A Comparative Laboratory Investigation into the Role of Geosynthetics in the Initial Swell Control of an Expansive Soil

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Volume change in expansive soils due to the intervention of water causes swell. A laboratory investigation using two different gbeosynthetic materials was designed to minimise the swell characteristics. The influence of three parameters, being geosynthetic material [Secutex (ST) and Combigrid (CG)], orientation (horizontal and vertical), and number of layers (1, 2, and 3) on the swell of an expansive soil was studied to better understand the potential for geosynthetics in swell control. The study on the immediate swell characteristics (limited to 24 hours) helps in gaining confidence in the use of geosynthetics in the swell control of expansive soils. From the investigation results, it was found that all three parameters, being type of material, orientation, and number of layers influenced the swell control of the soil. When two layers of ST and CG were placed both vertically and crossed, they reduced the swell of the virgin soil by almost 60% and 44%, respectively. It can, therefore, be concluded that geosynthetics can play an effective role in the swell control of expansive soils.

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