Soil stabilization can be used in many ways to construct high-quality subgrades, bases, and pavement sections. It’s the process of mechanical mixing (blending) of the existing soil with additives or by chemical modification for improved engineering properties such as strength, durability, etc. The process changes the physical nature and characteristics of the soil. At present, cementitious materials are most commonly used for this purpose.
What Exactly Is Soil Stabilization?
Soil testing for stabilization basically involves mixing a stabilizing material into the dirt itself, making it stronger and more durable. It’s useful in road construction or building preparation because it strengthens the soil and makes it less likely to erode over time. It also makes for a smoother surface for building and driving on.
What are the Benefits of Soil Stabilization?
Improves your soil’s physical properties
Soil stabilization can also improve the physical properties of your soil, such as compressive strength, permeability, and plasticity index. In cases where there is insufficient structural support for the intended application, such as roads or embankments, this method effectively increases bearing capacity and shear resistance so the material can support increased loads.
Soil stabilization on construction projects means less aggregate base material, less road surfacing, and less compaction. The strength of stabilized soils is often equal to or greater than aggregate bases.
The treated material will have improved gradation, increased stability, reduced permeability, and increased durability for some soils.
Elimination of deep foundations
The most obvious benefit of soil stabilization is the elimination of deep foundations, which would include the need for piling or caissons. If the soil can be modified to such a degree that it meets the necessary strength requirements for the project, then this becomes an ideal solution.
This can result in time and cost savings on-site concerning the installation of foundations and expediting any construction programs. For example, should groundworks be required before any construction activities commence, soil stabilization could be undertaken in conjunction with this. The faster this process can take place, the sooner a contractor can begin their work and complete any building program in a shorter timeframe. In addition, should a project be located on brownfield land or in a dense urban area, then there may be significant cost reductions that could be made by avoiding deep excavation and piling works.
Elimination of excessive backfill
Backfilling is necessary for almost every type of construction project. However, many contractors don’t realize that they can reduce their expenses related to backfilling when they choose to stabilize their soils.
When stabilization occurs before construction, it eliminates the need to fill any unstable areas with additional material after excavation. This allows construction companies to save money on materials and labor costs associated with backfilling.
The key benefit of this process is cost savings. Soil stabilization eliminates the need to import and export material from the job site. Instead, on-site materials are used to minimize material hauling costs and reduce traffic congestion on local roads. There is also the benefit of strength gain. Soil stabilization enhances the strength of poor quality subgrade soils to better support loads from various structures such as roadways and parking lots.