Lime utilization in the laboratory, field, and design of pavement layers : [research project capsule].
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Lime utilization in the laboratory, field, and design of pavement layers : [research project capsule].

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  • Abstract:
    Nearly two-thirds of highways in the United States are constructed on in-place soils

    with poor or undesirable characteristics. These materials demonstrate undesirable

    engineering behavior, such as low bearing capacity, high shrink/swell potential, and

    poor durability. Removing these existing soils can be expensive and/or impractical.

    Traditionally, modification and stabilization of the soil with lime, cement, and fly ash

    has been used to facilitate the construction process and to enhance the mechanical

    properties of the soil. For successful soil modification and stabilization, selecting

    an optimum content of a suitable stabilizer is critical. Adequate mixing, curing, and

    compaction are other important factors to achieve satisfactory field performance. Lime

    is generally more suited for treating plastic clays with shrink/swell potential. The two

    main reactions from lime are cation exchange and flocculation-agglomeration; both of

    these reactions significantly improve soil properties and workability.

    Lime modification is a time-tested practice in Louisiana to create a working table and its

    performance has been generally adequate. However, the working table is not assigned

    a structural coefficient value during the design process. Nevertheless, lime modification

    and stabilization can offer numerous advantages: improved soil properties, especially for

    expansive soils; strength gain with time; and possible reduction in pavement thickness

    if accounted for during the pavement design. The consideration of lime is justified given

    that laboratory and field studies show that lime-modified subgrades outperform soils

    without lime modification.

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