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Effect of Use of Nanomaterials on Black Cotton Soil


Krupa Kalariya – 091800153002

Guided by:

A Thesis Submitted to
Marwadi University in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the M. Tech. in
Geotechnical Engineering


Rajkot-Morbi Road, At & Po. Gauridad,
Rajkot-360003, Gujarat, India.

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Title Page

Certificate Page i
Acknowledgements ii
Table of Contents iii
List of Figures iv
List of Tables v
Abstract vi
Chapter 1 Introduction 7
1.1 Soil Stabilization 7
1.2 Need of Study 10
1.3 Aim 10
1.4 Objective 10
1.5 Scope of the work 10
1.6 Testing Programme 11

Chapter 2 Literature Review 12

2.1 Research Article:
Chapter 3 Experimental Programs 20
3.1 Material Used: 20
3.1.1 Black Cotton Soil: 20
3.1.2 Terrasil 20
3.2 Sample Preparation 20
3.3 Laboratory Test 21
3.3.1 Flow chart 21
3.3.2 Particle Size Analysis 22
3.3.3 Liquid Limit 22

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3.3.4 Plastic limit 23
3.3.5 Shrinkage limit 23
3.3.6 Differential Free Swell Test 23

3.3.7 Specific Gravity 23

3.3.8 Standard Procter Compaction Test 23

3.3.9 Unconfined Compressive Strength Test 24

Chapter 4 Observation and Calculation 25

4.1 virgin soil test Results 25

4.2 Pilot Study 28

Chapter 5 Conclusions 29
Chapter 6 Scope of Future Study 30
Chapter 7 References 31

Appendix A Title
Appendix B Title

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The stabilization of soil includes various techniques for modifying the properties of
soil to improve its engineering performance. One of the most common applications of soil
stabilization is in pavement construction. Terrasil, a chemical is recently adopted as a soil
stabilizer. Terrasil consists of the organosilane. It is water-soluble, stable to UV rays and
heat. It is a reactive soil modifier used to waterproof soil subgrade and stone bases. It reacts
with water-loving sialon groups of sand, silt and clay aggregates to convert highly stable
water repellent alkyl siloxane bonds [10]. In this study, an attempt has been made to study
the improvement in the properties of a soft soil collected near Marwadi University Rajkot,
Gujarat India, stabilized with Terrasil. Various laboratory tests have been conducted on
unsterilized and stabilized soil samples and the results are compared and discussed.
Different dosages of Terrasil have been used and evaluated the effect on optimum moisture
content, maximum dry density, plasticity index and Unconfined Compressive Strength
(UCS). The effect of the curing period on UCS has also been studied. A significant
improvement in the properties of soil is observed.

Keywords: Soil Stabilization, Terrasil, Optimum Moisture Content, Maximum Dry

Density, Unconfined Compressive Strength.

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This is to certify that research/project work embodied in this

dissertation titled “A STUDY ON Effect of Use of Nanomaterials on Black Cotton
Soil” was carried out by Krupa Kalariya at Faculty of Technology for partial
fulfilment of Masters of Technology in Geotechnical Engineering to be awarded by
Marwadi University. This research/project work has been carried out under my guidance
and supervision and it is up to my satisfaction.

Date :

Place :

Signature & Signature & Signature &

Name of Guide Name of Head of Dept. Name of Principal/Dean
Mr Parth Lakhani Dr. Siddharth Shah

Seal of Institute

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I would like to express my great appreciation to Ass. Prof. Parth Lakhani, civil
engineering department, MU Rajkot for his valuable and constructive supports during my
whole dissertation work.

I also thankful to Dr. Siddharth shah, department head at MU Rajkot for their valuable
support and guidance. Without their guidance I am not able to do such a great work.

I heartily thankful to Marwadi University for providing me such a great platform and to
let me allow to use all the available equipments in the university.

I would like to thanks my parents, family members and my friends for their continuous

- Krupa Kalariya

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Chapter 1 : Introduction
1.1 Soil Stabilization:
Expansive soils cover a considerable part of various countries including India. These soils
are also called black cotton soil owing to their black colour which is a result of high iron,
hummus and magnesium minerals derived from trap and basalt. It is mostly found in
Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka states
of India and covers almost 22 % of the total land cover of the country. Swelling and
shrinkage are the key characteristics of these soils which cause threats to the foundations,
structures, roadways, railways, and various other lifelines. These soils swell and shrink,
respectively, with the increase and decrease in the water content. In the monsoon season,
clay minerals attract water and cause the swelling and softening of soil whereas in the
summer season, after evaporation of water, these soils shrink and reduce cracks on it. After
the absorption of water, soils become compressible and it leads to a decrease in the strength
of the soil. Swelling and contraction of the black cotton soil mainly occur owing to the
presence of montmorillonite minerals in the soil. Montmorillonite has a central octahedral
sheet sandwiched among twofold tetrahedral sheets and it forms a three-layer element. A
reason for swelling is the weak bond between the elements, which can be broken due to the
absorption of water.

Expansion of soil depends on the characteristics of water content, the initial dry density of
soil, characteristics of clay minerals and type of cations present in the soil. If sodium is
present in large amount, it can lead to high volume change after absorption of water. The
thickness of the diffused double layer changes with change in the concentration of cations.
The thickness of water layer decreases with the increase in the concentration of cations,
hence various researchers had tried to find out an additive which increases the cation
exchange capacity. The cation exchange capacity has a considerable influence on the
process of clay expansion due to soil wetting.

Black cotton soil has proved itself as a source of damage to the property and economical
loss. Expansion and contraction of black cotton soil cause various problems to the civil
engineers not only at the time of construction but also throughout the life of structures.
Uneven contraction and swelling reduce the serviceability of the structures. It causes the
emergence of hairline cracks, differential settlements, and sometimes even severe cracks,
which may initiate the collapse of structures, railway lines, and roadways. The decrease in
the availability of suitable soil for construction has forced researchers to search for an
appropriate method to improve the performance of locally available problematic soil.
During the last four decades, lots of research has been conducted on black cotton soil to
reduce its expansion and contraction, and to save a lot of resources.

Nanotechnology revolves around the creation of a varied collection of Nanomaterials

(NM). This basically encompasses Nano-Particles (NP) along with nano objects. NM are
known to be 100 nm lower in terms of their dimension whereas nano objects fall two
dimensions lower than the same. The idea of nanotechnology was first introduced in the

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year 1959 in a lecture delivered by Feynman (1960) which was titled "there's plenty of
room at the bottom". It is important to note though that at that time the term
‘nanotechnology’ did not exist yet. It was years later that this technology made a rapid and
significant progress in the sciences.

At the micro scale, most of the properties remain approximately the same as those for bulk
materials. The decrease of one or more geometric dimensions down to the nano scale
completely modifies the behaviour of the material. Thus, at the nano scale, a higher ratio
of surface to volume and a higher cation exchange capacity exists. Nanoparticles interact
very actively with other particles and solutions and very minute amounts may lead to
considerable effects on the physical and chemical properties of a material. Gravitational
force at the nano scale can be disregarded. Instead, electromagnetic forces are dominant.

During the recent years, there has been a great deal of interest in nanoparticles due to the
many technological applications also attempt was made for rapid, low cost and eco-friendly
green approach for nanoparticles. These useful features of the biosynthesized nanoparticles
may benefit in agriculture, biomedical and engineering sector. This study presents the
results of a systematic investigation on the effects of the addition of nanomaterials on black
cotton soil on their linear shrinkage, plasticity limit, compaction characteristics and
unconfined compressive strength.

The main objective of the present work is to evaluate the potential use of Nano chemical
solutions in improving the various properties of black cotton soil. The plasticity
characteristics, compaction and strength characteristics of clayey soils were studied with
the addition of 0.5%, 0.67% 0.9%, and 1% of Terrasil to find the optimum content.

Terrasil is raising as a new material for the stabilization of soil. It is a commercially
available chemical stabilizer which is used in the present investigation. Terrasil is available
in the form of concentrated liquid and required to dilute with water in a specified proportion
before mixing with the soil. It is defined as an organosilane compound which reacts with
soil particles and converts them (all types of soils) from water loving (Hydrophilic polar)
to water hating (Hydrophobic non polar) particles. This makes the soil insensitive to water
and can be compacted to give better interlocking to the soil particles. It offers or forms a
permanent water repellent nano layer on all types of soils, aggregates etc. This siloxane is
nonleachable as it chemically binds to surfaces permanently. It forms strong covalent bond
structure allows the treated material to breathe i.e. It allows free flow of air through its
structure and preserves thermal insulation property. Terrasil prevents damage due to
capillary rise of water, cracking of soil and also resistant to ultraviolet rays. It is highly
soluble in water. The chemical action of terrasil is shown in Fig. 1.

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Fig.1 Chemical reaction of Terrasil

Terrasil is environmental friendly and delivers proven results with all types of soils and
doesn’t change their appearance. Terrasil was purchased from Zydex Industries Pvt. Ltd,
Gujarat and Table 1 and Table 2 gives the chemical composition of Terrasil and properties
of terrasil.

Table.1 Chemical composition of Terrasil

Chemical Value in range, %
Hydroxyalkyl- 65 – 70 %
Benzyl alcohol 25 – 27 %
Ethylene glycol 2– 5 %

Table.2 Chemical composition of Terrasil

Parameter Values
Appearance Pale yellow liquid
Solid content 68+2%
Viscosity at 25°C 20-100 cps
Specific gravity 1.01
Forms water clear
Flash Point Flammable 12°C
Dosage 1:800, 1:600

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Many civil engineering structures fail due to failure of soil underlying the structure for e.g.
construction of buildings, dam, bridges, etc. Expansive soil create challenges for civil
engineer to construct upon. In minor cases we will try to remove this expansive soil and
replace it with different materials such as moorum.

The cost of removing expansive soil and replacing that with moorum is quite costly, if we
create a chemical that can be used in stabilization that would reduce the cost of construction
and will be helpful to the society.

1.3 AIM:
To stabilize the expansive soil with Nano material to reduce its shrinkage and
swelling properties.

The objective of the present experimental study is to evaluate the performance of soil
samples stabilized with a non-traditional stabilizer, Terrasil.

To improve the mechanical properties of expansive soil.

Check the suitability of nano material to stabilize the expansive soil, also to optimize the
dosage so that the treated soil can be used as sub base material.


Geotechnical properties of selected soil samples has been studied with and without the use
of Terrasil as a stabilizer. Different dosages of Terrasil were used and evaluated their effect
on specific gravity, pH, compaction characteristics, plasticity index and Unconfined
Compressive Strength (UCS). The effect of the curing period on UCS was also studied on
the treated soil samples.

To determine the effects of terrasil as a stabilizing agent on Black cotton soil.

To evaluate the strength characteristics of Black cotton soil with different percentages of

To improve the engineering properties of the Black cotton soil and make it suitable for

To increase the bearing capacity of the soil.

To reduce the swelling and shrinkage behavior of soil.

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Following tests has been carried out at geotechnical laboratory

 Preparation of samples

 Atterberg limits

 Shrinkage limit

 Specific Gravity

 Hydrometer

 OMC-MDD – light compaction 

 Unconfined compressive strength

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Chapter 2. Literature Review

2.1 Research Article:

[1] soil stabilization using terrasil, cement and flyash

This project deals with the investigation of the strength characteristics of black
cotton soil when mixed with a range of proportions of additives such as terrasil, fly ash and
cement using CBR and UCC tests. The natural soil was tested according to Indian
standards. The soil is classified as CH.

The addition of cement and terrasil was based on the guidelines given by the ZYDEX
Company. The test results show that the CBR and UCC values are similar for the
proportions Cement (OPC) (3%) + terrasil (0.1%) and cement (OPC) (2%) + fly ash (5%)
+ terrasil (0.1%).

Additive Cement Terrasil (%) Fly ash (%)

mix (OPC) (%)
A 3 0.1 0
B 2 0.1 5
C 1 0.1 5
Based on experimental results and discussions it can be concluded that: The liquid limit of
CH soil decreases and the Plastic limit of CH soil increases with the addition of stabilizers
to the soil. Due to changes in PL and LL, the plasticity value decreased. The decrement of
PI value will increase the workability of soil. CBR Values were increased by the addition
of stabilizers to the soil. CBR values of additive Mix A and additive Mix B were similar,
whereas, for additive mix C, it decreased. UCC strength of soil increased with the addition
of stabilizers to soil. UCC strength values of additive Mix A and additive Mix B were good
in strength compared to additive Mix C.

In conclusion, Additive Mix A and additive Mix B were good in strength and similar, but
economic point of additive Mix B is best, because in additive Mix B we are decreasing 1%
cement compared to additive Mix B and using 5% fly ash. Fly ash is a by-product cheaper
than cement. The stabilization of soil soil-cement-fly ash-terrasil is very useful as a
subgrade or sub-base material due to increased CBR value.

[2] Stabilization of Soil Using Terrasil, Zycobond and Cement as Admixtures

This study presents the use of nanomaterials like Terrasil, Zycobond, and Cement
as admixtures to improve the strength properties both at OMC and SMC conditions of a c-
soil (SC) with 31 percentage fines and a plasticity index value of about 15%. The addition
of Terrasil to the base soil yielded water tightness to the product and considerable
improvement in the strength properties is also observed when Zycobond and Terrasil are

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used independently as additives and also in combination with cement. Paving blocks of size
19 cm x 23 cm x 10 cm prepared with 3% of cement, Zycobond and Terrasil yielded
uniaxial compressive strength of 1.28 MPa after 14 days of curing.

This indicates that there is no effect of saturation on the shear parameters and them not
much different from base soil properties. This indicates that when the only zycobond is
used as an admixture, there is an improvement in the strength properties of the soil but the
soil becomes stable without being affected by moisture content. In the case of terrasil
variation is obtained for bonding property (cohesion) and it has become zero on saturation,
but there is no variation in the angle of internal friction for OMC and SMC. However, the
friction values are increased by almost 8 to 9 degrees when compared with the base soil,
indicating a considerable increase in the strength and stability of the treated soil. For the
remaining trials with a combination of admixtures tests were conducted only at SMC. When
both zycobond and terrasil are added with 3% of cement, there is a considerable increase
in both the shear parameters demonstrating maximum benefit in terms of strength and
stability that can be obtained for this combination of admixtures. Soil mixed with 6% of
cement and zycobond has also shown a good increase in cohesion and angle of internal

[3] Stabilization Of Expansive Soil Using Nanomaterials

This paper focuses on studying the effect of nanomaterials (Nano MgO and Nano
Al2O3) with different proportions viz. 0.5%, 1.0%, 1.5% and 2.0% on the properties of
expansive soil. The engineering properties tests were conducted on the expansive soil.

It conclude that,

Fig. 2 Plasticity Index for different percentage of Fig. 3 Plasticity Index for different percentage
Nano Al2O3. of Nano MgO.

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Fig. 4 Swelling Potential for different percentage Fig. 5 Swelling Potential for different percentage
of Nano Al2O3. of Nano MgO.

Fig. 6 Optimum Moisture Content for different Fig. 7 Optimum Moisture Content for different
percentage of Nano MgO percentage of Nano Al2O3

1. The liquid limit, plastic limit and plasticity index decreases with the increase in the
percentage of addition of Nano MgO and Nano Al2O3 in the kaolinite clay.

2. The swelling potential also decreases with the increase in the percentage of addition of
Nano MgO and Nano Al2O3 in the kaolinite clay.

3. The maximum dry density increases and the optimum moisture content increases and
then decrease with increase in percentage of addition of Nano MgO and Nano Al2O3 in the
kaolinite clay.

[4] Suitability of Nano-Chemical Stabilizer in Black Cotton Soil

The overall objective of the research presented in this paper is to investigate the
performance of nano-chemical like Terrasil and Zycobond for stabilization of subgrade
soil. The main purpose of stabilization of subgrade soil is to improve the performance of a
material by increasing its strength, stiffness and durability.

The amount of stabiliser required for appreciable stabilization depends on the type and
characteristics of soil. The overall conclusions about applicability of nano-chemical soil
stabilizers in low volume road construction is:
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Treatment Trial Mix (in kg/m3 Chemical Added)
Dosage-1 Dosage-2 Dosage-3
1. Untreated NA NA NA
2. T 0.5 0.75 1.5
3. T+Z 0.5 + 0.25 0.75 + 0.375 1.5 + 0.75
4. T+C 0.5 + 3% 0.75 + 3% 1.5 + 3%

The laboratory test results indicated that the soil type greatly influence the
performance of these nano chemical stabiliser. Due to the addition of different combination
of nanochemical and cement improved CBR and UCS of clay soil. In addition it helped to
reduce liquid limit, plasticity index and free swell index of expansive clay soil.For soil like
black cotton soil having high plasticity index and low bearing capacity, the overall
performance got improved with increase in dosage rate from dosage-1 to dosage-2 and with
further increase in application rate from dosage-2 to dosage-3 results in decrease in
performance. Dosage-2 was observed to be optimum dosage rate.



This research work presented the efficacy of a nano technology based chemical named
Terrasil as a modifier in improving the engineering properties of Black Cotton soil. The
effectiveness of Terrasil is tested by conducting various test like CBR , proctor test etc. on
Black Cotton soil samples treated with different percentages of Terrasil 0.8%, 1% and
1.2%. The high strength of the above three ratio adding with 1% of cement. In this paper
deals with the complete analysis of the improvement soil properties and its stabilization
using Terrasil with cement.

This conclude that CBR values ware increased by the addition of stabilizers to soil. CBR
values T 0.8 % and 1 % were increases, where 1.2% T it decreased. It has been observed
that maximum dry density of Black Cotton soil increase with increase in Terrasil content.
The maximum dry density of parent Black Cotton soil was observed to be 1.76 g/cc. With
the addition of Terrasil, MDD value starts increasing. Optimum moisture content of parent
soil was 16.2 %. With the addition of Terrasil, OMC value starts Decreasing. Compressive
bearing strength of Black Cotton soil increases with increase in percentages of Terrasil in
parent soil. Dosage 2 (1%) gives the maximum value of bearing strength.

[6] Compressibility And Permeability Characteristics Of Nano-Chemical Treated

Kuttanad Soft-Clay

This thesis is an experimental study evaluating the effect of nano-chemical on

compressibility and permeability of expansive soil. The initial phase of the experimental
program includes the study of the effect of nano-chemical on MDD (Maximum Dry
Density) and optimum moisture content (OMC) with different percentages (by dry weight
of the soil). The second phase of the experimental program focuses on Compressibility and
Permeability characteristics of the soil. In addition to UCS tests were performed to study
the effects of nano-chemical on unconfined compressive strength of tested soil. Test results
indicated that addition of nano-chemical reduced the compressibility and increased the

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permeability of the soft soil with increasing nano-chemical with respective percentages.
This project ventures to find the feasibility of using a Nano chemical as stabilizer for ground
improvement and to find an optimum dosage of the stabilizer which ensures maximum
strength, controlling compressibility and permeability characteristics. Different dosages of
Terrasil (a Nano-chemical) will be injected into the soil samples collected. The compaction
and unconfined compression (UCS) tests are to be conducted, followed by consolidation
and permeability test to determine the soil characteristics of controlling compressibility and
permeability. It is also planned to study the suitability of the Nano-chemical as a water
resistant substance for improving the strength.

Terrasil is added into the clay soil from 0.02 to 0.15% weight of soil. The unconfined
compressive strength of soil increased from 31.3 kpa (untreated soil) to 75.7 kpa (for
optimum terrasil at the end of 28 days of curing). The UC strength of soil mixed with
optimum dosage of 0.03% terrasil chemical is improved about 2.5% higher than the
strength of clay soil. This improvement is due to thereaction of the chemical with the soil
particles and as a result it restricts water entering the surface.

In conclusion, the soil-1.5% cement mixture added with 0.03% terrasil is the best soil
combination which is exhibiting the higher UC strength, less permeable value, least
settlement and high CBR values. The stabilized soil-cement-terrasil mixture is very useful
as an embankment material, unlined canals, structural backfill, and other compacted fills.
Also the mixture is very useful as a subgrade material.

[7] Experimental Study on the use of Nano Chemical and Cement in the modification
of Subgrade

In this work, chemical stabilization of black cotton soil was done to improve the subgrade.
Soaked CBR test was conducted on soil treated with nano chemical Terrasil with Cement
as binder. The percentage addition of Terrasil was varied from 0.03%, 0.05%, 0.07% and
0.09% inorder to find the optimum content of the nano chemical. With optimum percentage
of Terrasil and with varying percentage of cement such as 1%, 2%, 3%, and 4% on soil,
CBR test was conducted.The maximum CBR value is obtained at a combination of 0.07%
Terrasil and 3% Cement. SEM and EDAX analysis was done to know the morphology and
chemical composition in the unstabilized and stabilized soil sample.

The black cotton soil is identified as Clay of High Compressibility (CH) and has low
Soaked CBR value of 1.75%. As the CBR less than 2 %, an additional capping layer of
150mm is required while flexible pavement layers are laid which leads to increase in the
cost of the project. Hence the soil is required to be stabilized before laying the pavement
layers. Treatment with stabilizers showed an increase in MDD and decrease in OMC with
increase in the percentage of stabilizers up to optimum content. Atterberg’s limits tests
showed a little decrease in the plasticity index of stabilized soil with increase in stabilizers
up to optimum content. The optimum dosage of Terrasil was found to be 0.07%. CBR value
is maximum at 0.07% Terrasil and 3% cement dosage. The maximum value of CBR
obtained is 6.3% which is 3.6 times greater than the CBR value of plain soil. From SEM
images it can be analysed that untreated soil sample contains more void spaces when
compared to that of Terrasil and Cement treated samples. In the stabilized soil samples

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particles are bound together and is seen that particles are more closely packed. EDAX
analysis of untreated soil and treated soil provides the quantitative analysis of elements
present in the samples. Major chemical components presents are Silicon, Aluminium,
Oxygen etc. It is observed from the pavement design that there is a reduction of thickness
of 250 mm is seen while comparing the plain soil and the stabilized soil which leads to the
cost reduction.

[8] Soil Stabilization by use of Chemical

This work presented to see the efficiency of nano technology used in terms of chemical
named as Terrasil which acts as a modifier and improves the engineering properties of black
cotton soil. Soils are removed completely or mixed with better quality material or mixed
with various additives. This chemical called terrasil is tested by conducting various tests
like Proctor test, free swelling test, etc. Soil samples are treated with different percentage
of Terrasil 0.9%, 1.1%, and 1.3%.

Laboratory test concludes that this study shows the influence of Chemical Stabilizer.
Terrasil with various dosages on geotechnical properties of black cotton soil. As the dosage
of Terrasil increases the properties get enhanced. From all the tests, it is found that the
dosage 1.1% of Terrasil gives better results. There is significant change in swelling
behavior as well as the compressive strength of black cotton soil which proves Terrasil is
worthy stabilizer for black soil.

[9] Soil Stabilisation Using Terrasil

In this study, an attempt has been made to study the improvement in the properties of a soft
soil collected from village Arasnara, Durg district of Chhattisgarh, India, stabilized with
Terrasil. Various laboratory tests have been conducted on unstabilized and stabilized soil
samples and the results are compared and discussed. Different dosages of Terrasil have
been used and evaluated the effect on optimum moisture content, maximum dry density,
plasticity index and Unconfined Compressive Strength (UCS). Effect of curing period on
UCS has also been studied. It conclude that Liquid limit decreases and plastic limit
increases, which results in decrease in plasticity index by addition of Terrasil. Reduction
of plasticity index causes reduction in the swelling potential of soil. Specific gravity of soil
increases by addition of Terrasil, which indicate stabilization of soil Increase in dosage of
Terrasil increases maximum dry density and decreases optimum moisture content. The
increase in maximum dry density is limited to 0.5 % dosage of Terrasil. Further increase in
Terrasil causes reduction in maximum dry density. Unconfined compressive strength
increases upto 0.5% dosage of Terrasil, thereafter decrease in UCS has been observed. The
UCS of Terrasil treated soil increases with curing period. The optimum dosage of Terrasil
has been considered as 0.5% from the UCS and compaction test results.

[10]Laboratory Investigation of Lateritic Soil treated with Terrasil and Cement

In this study, locally available lateritic soil is investigated to check the in its properties
when it is treated with 1.0%, 1.5% and 2.0% of Terrasil and also same combinations with
2.0% cement by weight of soil. Lateritic soil and treated soils were compacted at both
standard and modified proctor densities. Stabilized soil samples were subjected to

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Unconfined Compressive Strength (UCS), California Bearing Ratio (CBR), indirect tensile
strength test (IDT) and compared with the strength of untreated soil. The UCS of Terrasil
treated soil shows significant increase in strength at 1.5 kg/m3 dosage and further increased
with the addition of cement to it. Conclusions can be drawn from the study, immediately
after mixing Terrasil with lateritic soil, plasticity index gets decreased from 13% to 8%,
which may be due to its reaction with the soil. For Terrasil dosage of 1.5kg/m3, the
plasticity index is 9%. So, the addition of Terrasil to soil improves the Atterberg’s limits
Treated soil shows significant increase in UCS value from 476 kPa to 1404 kPa at 1.5
kg/m3 dosage of Terrasil. The further addition of 2% cement in the soil treated with Terrasil
shows improvement in UCS value.The improvement in CBR values is marginal. The
soaked CBR values of Terrasil treated soil are almost equal to the unsoaked CBR values of
untreated soil. Soil treated with Terrasil and cement showed soaked CBR of 72%, which is
3 times higher than unsoaked CBR (28%) of untreated soil.The IDT strength of Terrasil
treated soil is double to the strength of untreated soil. Similarly, the IDT value of soil with
Terrasil and cement is four times that of untreated soil.

[11] Influence of Nano-Soil Particles in Soft Soil Stabilization

This paper intends to present the influence of using nano-soil particles in soft soil
stabilization. This experimental based on laboratories study was conducted to evaluate the
effectiveness on the geotechnical properties of soft soil stabilized using nano-soil particles.
The soft soil sample was collected from Banting, Malaysia. Meanwhile, the nano-soil
sample was produced from pulverization process of soil samples through high energy
milling process into nanoparticle size. Therefore, only 2%, 3% and 4% nano-soil samples
were used in this study due to the limited amount produced from the milling process. The
2%, 3% and 4% nano-soil were mixed to the soft soil based on optimum moisture content
at maximum dry density of soil. The first objective of this study is to determine the effective
shear strength of soft soil stabilized with nano-soil. Meanwhile the second objective is to
determine the compressive strength of soft soil stabilized with nano-soil. The third
objective is to determine the Atterberg limit parameters such as liquid limit (LL), plastic
limit (PL), and plasticity index (PI) of soft soil stabilized using nano-soil. This study
involved three main laboratories testing such as unconfined compression strength to
determine the compressive strength and consolidated drained test to determine the effective
shear strength. Meanwhile, the Atterberg limit test were conduct to determine the liquid
limit (LL) and plastic limit (PL). The laboratories result showed, the addition of 2%, 3%
and 4% nano-soil into soft soil was improved the soil strength and effectiveness shear
strength of stabilized soft soil. Meanwhile the plasticity value showed decreasing after
addition of 2%, 3% and 4% nano-soil and indicating of soil improvement process. The
results showed the small amount of nano-soil has a significant to improve and enhanced
the geotechnical properties of soft soils.

[12] Stabilization Of Expansive Soil Using Nanomaterials

This paper focuses on studying the effect of nanomaterials (Nano MgO and Nano Al2O3)
with different proportions viz. 0.5%, 1.0%, 1.5% and 2.0% on the properties of expansive
soil. The results indicate that swelling potential is reduced with the addition of these
nanomaterials and thus making the soil suitable for construction purposes.

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Two types of nano materials are used in this study. These are Nano MgO and Nano
Al2O3.From the above study it may be concluded that Nano MgO and Nano Al2O3 are
effective materials for improving the soil properties i.e., Atterberg’s limits and swelling
potential.The liquid limit, plastic limit and plasticity index decreases with the increase in
the percentage of addition of Nano MgO and Nano Al2O3 in the kaolinite clay. The
swelling potential also decreases with the increase in the percentage of addition of Nano
MgO and Nano Al2O3 in the kaolinite clay. The maximum dry density increases and the
optimum moisture content increases and then decrease with increase in percentage of
addition of Nano MgO and Nano Al2O3 in the kaolinite clay.

[13] Soil Stabilization Using Nano-Materials for Rural Roads–A Case Study

The paper presents a study on stabilization of different types of soils using nano-chemicals.
Nano-chemicals are nanotechnology based products which can provide solutions to
moisture and bonding issues in pavements. Addition of nanoparticles as an external factor
to soil will result in soil manipulation at atomic or molecular level and it influences the
strength, permeability indices and resistance properties of soil. Nanotechnology is a
reformed mode which can address the rising concern of poor quality roads. This paper
presents a case study of trial section along sector 19, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, where the field
in situ densities, CBR and Benkelman Beam Deflection (BBD) analysis was carried out to
determine the in situ stiffness of the cement stabilized road base material with Nano
chemicals. It was an expansive soil entirely different from the normal well drained soil in
their morphological, chemical and physical characteristics. Another study section at
Kuruvilakam road under Pothencode Block involves the stabilization of soil with the
addition of cement ranging from 1% and spray application of organosilane solution mixed
with nano polymer. Experimental studies indicate that mixing of nanochemicals with
cement in soil reduces the plasticity index and increases the compaction characteristics,
CBR and other strength parameters like UCS.

[14] Stabilization Of Black Cotton Soil Using Terrasil And Zycobond

In this study nano chemicals terrasil and zycobond used for soil stabilization. In this
investigation Cement is used in the constant proportion of 3% of amount of soil and the
nano chemicals terrasil and zycobond are used are 0.6kg/m3, 0.8kg/m3, 1kg/m3, 1.2kg/m3
of each. Unconfined compressive strength test is performed after the curing period of 7days,
21days, and 28days.Free swell index test is performed for the proportions of
0.6kg/m3,0.8kg/m3,1kg/m3,1.2kg/m3of terrasil and zycobond. Free Swell index is
decreases from 30% to 27.5% with the addition of 0.6kg/m3 of Terrasil and Zycobond and
decreased to 26.3%, 25%, 21.05% with the addition of 0.8kg/m3,1.0kg/m3,1.2kg/m3 when
compared to 0% of Terrasil and Zycobond. Unconfined compressive strength is decreased
when the dosage of the Nano chemicals (Terrasil and Zycobond) is increased. But many of
journals say that unconfined compressive strength should be increases by adding cement,
Terrasil and Zycobond. Further investigation need to be done why the unconfined
compressive strength is decreases.

Marwadi University, Rajkot Page - 19

Chapter 3: Experimental Programs

The purpose of this experimental study is to determine change of engineering

characteristics of Black cotton Soil with addition of Terrasil. The various geotechnical
properties and its value is determined for original Black cotton soil (BC) and their variation
on addition of different percentage of Terrasil. In this experimental study, the improvement
in geotechnical properties of the black cotton soil is monitored.
The test were conducted in the geotechnical laboratory of civil Engineering department,
Marwadi University at Rajkot, Gujarat.

3.1 Material Used:

Material Used in the Laboratory research as Black cotton soil and admixture as Terrasil
purchased from Zydex Industry.

3.1.1 Black Cotton Soil:

The soil sample is collected from Marwadi University, Rajkot. The Black cotton soil
collected from the parking area is brought to the laboratory for testing. Before testing it is
assured that the soil is free from any organic matter, polythene, etc. the soil collected is
made oven dried for testing purpose. Black cotton soil is classed as clay of high plasticity
CH with expensive behaviour.

3.1.2 Terrasil:
The stabilization material Terrasil was purchased from Zydex industry located at Vadodara,
Gujarat. A laboratory research was conducted on black cotton soil and Terrasil mix with
the different proportions by wet of dry soil.

3.2 Sample Preparation:

Sample used in this study are prepared by oven dried black cotton soil with different
percentages of Terrasil. Terrasil is taken as the 1:800, 1:600.

The samples are prepared as:

 Black cotton soil is oven dried separately.

 The oven dried soil is mixed with Terrasil in proportion of (1:800, 1:600) by dry
weight of the soil.
 The formed dry mixes are being blended together with water in order to get a
homogenous blend.
 The he formed mixes are kept a side for 24 hours and then oven dried.
 These oven dried mixes are now ready for laboratory testing and treated as samples.

Marwadi University, Rajkot Page - 20

3.3 Laboratory Test:
3.3.1 Flow chart:

Fig 8: Flow chart of methodology

Various tests were performed on samples to find variation in soil properties in Geotechnical
Engineering Laboratory. The tests were conducted as per relevant IS codes.

3.3.2 Particle Size Analysis

The main engineering properties of soil are permeability, compressibility, shear strength
and index properties. Particle size analysis is a method of separation of soils into different
fractions based on particle size; it expresses quantitatively the proportions, by mass, of
various sizes of particles present in the soil. It is graphically shown on a particle size
distribution curve. It is done in two stages:

• Sedimentation analysis: It is done for fine grained soils size smaller than 75 microns.
Sedimentation analysis is also known as wet analysis, as soil mass may contain the particles
of both types of soils, a combined analysis comprising both sieve analysis and
sedimentation analysis may be required for such soil.

Particle size smaller than 0.2 micron cannot be determined by the sedimentation method.
"These can be determined by X-ray diffraction techniques.

Marwadi University, Rajkot Page - 21

Figure: 9 Sedimentation Analysis

3.3.3 Liquid Limit

The casagrande apparatus used to determine the liquid limit of the soil. The liquid limit
(LL) is the water content at which a soil changes from plastic to liquid behaviour. Soil is
placed into the metal cup of thedevice and a groove is made down its center with a
standardized tool of 13.5 mm width. The cup is repeatedly dropped 10mm onto a hard
rubber base at a rate of 120 blows per minute, during which the groove closes up gradwlly
as a result of the impact. The number of blows for the groove to close is recorded. The
moisture content at which it takes 25 drops of the cup to cause the groove to close over a
distance of 13.5 mm is defined as the liquid limit. The test is normally run at several
moisture contents, and the moisture content which requires 25 blows to cbse the groove is
interpolated from the test results.

Figure: 10 Liquid Limit Apparatus

Marwadi University, Rajkot Page - 22

3.3.4 Plastic Limit
The plastic limit is determined by rolling out thread of the fine portion of a soil on a flat,
non-porous surface. If the soil is plastic, this thread will retain its shape down to a very
narrow diameter. The sample can then be remoulded and the test repeated. As the moisture
content falls due to evaporation, the thread will begin to break apart at larger diameters.
The plastic limit defined as the moisture content where the thread breaks apart at a diameter
of 3mm.

A soil considered non-plastic if a thread cannot be rolled out down to 3mm at any moisture.

3.3.5 Shrinkage limit:

The Limit (SL) the water content when the water is just sufficient to fill all the pores of the
soil aryl the soil is just saturated. The volume of soil does not decrease when the water
content is reduced below the Shrinkage limit.

3.3.6 Differential Free Swell Test

The Black cotton soil has a tendency to swell when submerged in water. Free Swell index
is the increase in volume of soil without any external constraint when subjected to submerge
in water. Two samples passing 425g IS sieve is taken; both the samples are poured in 100
ml capacity graduated glass cylinder. Distilled water poured in on cylinder and kerosene in
the other one. Remove the entrapped air by stiffing with glass rod. Allow attainment of
equilibrium state for 24 hrs. Final volume of soil in each shall be read out.

3.3.7 Specific Gravity:

Specific gravity is also called as relative density. It is the ratio of density of the substance.
It is defined as unit weight of soil mass divided by unit weight of distilled water at 4°C.

Fig 11: Specific gravity bottle

Marwadi University, Rajkot Page - 23

3.3.8 Standard Procter Compaction Test

To access the amount of compaction and the water content required in the field, compaction
test are done on the same soil in laboratory, the test provide a relationship between the
water content and the dry density. The water content at which the maximum dry density
obtained from the relationship provided by the tests.

Figure: 12 Standard Proctor Compaction Test

3.3.9 Unconfined Compressive Strength Test

The primary purpose of this test is to determine the unconfined compressive strength which
is then used to calculate the unconsolidated undrained shear strength of the clay under
unconfined conditions. The unconfined compressive strength (qu) defined as the
compressive stress at which an unconfined cylindrical specimen of soil will fail in a simple
compression test. The testing is done by extruding the soil sample from the sampler. The
ratio (L/d) should be approximately between 2 and 2.5

Figure: 13 UCS Test Apparatus

Marwadi University, Rajkot Page - 24

Chapter 4. Observation And Calculation

4.1 virgin soil test Results

Result for Liquid Limit:

Table 2. Observation table for liquid limit test on virgin soil

Determination No. 1 2 3

No. Of Blows 22 28 34

Mass Of Container - M1 (gm) 22.22 20.29 24.30

Mass Of Container + Wet Soil - M2 (gm) 40.39 39.19 42.22

Mass Of Container + Dry Soil - M3 (gm) 32.62 31.48 34.33

Water Content (%) 74.71 72.87 70.06

Liquid Limit = 73.5

Virgin soil
Water Content %

1 10 100
No. of blows

Fig 14: Liquid limit graph of virgin soil

Marwadi University, Rajkot Page - 25

Results For Plastic Limit
Table 3 Observation table for plastic limit

Determination Number 1 2
Mass Of Container - M1 (gm) 22.32 23.14
Mass Of Container + Wet Soil - M2 (gm) 28.56 28.08
Mass Of Container + Dry Soil - M3 (gm) 27.05 26.87
Mass Of Water (gm) 1.51 1.21
Mass Of Oven Dry Soil (gm) 4.73 3.73
Water Content (%) 31.92 32.44

Plastic limit from table = 32.20 %

Plasticity Index = 46.8 %

Results For Shrinkage Limit:

Table 4 Observation table for shrinkage limit
Description Proportion
Empty Weight Of Shrinkage Dish (gm) 36.94
Wet Weight + Weight Of Shrinkage Dish (gm) 72.06
Dry Weight + Weight Of Shrinkage Dish (gm) 56.35
Mercury + Weight Of Shrinkage Dish (gm) 371.53
Weight Of Displaced Mercury (gm) 142.47
Initial Volume (cm³) 24.602
Mercury Displacement (cm³) 10.476
Shrinkage Limit 8.16

Results For Specific Gravity

Table 5 Observation table for specific gravity

Determination No. 1
Mass Of Density Bottle M1(gm) 31.12
Mass Of Bottle + Dry Soil M2(gm) 41.10
Mass Of Bottle + Soil + Water M3 (gm) 85.30
Mass Of Bottle + water M4 (gm) 80.02
Specific Gravity 2.34

Marwadi University, Rajkot Page - 26

Result For Free Swell Index Of Clay
The free swell index of clay sample is 77.77%.

Results For Hydrometer of Sample Clay

Table 6 Observation table for Hydrometer

Sand 2.5 gm

Silt 54.5 gm
Clay 43 gm

Results For OMC-MDD

OMC-MDD test was performed after 24-hour soaking and using light compaction.

Table-7 OMC-MDD calculation table.

Determination No. 1 2 3 4
Weight Of Mould (gm) 4763 4763 4763 4763
Weight Of Mould + Compacted Soil
(gm) 6495 6637 6652 6598
Water Content (%) 19.94 23.80 26.68 29.36
Volume Of Mould (cm³) 1000 1000 1000 1000
Dry Density (gm/cm³) 1.44 1.51 1.491 1.418
OMC - MDD Curve
Dry Density gm/cm3

0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
Water Content %

From chart : OMC – 1.51 gm/cc

MDD – 23.80%

Fig 15: Dry density v/s water content graph of OMC –MMD Curve

Marwadi University, Rajkot Page - 27

Result For Unconfined Compressive Strength Of Clay:
The UCS value of soil sample is 0.53 KPA.

4.2 Pilot Study:

Sample-1: Soil +0.5gm Terrasil

L.L = 73.5%
P.L = 28.95%
P.I = 44.55

Sample-2: Soil + 0.67gm Terrasil

L.L = 68
P.L = 33
P.I = 35

Marwadi University, Rajkot Page - 28

Chapter 5 Conclusions
This research is related to access the suitability of terrasil for
improving the geotechnical properties of black cotton soil. Terrasil is a nano chemical from
zydex industries. An experimental work are carried out to study the improvement in index
properties swelling and shrinkage behaviour, proctor compaction parameters, permeability
and UCS of black cotton soil on addition of terrasil into it, in certain percentages.

From the above experimental study it is clear that the engineering properties of black cotton
soil are modified to some extent with the addition of terrasil.

Based on the pilot study on black cotton soil mixed with different proportions of terrasil,
the outcomes can be”The Liquid limit and plastic limit values of the samples are decreasing
with the increase in the amount of terrasil.”

Marwadi University, Rajkot Page - 29

Chapter 6: Scope Of Future Study

From the above research it is clear that the properties of black cotton soil are modified to
great extent with the addition of terrasil.

"The further studies could be done on —

1) We can add other additives with terrasil for more effective improvement in soil
2) The shear strength characteristics of BC soil may be increased with help of terrasil
and other additives.
3) The bearing capacity of BC soil may be increased with help of terrasil and other

Marwadi University, Rajkot Page - 30

Chapter 7:References
1. IS: 2809-1972 Glossary of terms and symbols relating to soil engineering (first
2. IS: 1498-1970 Classification and identification of soils for general engineering
purposes (first revision)
3. IS: 2720 (Part 1) – 1983 Methods of test for soils: Part 1 Preparation of dry soil
samples for various tests (second revision)
4. IS: 2720 (Part 2) – 1973 Methods of test for soils: Part 2 Determination of water
content (second revision)
5. IS: 2720 (Part 3/Sec 1) – 1980 Methods of test for soils: Part 3 Determination of
specific gravity, Section 1 Fine grained soils (first revision)
6. IS: 2720 (Part 4) – 1985 Methods of test for soils: Part 4 Grain size analysis (second
7. IS: 2720 (Part 5) – 1985 Methods of test for soils: Part 5 Determination of liquid
and plastic limit (second revision)
8. IS: 2720 (Part 6) – 1972 Methods of test for soils: Part 6 Determination of shrinkage
factors (first revision)
9. IS: 2720 (Part 7) – 1980 Methods of test for soils: Part 7 Determination of water
content – dry density relation using light compaction (second revision)
10. IS: 2720 (Part 10) – 1991 Methods of test for soils: Part 10 Determination of
unconfined compressive strength (second revision)
11. IS: 2720 (Part 26) – 1987 Methods of test for soils: Part 26 Determination of pH
value (second revision)
12. IS: 2720 (Part 40) – 1977 Method of test for soils: Part 40 Determination of free
swell index of soils
13. IS: 9198 – 1979 Specification for compaction rammer for soil testing
14. IS: 9259 – 1979 Specification for liquid limit apparatus for soils
15. IS: 10074 – 1982 Specification for compaction mould assembly for light and heavy
compaction test for soils
16. IS: 10077 – 1982 Specification for equipment for determination of shrinkage factors

Marwadi University, Rajkot Page - 31

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