Microstructure and physical-mechanical characteristics of treated kaolin-bentonite mixture for application in compacted liner systems

Eyo Eyo, Samuel Abbey*, Jonathan Oti, Samson Ng’ambi, Eshmaiel Ganjian, Eoin Coakley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Treated bentonite-rich soils used as liner materials in landfills may provide an effective solution to the problems of increased void ratios upon swelling at reduced suction as well as desiccation cracking when suction is increased during desaturation. Accordingly, this study provides an understanding of the evolution of void ratio of the mixed materials during swelling at three different suction levels upon saturation as well as the soil water retention (SWR) during desaturation. For the treatment process, low quantity of cement binder whose production leverages raw material resources with efficient dry-process kilns and the benefit of lower energy consumption were used. Results indicated increased mixed soils’ strength irrespective of increased fines content due to thixotropy. The mixed soils exhibited almost equal values of void ratios at different hydration stages, suggesting that slightly reduced expansion mostly affects the subsequent phases of moisture ingress at full saturation compared to the natural soils. Lower values of void ratio obtained at full saturation also suggests possible reduced infiltration of water into landfills. The observed increased moisture retention within the osmotic suction zone and a decrease in the same as the fines content increased in the mixed soils can aid contaminant encapsulation while also reducing desiccation cracking. The findings of this research are intended to serve as a benchmark for further studies using other sustainable materials for treatment of mixed soils.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1617
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2021


  • cement
  • sodium bentonite
  • montmorillonite
  • stabilisation
  • clay liners
  • kaolinite
  • landfills


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