Mechanical Properties and Microstructure of Fibre Reinforced Clay Blended with By-Product Cementitious Materials

Samuel Abbey, Eyo Eyo, Jonathan Oti, Samuel Amakye, Samson Ngambi

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Clayey soils endure adverse changes in strength and volume due to seasonal changes in moisture content and temperature. It has been well recognised that high cement content has been successfully employed in improving the mechanical properties of clayey soils for geotechnical infrastructural purposes. However, the environmental setbacks regarding the use of high cement content in soil reinforcement have necessitated the need for a greener soil reinforcement technique by incorporating industrial by-product materials and synthetic fibres with a reduced amount of cement content in soil-cement mixtures. Therefore, this study presents an experimental study to investigate the mechanical performance of polypropylene and glass fibre-reinforced cement-clay mixtures blended with ground granulated blast slag (GGBS), lime and micro silica for different mix compositions and curing conditions. The unconfined compressive strength, linear expansion and microstructural analysis of the reinforced soils have been studied. The results show that an increase in polypropylene and glass fibre contents caused an increase in unconfined compressive strength but brought on the reduction of linear expansion of the investigated clay from 7.92% to 0.2% at fibre content up to 0.8% for cement-clay mixture reinforced with 5% Portland cement (PC). The use of 0.4–0.8% polypropylene and glass fibre contents in reinforcing cement-clay mixture at 5% cement content causes an increase in unconfined compressive strength (UCS) values above the minimum UCS target value according to American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) 4609 after 7 and 14 days curing at 20 C to 50 C temperature. Therefore, this new clean production of fibre-reinforced cement-clay mixture blended with industrial by-product materials has great potential for a wide range of applications in subgrade reinforcement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number241
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2020


  • Cement-clay mixture
  • ground granulated blast slag
  • micro silica
  • polypropylene fibre
  • glass fibre
  • elevated temperature


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