to 0.02 pH

units in the range
pH=0 to pH=14.


A combination high alkaline glass/calomel reference electrode.


pH meter calibration buffer solutions, normally pH = 4 and pH = 9


A balance to weigh up to 100g, accurate to 0.01g.


A thermometer ranging from 0 degC to 59 degC.


A 100 ml measuring cylinder.


A polythene wash bottle with distilled water.


Polythene containers approximately 250 ml capacity with air-tiqht lids.



Preparation of Material.
Prepare at least 1000 grams of material finer than 0.425mm and oven dry at 110degC.
Weigh out ten x 50 g portions of the prepared material, accurately to 0.1g, into 250ml
polyethalene containers. Weigh out the calculated masses of lime/cement, accurately to
0.01g, in the proportions:
0%, 0.5%, 1.0%, 1.5%, 2.0%, 3.0%, 4.0%, 6.0%, 8.0%, 10.0%
and add this to the weighed out samples respectively. Shake the containers to mix the
lime/cement and material. Measure out 100 ml of carbon dioxide free distilled water and
add it to the mixture in the containers. (Carbon Dioxide free distilled water can be made by
boiling distilled and allowing it to cool to room temperature.
Shake the suspension for a minimum period of 30 seconds. No dry material must be
Shake the containers for a period of 30 seconds for every 10 minutes until one hour has
Allow the mixture to clear for 15 minutes.


Calibration of the pH Meter.

Set up and calibrate the pH meter according to the manufacture's instructions with buffer
solutions pH=4 & pH=9 (or any buffer solution greater than 9 and less than 12). See 5.1
and 5.2. Wash the electrode with de-ionised water and touch dry with absorbent tissue.


Determination of pH.
Immerse the electrode into the first (0% lime/cement content) supernatent liquid until the
salt bridge of the electrode is (visible as a black spot on the electrode) sub-merged, but
without the electrode touching the solid material. Measure the temperature of the liquid and
enter it into the pH-meter if no automatic temperature compensator is available on the pHmeter. Set the pH-meter in operation as per manufacturer's instructions. After the pH-meter
reading has stabilised (usually after two to three minutes or the reading does not change
within 40 seconds) record the reading to the nearest 0.01 pH-unit. Remove the electrode
from the liquid and rinse the electrode with de-ionised water using the wash bottle, and dry
with an absorbent tissue. Repeat the procedure with the SAME sample. If the reading is not
within 0.1 pH-units of the previous reading, repeat the pH-reading on the sample. Proceed
to the next sample until all the samples are tested.

Calculate the mean of the readings on each sample to the nearest 0.00 pH-unit and report
to the nearest 0.1 pH-unit.
For lime, plot pH against lime content on a linear graph. If the pH readings are 12.40 or
higher, the lowest % of lime that gives 12.40 is the one-hour ICL value. If the pH readings
do not go beyond a pH of 12.30 and two percentages give this reading, the lowest reading
giving 12.30 is the one-hour ICL value. If the highest pH reading is 12.30 and only the
highest % used to give a value of 12.30, additional testing is then required with higher
percentages of lime.

For cement, plot the pH against cement content on linear graph paper. If successive pH
readings do not go beyond a certain pH reading, the lowest % giving this reading is the
one-hour ICC value.



The pH-meter should be calibrated prior to the beginning of the testing and at frequent
intervals between testing in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.


The tip of combination electrode should be kept immersed in distilled water for at least one
hour prior to testing to wet the salt bridge in the reference electrode, and should be kept
immersed according to the manufacturer's instructions.

BS 1377 Test 12

ANNUAL BOOK OF ASTM STANDARDS 1987 Volume 04.01 Designation C97783a APPENDIX : Method for Determining Stabilisation Ability of Lime.

TECHNICAL METHODS for HIGHWAYS : Standard Methods of Road Construction

Materials . Second Edition 1986 Method : A21T