Date of Award

12-2004

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Materials Science and Engineering (MMatSE)

Department

Mathematical Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Abdul lah S. Al-Khanbashi

Second Advisor

Dr. A. M. O. Mohamed

Third Advisor

Braja M. Das

Abstract

Soil stabilization is one of the various applications that have benefited from the advances in polymeric materials. In this research, three water-borne polymeric emulsions with different chemical and physical properties were tested as stabilizers for sandy soil.

This study is divided into three parts. In the first part, the performance of the three emulsions in reducing the hydraulic conductivity and improving the mechanical properties of the sand was investigated. Specimens with polymer contents of up to 2 wt. % were prepared using two preparation methods, mixing and spraying. Both types of specimens exhibited a significant improvement in the studied properties. Specimens prepared by spraying exhibited better reduction in hydraulic conductivity, but less improvement in the mechanical properties, compared to the mixed specimens. A structure-property relationship investigation carried out by scanning electron microscopy revealed three structural changes that are believed to be responsible for the property changes. The structural changes were the coating of sand particles with thin polymer film, the polymer ties connecting sand particles, and adhesion between neighboring sand particles that are in contact. For three emulsions in hand, attempts to incorporate more than 2 wt. % polymer using the mixing method produced non-homogenous polymer-sand mixtures.

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