Strength and Swell Performance of High-sulphate Kaolinite Clay Soil

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Expansion of soils has been found to produce significant negative economic and environmental impact on various civil engineering infrastructure. This impact is more deleterious in soils containing sulphates, when treated with calcium-based stabilizers such as Lime and/or Portland cement (PC). The reported study investigated the strength and swell characteristics of Kaolinite clay artificially induced with high levels of Gypsum (sulphate) contents after stabilization with CEM I (PC), which is a calcium-based stabilizer. An optimum stabilizer content/Gypsum dosage, aimed at investigating the maximum magnitude of expansion possible using high levels of 10, 15 and 20% Gypsum contents (4.7, 7 and 9.3 wt.% sulphate) stabilized with calcium-based content of 7, 8, 9 and 10 wt.%. This was expected to provide further understanding on the mechanisms behind high sulphate-bearing clay soils, and the impact of sulphate and calcium content on strength and swell characteristics. The research outcomes showed that the introduction of sulphate to a Kaolinite clay soil reduces the compressive strength of the stabilised product by a factor range of 6–47% at 28 days curing age, while the swell behaviour is mainly dependent on both the sulphate content and curing age. Furthermore, the observed result suggests an 8 wt.% binder content to produce maximum magnitude of expansion (swell) with a high Gypsum content of 10% by weight. This finding is of economic importance, as it is expected to serve as a benchmark for further research on the stabilized clay systems, at high sulphate levels using sustainable binder materials
Original languageEnglish
Article number10164
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2020


  • Kaolinite clay
  • Linear expansion
  • Mechanical strength
  • Optimum sulphate content
  • Soil stabilization
  • Sulphate bearing soil
  • Swell behaviour


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