Eco-Friendly Stabilization of Sulfate-Rich Expansive Soils using Geopolymers for Transportation Infrastructure

When sulfate-rich expansive soils are treated with traditional calcium-based stabilizers such as lime or cement, the stabilized soil is affected by sulfate-induced heave, due to the formation of highly expansive mineral Ettringite and Thaumasite, which expand when it comes in contact with water. Since sulfate-rich soils are predominantly obtained in the South and Western U.S. and are widely used in these regions to construct pavements, alternative forms of stabilizing techniques are being sought after. In recent years, Geopolymer has received much attention as an alternative to Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) and lime for soil stabilization, and other applications for pavements, bridges, and other transportation structures. This study will investigate the feasibility of stabilizing sulfate-rich expansive soils using Geopolymers. Effects of Geopolymer, dosage rates, and curing condition, on overall performance and structural and mechanical properties of Geopolymer-stabilized subgrade soils will be studied in order to optimize the use of Geopolymer derived from local waste and natural materials for transportation infrastructure. Volume change tests during wetting or drying and strength tests will be conducted on Geopolymer-stabilized soils that have significant sulfate concentration. Both material characterization studies related to micro to macro behavioral changes of native soils and Geopolymer-treated soils will be carried out. Sustainable, resiliency, and life cycle analysis of Geopolymer-stabilized subgrade soils rich in sulfate will also be evaluated.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $212000
  • 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:

    Melson, Christopher

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Texas at Arlington

    Department of Civil Engineering
    Box 19308
    Arlington, TX  United States  76019

    Texas A&M University, College Station

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

    Puppala, Anand

    Radovic, Miladin

    Yu, Xinbao

  • Start Date: 20190815
  • Expected Completion Date: 20210215
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01713239
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Consortium of South-Central States (Tran-SET)
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747106
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Aug 6 2019 12:07PM