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Researchers Explore Options for Limiting Damage to Transportation Infrastructure From Expansive Soils

Posted: Aug 11, 2022

Researchers at Colorado State University are exploring new ways to limit the damage to transportation infrastructure caused by the expansive soils that are common across the Mountain-Plains region. Four commercially available polymer treatments were tested in comparison with lime and fly ash, two of the most commonly used treatments used to reduce the impacts of expansive soils. The research found that the polymer treatments were less effective at reducing the swelling potential and increasing compressive strength of a highly expansive soil relative to lime and fly ash, but the polymer treatments reduced water ingress, a key component in governing volume change of expansive soil. The results illustrate that commercially available polymers reduce swell in expansive soils by mechanisms that are different than lime and fly ash.

Joseph Scalia, Ph.D.
Colorado State University

Christopher Bareither, Ph.D.
Colorado State University

Expansive Soil Mitigation for Transportation Earthworks by Polymer Amendment

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050