Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Engineering

Department

Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. L. Sebastian Bryson

Abstract

Grouting techniques have been in used for many years, but several new grout materials have surfaced in recent decades that have re-defined the boundaries of the limitations of grouting programs. Typically these applications are used for seepage control in earthen impoundments, but strength of these earthen impoundments should be considered where there is potential for movement in the grouted soil mass. This study investigated initial conditions that could affect grout application effectiveness. The initial conditions in question were soil grain size and in situ moisture content. Two grouts were used, ultrafine and acrylate, and variations in pure grout properties were studied. An apparatus was developed so that a uniform grout could penetrate the pore spaces of a soil specimen. The rate of penetration of the grout into the soil was studied. The unconfined compressive strength of the resulting grouted soil was then analyzed.

In testing neat ultrafine grout, it was shown that increased water-to-cement ratios had negative effects on the stability of the grout. Increasing the water-to-cement ratio from 0.5 to 2.5 resulted in a decrease in strength by a factor of 100. An inhibitor chemical was used to increase the time for reaction in the acrylate grout. During the chemical reaction, the curing temperature and gel times were monitored. A grout mix was selected for the acrylate grout that achieved appropriate gel times. In general, this study found that the grout penetrations rates into the soil increased as the initial moisture was increased from dry conditions to a gravimetric moisture content of nine percent. In each study, increased initial moisture decreased the grouted soil strength, with decreases in strength exceeding 50 percent. Empirical relationships were realized when compared to the initial matric suction of the soil. This suggests initial matric suction may be a useful initial condition for estimating increases in soil strength upon implementation of a grouting program for both the acrylate and ultrafine grouts.

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