Geotechnical and Geological Engineering

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 1059–1072 | Cite as

Physical and Compaction Behaviour of Clay Soil–Fly Ash Mixtures

Original paper


At present, nearly 100 million tonnes of fly ash is being generated annually in India posing serious health and environmental problems. To control these problems, the most commonly used method is addition of fly ash as a stabilizing agent usually used in combination with soils. In the present study, high-calcium (ASTM Class C—Neyveli fly) and low-calcium (ASTM Class F—Badarpur fly ash) fly ashes in different proportions by weight (10, 20, 40, 60 and 80 %) were added to a highly expansive soil [known as black cotton (BC) soil] from India. Laboratory tests involved determination of physical properties, compaction characteristics and swell potential. The test results show that the consistency limits, compaction characteristics and swelling potential of expansive soil–fly ash mixtures are significantly modified and improved. It is seen that 40 % fly ash content is the optimum quantity to improve the plasticity characteristics of BC soil. The fly ashes exhibit low dry unit weight compared to BC soil. With the addition of fly ash to BC soil the maximum dry unit weight (γdmax) of the soil–fly ash mixtures decreases with increase in optimum moisture content (OMC), which can be mainly attributed to the improvement in gradation of the fly ash. It is also observed that 10 % of Neyveli fly ash is the optimum amount required to minimize the swell potential compared to 40 % of Badarpur fly ash. Therefore, the main objective of the study was to study the effect of fly ashes on the physical, compaction, and swelling potential of BC soils, and bulk utilization of industrial waste by-product without adversely affecting the environment.


Expansive soil Fly ash Self-pozzolanic Swell potential 



The investigation reported in this paper forms a part of the research at IISc Bangalore. The support and assistance is gratefully acknowledged. Thanks are due to Faculty of Geotechnical Engg. Division and supporting staff of the Soil Mechanics laboratory and the office staff of Civil Engineering Department for their timely help during the course of investigation. The Authors thank the “unknown referees” whose comments were extremely useful and enhanced the quality of their paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringNational Institute of TechnologySrinagarIndia
  2. 2.Indian National Science AcademyNew DelhiIndia

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