Materials and Structures

, 51:137 | Cite as

Study of effect of soft inclusion on the mechanical behavior of soilcrete mixtures: experimental and modeling approaches

  • Jacques Julius Hessouh
  • Javad EslamiEmail author
  • Anne-Lise Beaucour
  • Olivier Helson
  • Albert Noumowe
  • Philippe Gotteland
Original Article


The influence of the volume fraction and size of soft soil inclusions on the mechanical behavior of soilcretes was experimentally and numerically investigated. Spherical kaolinite chunks with a specific water content and volume were added to the soilcrete samples during the filling phase of the molds. Different mechanical properties such as the effective static elastic modulus (E) and the unconfined compressive strength (UCS) of soilcrete specimens with different volume fraction of inclusions were determined. E and UCS of soilcrete specimens with different volume fraction of inclusions were also determined using 2D (unit cell) and 3D (digital specimens) finite element models. UCS and E decrease considerably as the volume fraction of soft inclusions increases. Experimental results show that these UCS and E drops are, respectively, about 47% and 20% for a volume fraction of inclusions fv = 9%. A good agreement between the experimental and simulated data was observed, especially for elastic modulus.


Soilcrete Soft inclusion Unconfined compressive strength Elastic modulus Finite element 



The FNTP (Fédération Nationale des Travaux Publics) financially supported this research. The authors express their gratitude to this organization.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Denies N, Huybrechts N, De Cock F, Lameire B, Vervoort A, Van Lysebetten G, Maertens J (2012) Soil mix walls as retaining structures—mechanical characterization. In: International symposium of ISSMGE-TC211, May–June 2012, Brussesls, BelgiumGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ganne P, Denies N, Huybrechts N, Vervoort A, Tavallali A, Maertens J, Lameire B, De Cock F (2012) Deep soil mix technology in Belgium: effect of inclusions on design properties. In: Grouting and deep mixing 2012, vol 1, pp 367–357Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ganne P, Denies N, Huybrechts N, Vervoort A, Tavallali A, Maertens J, et al (2011) Soil mix: influence of soil inclusions on the structural behavior. In: Proceedings of the 15th European conference on soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering, Athens, pp 977–982Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Laefer DF, Neill DO, Mahony CO (2009) Impact of clay on early jet-grouting strength. In: DFI Proceedings of the 34th annual conference on deep foundationsGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Vervoort A, Tavallali A, Van Lysebetten G, Maertens J, Denies N, Huybrechts N et al (2012a) Mechanical characterization of large scale soil mix samples and the analysis of the influence of soil inclusions. In: Proceedings of the TC 211 international symposium on ground improvement, Brussels, vol 3, pp 127–36Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Vervoort A, Van Lysebetten G, Tavallali A (2012b) Numerical modeling of fracturing around soft inclusions. In: Proceedings of the southern hemisphere international rock mechanics symposium, Sun City, South-Africa, pp 33–46Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Guimond-Barrett A (2013) Influence of mixing and curing conditions on the characteristics and durability of soils stabilised by deep mixing. Ph.D. thesis in civil engineering, University of “Le Havre”Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Van Lysebetten G, Vervoort A, Maertens J, Huybrechts N (2014) Discrete element modeling for the study of the effect of soft inclusions on the behavior of soil mix material. Comput Geotech 55:342–351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Weibel ER (1980) Stereological methods. Theoretical foundations, vol 2. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Porbaha A, Shibuya S, Kishida T (2000) State of the art in deep mixing technology part I: basic concepts and overview. Gr Improv 4:91–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Helson O, Beaucour A-L, Eslami J, Noumowe A, Gotteland F (2016) Physical and mechanical properties of soilcrete mixtures: soil clay content and formulation parameters. Constr Build Mater 131:775–783CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Helson O, Eslami J, Beaucour A-L, Noumowe A, Gotteland F (2018) Hydro-mechanical behaviour of soilcretes through a parametric laboratory study. Constr Build Mater 166:657–667CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sheen Y-N, Zhang L-H, Le D-H (2013) Engineering properties of soil-based controlled low- strength materials as slag partially substitutes to Portland cement. Constr Build Mater 48:822–829CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Belayachi N, Do PD, Hoxha D (2012) A note on the numerical homogenisation of the mechanical behavior of an argillaceous rock. Comput Geotech 41:70–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kalo K, Grgic D, Auvray C, Giraud A, Drach B, Sevostianov I (2017) Effective elastic moduli of a heterogeneous oolitic rock containing 3-D irregularly shaped pores. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 98:20–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Magnenet V, Giraud A, Homand F (2008) Parameter sensitivity analysis for a Drücker–Prager model following from numerical simulations of indentation tests. Comput Mater Sci 44:385–391CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© RILEM 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacques Julius Hessouh
    • 1
  • Javad Eslami
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anne-Lise Beaucour
    • 1
  • Olivier Helson
    • 1
  • Albert Noumowe
    • 1
  • Philippe Gotteland
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Mécanique et Matériaux du Génie CivilUniversity of Cergy-PontoiseCergy-PontoiseFrance
  2. 2.Fédération Nationale des Travaux PublicParisFrance

Personalised recommendations