Effect of Ultrasonic Energy and Multiwall Carbon-nanotube on the Shear Strength of Problematic Soils

Document Type : Research Article


Department of Civil Engineering, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran


Problematic soils are those that make the construction of foundations extremely difficult. These soil should be replaced or modified. These types of soils are problematic, such as swelling soil, dispersive soil and the soils that loss their strength at saturated conditions. As silty soil and quicksands have low strength at saturated condition, it seems that stabilization of these soils is necessary. In literature, stabilizing these soils by cement is more effective. On the other hand, by developments in nanotechnology within last three decades, researchers discovered a material with unique properties, named as carbon nanotube. The carbon nanotube has very high strength even higher than steel, high elastic module and toughness and other unique properties. Within last three decades, many studies are concerned in applying this material in cement composites, but only we can find a few works related to use of this material in soil stabilization. Since carbon nanotube attract each other, we should separate nanotube particles. In this study, different values of ultrasonic energy (as mechanical agent) and polycarboxilate based super plasticizer solution (as chemical agent) was used to overcome carbon nanotubes agglomeration problem. As it is not possible to use carbon nanotubes in dry state, to investigating the effect of carbon nanotubes on the soils, the aqueous solution of carbon nanotube was added to the soil, using wet mix method. The samples were cured in water for 7 days. After performing direct shear test the shear strength and its parameters were evaluated. The results show using 0.125 % carbon nanotube and applying different ultrasonic energy to the carbon nanotubes solution the highest benefit of ultrasonic energy achieved when it used as 500j/ml. Comparing to the samples that threated by defective ultrasonic energy, it is observed that the shear strength of silty and sandy soil was improved as 19.7% and 21%, respectively.


Main Subjects

[1] M.Y. Fattah, M.M. Al-Ani, M.T. Al-Lamy, Studying collapse potential of gypseous soil treated by grouting, Soils and Foundations, 54(3) (2014) 396-404.
[2] K. McManis, M. Nataraj, B.G. Barbu, Identification and stabilization methods for problematic silt soils, University of New Orleans. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2001.
[3] M. Ali, Identifying and analyzing problematic soils, Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, 29(3) (2011) 343-350.
[4] S.H. Bahmani, B.B. Huat, A. Asadi, N. Farzadnia, Stabilization of residual soil using SiO2 nanoparticles and cement, Construction and Building Materials, 64 (2014) 350-359.
[5] F. Sariosseiri, B. Muhunthan, Effect of cement treatment on geotechnical properties of some Washington State soils, Engineering geology, 104(1-2) (2009) 119-125.
[6] M. Sadrjamali, S.M. Athar, A. Negahdar, Modifying soil shear strength parameters using additives in laboratory condition, Current World Environment, 10(1) (2015) 120-130.
[7] A.A.S. Correia, P.D. Casaleiro, M.G.B. Rasteiro, Applying multiwall carbon nanotubes for soil stabilization, Procedia engineering, 102 (2015) 1766-1775.
[8] D.T. Figueiredo, A.A.S. Correia, D. Hunkeler, M.G.B. Rasteiro, Surfactants for dispersion of carbon nanotubes applied in soil stabilization, Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 480 (2015) 405-412.
[9] R. Siddique, A. Mehta, Effect of carbon nanotubes on properties of cement mortars, Construction and Building Materials, 50 (2014) 116-129.
[10] J. Yu, N. Grossiord, C.E. Koning, J. Loos, Controlling the dispersion of multi-wall carbon nanotubes in aqueous surfactant solution, Carbon, 45(3) (2007) 618-623.
[11] F. Inam, A. Heaton, P. Brown, T. Peijs, M.J. Reece, Effects of dispersion surfactants on the properties of ceramic–carbon nanotube (CNT) nanocomposites, Ceramics International, 40(1) (2014) 511-516.
[12] H. Kim, I.W. Nam, H.-K. Lee, Enhanced effect of carbon nanotube on mechanical and electrical properties of cement composites by incorporation of silica fume, Composite Structures, 107 (2014) 60-69.
[13] Y. Hu, D. Luo, P. Li, Q. Li, G. Sun, Fracture toughness enhancement of cement paste with multi-walled carbon nanotubes, Construction and Building Materials, 70 (2014) 332-338.
[14] F. Ubertini, A.L. Materazzi, A. D’Alessandro, S. Laflamme, Natural frequencies identification of a reinforced concrete beam using carbon nanotube cement-based sensors, Engineering structures, 60 (2014) 265-275.
[15] S. Xu, J. Liu, Q. Li, Mechanical properties and microstructure of multi-walled carbon nanotube-reinforced cement paste, Construction and Building Materials, 76 (2015) 16-23.
[16] B. Wang, Z. Guo, Y. Han, T. Zhang, Electromagnetic wave absorbing properties of multi-walled carbon nanotube/cement composites, Construction and Building Materials, 46 (2013) 98-103.
[17] S. Samchenko, O. Zemskova, I. Kozlova, Stabilization of carbon nanotubes with superplasticizers based on polycarboxylate resin ethers, Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry, 87(12) (2014) 1872-1876.
[18] L. Vaisman, H.D. Wagner, G. Marom, The role of surfactants in dispersion of carbon nanotubes, Advances in colloid and interface science, 128 (2006) 37-46.
[19] H. Wang, Dispersing carbon nanotubes using surfactants, Current Opinion in Colloid & Interface Science, 14(5) (2009) 364-371.
[20] P.C. Association, Soil-cement laboratory handbook, Portland Cement Assoc., 1956.
[21] O. Mendoza, G. Sierra, J.I. Tobón, Influence of super plasticizer and Ca (OH) 2 on the stability of functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes dispersions for cement composites applications, Construction and Building Materials, 47 (2013) 771-778.
[22] G. Filz, D. Hodges, D. Weatherby, W. Marr, Standardized definitions and laboratory procedures for soil-cement specimens applicable to the wet method of deep mixing, in: Innovations in Grouting and Soil Improvement, 2005, pp. 1-13.
[23] O. Bandehzadeh, M. Davoudi, M. Astaneh, Study of the Effect of Lime and Percentage of Lime and Flyash Aggregate on the Physical and Mechanical Properties of Fine Grained Soils, Modares Civil Engineering journal, 11(3) (2011) 0-0 (In Persian).
[24] v. Baghbanpur Khoei, j. behmanesh, The Effect of Cement and microsilica on the Geotechnical Properties of Silty Soils (Soil Case Study: Khoy Industrial Town), in: Second National Conference on Soil Mechanics and Pioneering, Qom University of Technology, 2012 (In Persian).
[25] M. Dadouch, M.S. Ghembaza, N.-S. Ikhlef, Study in laboratory of treatment with cement of silty material: improvement of the mechanical properties, Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 8(7) (2015) 4329-4336.
[26] M. Ibragimov, Soil stabilization with cement grouts, Soil mechanics and foundation engineering, 42(2) (2005) 67-72.
[27] H. MolaAbasi, I. Shooshpasha, Prediction of zeolite-cement-sand unconfined compressive strength using polynomial neural network, The European Physical Journal Plus, 131(4) (2016) 108.
[28] R. Papa, M. Ramondini, Soil deep mixing by small equipment, in: Grouting and Deep Mixing 2012, 2012, pp. 400-409.
[29] S. Rios, A.V. Da Fonseca, B.A. Baudet, On the shearing behaviour of an artificially cemented soil, Acta Geotechnica, 9(2) (2014) 215-226.
[30] K. Tariq, T. Maki, Mechanical behaviour of cement-treated sand, Construction and Building Materials, 58 (2014) 54-63.
[31] Y. Yi, X. Zheng, S. Liu, A. Al-Tabbaa, Comparison of reactive magnesia-and carbide slag-activated ground granulated blastfurnace slag and Portland cement for stabilisation of a natural soil, Applied Clay Science, 111 (2015) 21-26.
[32] A.S. Zaimoglu, T. Yetimoglu, Strength behavior of fine grained soil reinforced with randomly distributed polypropylene fibers, Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, 30(1) (2012) 197-203.