Multi-scale laboratory investigation on black cotton soils stabilized with calcium carbide residue and fly ash

Venkatesh Noolu, Heera Lal M, Rakesh J Pillai


Calcium carbide residue and fly ash are industrial by-products from acetylene gas industry and thermal power stations. Pavement construction has been recognized as a platform to utilize huge quantities of these waste materials for soil stabilization. An attempt has been made, in this paper, to evaluate the potential of a binder that consists of calcium carbide residue and fly ash to improve the engineering behavior of an expansive soil. The role of curing period and different percentages of these binder contents on Atterberg limits, compaction characteristics, strength, and mineralogical and morphological behavior has been examined. The index properties such as Atterberg limits
and compaction characteristics have improved considerably. Significant improvement in the strength properties such as unconfined compressive strength and California bearing ratio has been observed with the addition of calcium carbide residue up to 8%. The binder content prepared with
10% calcium carbide residue and 6% fly ash obtained 18-fold enhancement in California Bearing Ratio (CBR) value and 16-fold enhancement in unconfined compressive strength (UCS). This is attributed to the formation of calcium based minerals formed as a result of a chemical reaction between the soil and binder, which were evidenced from mineralogical and morphological studies.
From this experimental investigation, it can be concluded that the binder prepared with calcium carbide residue and fly ash is well suited for stabilization of expansive soils.


Calcium carbide residue, CBR, Fly ash, SEM, XRD

Full Text:



ASTM C-618 -12. 2001. Standard specification for coal fly ash and raw or calcined natural pozzolan for use

as a mineral admixture in concrete, Annual Book of ASTM Standard.

Consoli, N. C., Prietto, P. D. M., Carroro, J. A. H. & Heineck, K. S. 2001. Behavior of compacted soil-fly

ash-carbide lime mixture. Journal. Geotech. Geoenviron. Eng, 127(9):774–782.

Deng, J., Tatsuoka, F. & Kuwano, J. 2012. Effects of wetting and ageing on 1D elasto-viscoplastic behaviour

of cement-mixed clay and model simulation. Soils and Foundations. 52(2):187–206.

Du, Y. J., Zhang, Y. Y. & Liu, S. Y. 2011. Investigation of strength and California bearing ratio properties of

natural soils treated by calcium carbide residue. Proceedings of Geo-Frontiers:1237–1244.

Edil, T. B., Acosta, H. A. & Benson, C. H. 2006. Stabilizing soft fine-grained soils with fly ash. Journal of

Materials in Civil Engineering, 18(2):283–294.

Horpibulsuk, S. & Miura, N. 2001. A new approach for studying behavior of cement stabilized clays.

In Proceedings of the 15th Int. Conf. on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Balkema,

Rotterdam, Netherlands:1759–1762.

Horpibulsuk, S., Phetchuay, C. & Chinkulkijniwat, A. 2011. Soil stabilization by calcium carbide residue

and fly ash. Journal of materials in civil engineering, 24(2):184–193.

Horpibulsuk, S., Phetchuay, C., Chinkulkijniwat, A. & Cholaphatsorn, A.2013. Strength development

in silty clay stabilized with calcium carbide residue and fly ash. Soils and Foundations, 53(4):477–486.

Horpibulsuk, S., Rachan R., Suddeepong, A. & Chinkulkijniwat,A. 2011b. Strength development in cement

admixed Bangkok clay, laboratory and field investigations. Soils and Foundation, 51(2):239–251.

Horpibulsuk, S., Rachan, R. & Raksachon, Y. 2009. Role of fly ash on strength and microstructure

development in blended cement stabilized silty clay. Soils and Foundation, 49(1):85–98.

Horpibulsuk, S., Rachan, R., Chinkulkijniwat, A., Raksachon, Y. & Suddeepong, A. 2010b. Analysis

of strength development in cement stabilized silty clay based on microstructural considerations. Constr.

Build. Mater, 24(10):2011–2021.

IS 2720 - 1973 (Part 10). Determination of unconfined compressive strength of soil Bureau of Indian

Standards, New Delhi, India.

IS 2720 - 1973 (Part 16). Laboratory determination of C.B.R of soil (second revision), Bureau of Indian Standards,

New Delhi, India.

IS 2720 - 1980 (Part 7). Determination of water content dry density relation using light compaction, Bureau

of Indian Standards, New Delhi, India.

IS 2720- 1985 (part 5). Determination of liquid & plastic limit of soil, Bureau of Indian Standards, New

Delhi, India.

Jiang, N. J., Du, Y. J., Liu, S. Y., Wei, M. L., Horpibulsuk, S. & Arulrajah, A. 2015. Multi-scale laboratory

evaluation of the physical, mechanical, and micro structural properties of soft highway sub grade soil

stabilized with calcium carbide residue. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 52(999):1–11.

Kinuthia, J. M., Wild, S. & Jones, G. I. 1999. Effects of monovalent and divalent metal sulphates on consistency

and compaction of lime-stabilized kaolinite. Applied Clay Science, 14(1):27–45.

Nagaraj, T. S., Miura, N., Yamadera, A. & Yaligar, P. 1997. Strength assessment of cement admixed soft

clays—Parametric study. Proceedings of Int. Conf. on Ground Improvement Techniques, CI-Premier,


PCPDFWIN. 1999. The Powder Diffraction File, Joint Committee for Powder Diffraction Studies (JCPDS).

International Centre for Diffraction Data (ICDD), Newtown Square, PA, USA.

Phetchuay, C., Horpibulsuk, S., Suksiripattanapong, C., Chinkulkijniwat, A., Arulrajah, A. & Disfani,

M. 2014. Calcium carbide residue: Alkaline activator for clay–fly ash geopolymer. Construction and

Building Materials, 69(2):285–294.

Sharma, H. D. & Reddy, K.R 2004. Geo environmental engineering: site remediation, waste containment,

and emerging waste management technologies. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Sharma, N. K., Swain, S. K. & Sahoo, U. C. 2012. Stabilization of a clayey soil with fly ash and lime: a

micro level investigation. Geotechnical and geological engineering, 30(5):1197–1205.

Tatsuoka, F. & Kobayashi, A. 1983. Triaxial strength characteristics of cement-treated soft clay. In Proceedings

of the 8th European Conference of SMFE: 421–426.

Vichan, S. & Rachan, R. 2013. Chemical stabilization of soft Bangkok clay using the blend of calcium

carbide residue and biomass ash. Soils and Foundations, 53(2):272–281.

Zha, F., Liu, S., Du, Y. & Cui, K. 2008. Behavior of expansive soils stabilized with fly ash. Natural hazards,



  • There are currently no refbacks.