Geotechnical and Geological Engineering

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 411–417 | Cite as

Strength Behavior of Clayey Soil Reinforced with Human Hair as a Natural Fibre

  • Wajid Ali Butt
  • B. A. Mir
  • J. N. Jha
Technical note


There are various ground improvement techniques available, soil reinforcement technique has been successfully used in recent times to improve the shear parameters of the marginal/weak soils. Among various reinforcing materials, human hair fiber (HHF) can be used as a natural fiber to enhance the shear strength and bearing capacity of a clayey soil for sustainable use of waste material and sustainable development of infrastructures in a rapid urbanization. Human hair fiber is a natural non-degradable waste material, which creates health and environmental problem if not disposed-off in scientific manner. This is available in abundance at a very low cost and can be easily used as a reinforcing material not only to improve poor/unsuitable construction sites for sustainable construction but also to avoid its disposal problems. Therefore, this paper presents some studies on strength properties of clayey soil reinforced with HHF. The HHF randomly distributed in clayey soil samples were tested for its engineering properties by performing CBR and tri-axial test on a number of samples by using the different percentage of fibres and comparing the results with the non-reinforced soil. Fibres of average length 25 mm and average diameter of 50 µm were used. The test result revealed that the strength significantly improves with the inclusion of HHF and also prevents the sample from cracking.


Waste material Hair fibre Environmental pollution Sustainable materials Sustainable development 


  1. Akhtar JN, Ahmad S (2009) The effect of randomly oriented hair fiber on mechanical properties of fly ash based hollow blocks for low height masonry structures. Asian J Civil Eng 10(2):221–228Google Scholar
  2. Akthar JN, Alam J, Ahmad S (2008) The influence of randomly oriented hair fibre and lime on the CBR value of Dadri fly ash. Asian J of Civil Eng (Build Hous) 9(5):505–512Google Scholar
  3. Choudhry S, Pandey B (2012) Mechanical behaviour of polypropylene and human hair fibres and polypropylene reinforced polymeric composites. Int J Mech Ind Eng (IJMIE) 2(1):121Google Scholar
  4. Estabragh AR, Bordbar AT, Javadi AA (2011) Mechanical behavior of a clay soil reinforced with nylon fibres. Geotech Geol Eng 29:899–908CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. IS: 1498-(1970) Classification and identification of soils for general engineering purposes. Bureau of Indian Standards, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  6. IS: 2720-part 3(1) (1980) Method of test for soils: determination of specific gravity of fine grained soils. Bureau of Indian Standards, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  7. IS: 2720-part 4 (1985) Method of test for soils: determination of grain size distribution. Bureau of Indian Standards, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  8. IS: 2720-part 5 (1985) Determination of Atterberg limits. Bureau of Indian Standards, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  9. IS: 2720-part 7 (1980) Method of test for soils: determination of water content-dry density relation using light compaction. Bureau of Indian Standards, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  10. IS: 2720-part 16 (1979) Method of test for soils: laboratory determination of CBR. Bureau of Indian Standards, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  11. IS: 2720-part 11 (1971). Method of test for soils: determination of shear strength parameter by unconsolidated undrained triaxial compression without the measurement of pore water pressure. Bureau of Indian Standards, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  12. Jha JN, Choudhary AK, Gill KS, Shukla SK (2014) Behaviour of plastic waste fiber-reinforced industrial waste in pavement applications. Int J Geotech Eng 8(2014):277–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kaniraj SR, Gayathri V (2003) Geotechnical behavior of fly ash mixed with randomly oriented fibre inclusions. Geotext Geomembr 21:123–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Maher MH, Ho YC (1994) Mechanical properties of kaolinite/fibre soil composite. J Geotech Eng ASCE 120(8):1381–1393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Maliakal T, Thiyyakkandi S (2012) Influence of randomly distributed coir fibers on the shear strength of clay. Geotech Geol Eng 31:425–433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Naeini SA, Sadjadi SM (2008) Effect of waste polymer materials on shear strength of unsaturated clays. Electron J Geotech Eng, vol 13, Bund. KGoogle Scholar
  17. Pillai RR, Ramanathan A (2012) An innovative technique of improving the soil using human hair fibers. In: Third international conference on construction in developing countries, 4–6 July 2012, Bangkok, ThailandGoogle Scholar
  18. Pradhan P, Karand K, Naik A (2012) Effect of randomly inclusion of polypropylene fibers on strength of cohesive soil. Geotech Geol Eng 30:15–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ranjan G, Vasan RM, Charan HD (1994) Behaviour of plastic-fibre-reinforced sand. Geotext Geomembr 13:555–565CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Weia G, Bhushana B, Torgersonb PM (2004) Nanomechanical characterization of human hair using nanoindentation and SEM. Ultramicroscopy 105:248–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringGNDEC LudhianaLudhianaIndia
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringNational Institute of TechnologySrinagarIndia

Personalised recommendations