Stabilization of Expansive Soils using Geopolymers Prepared from Locally Available Resources

The stabilization of soft and highly compressible soils is essential to construct transportation infrastructure using local geomaterials. Such geomaterials typically contain a high amount of clay, and therefore lack desired mechanical properties in their native state. Typically, traditional calcium-based compounds (i.e. Portland cement, lime), and organic polymers are used to improve the mechanical properties of those geomaterials. However, traditional calcium-based stabilizers have a high carbon footprint while organic polymers have durability issues. Geopolymers are a family of inorganic polymers that have recently received much attention as an alternative to ordinary Portland cement in various transportation infrastructure applications due to its good and comparable mechanical properties. In addition, geopolymer can be synthesized from various sources of waste materials (e.g., fly ash, steel slag) and natural materials (e.g., rice husk, volcanic ash, clay), which lowers its impact on the environment and carbon footprint. Although there are already many studies in the past decade or so on stabilized clayey soils with geopolymer, there are only a limited number of studies that utilize locally available resources. A collaborative research study is formulated by teams from the Zachry Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Department of Materials Science & Engineering at Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) to evaluate the feasibility of stabilizing clayey soils using geopolymers synthesized from a locally available resource, namely calcined clays, for the transportation infrastructure in Region 6. The effects of different geopolymer, dosage, and curing conditions will be studied on the mechanical properties and durability of geopolymer-stabilized soils in order to optimize the use of geopolymer synthesized from locally available resources for transportation infrastructure in Region 6. As a part of the proposed study, engineering tests such as compressive strength, swell, shrinkage, durability will be coupled with materials characterization techniques such as scanning electron microscopy, and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy to relate the micro and macro behavior changes between the native and geopolymer-treated soils. The result of this study should provide major benefits in the design of resilient and eco-friendly transportation infrastructure in Texas and other regional states in Region 6 where clayey soils are in abundance.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • 22GTTAMU40


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $130000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Transportation Consortium of South-Central States (Tran-SET)

    Louisiana State University
    Baton Rouge, LA  United States  70803
  • Project Managers:

    Dhasmana, Heena

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas A&M University, College Station

    318 Jack K. Williams Administration Building
    College Station, TX  United States  77843
  • Principal Investigators:

    Puppala, Anand

  • Start Date: 20220401
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01844954
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Consortium of South-Central States (Tran-SET)
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747106
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: May 9 2022 10:46AM