Geotechnical and Geological Engineering

, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 1539–1551 | Cite as

Effect of Natural Zeolite and Cement Additive on the Strength of Sand

  • Hossein Mola-Abasi
  • Behrouz Kordtabar
  • Afshin Kordnaeij
Original paper


It is widely known and well emphasized that the cemented sand is one of economic and environmental topics in soil stabilization. In some instances, a blend of sand, cement and other materials such as fiber, glass, nano particle and zeolite can commercially be available and effectively used in soil stabilization especially in road construction. In regard to zeolite, its influence and effectiveness on the properties of cemented sands systems has not been completely explored. Hence, in this study, based on an experimental program, it has been tried to investigate the potential of a zeolite stabilizer known as additive material to improve the properties of cemented sands. A total number of 216 unconfined compression tests were carried out on cured samples in 7, 28 and 90 days. Results show unconfined compression strength and failure properties improvements of cement sand specimens when cement replaced by zeolite at optimum proportions of 30 % after 28 days due to pozzolanic reaction. The rate of strength improvement is approximately 20–78 and 20–60 % for 28 and 90 days curing times respectively. The efficiency of using zeolite has been enhanced by increasing the cement content and porosity of the compacted mixture. The replacement of cement by natural zeolite led to an increase of the pH after 14 days. Chemical oxygen demand (COD) tests demonstrate that the materials with the zeolite mixture reveal stronger adsorptive capacity of COD in compare to cemented mixture. Scanning electron microscope images show that adding zeolite in cemented sand changes the microstructure (filling large porosity and pozzolanic reaction) that results in increasing strength.


Zeolite Cemented sand Strength Unconfined compression Microstructures 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hossein Mola-Abasi
    • 1
  • Behrouz Kordtabar
    • 2
  • Afshin Kordnaeij
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringBabol University of Technology (BUT)BabolIran
  2. 2.National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)MahmoodabadIran
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringImam Khomeini International UniversityQazvinIran

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