Publication Abstract

DFI-PFSF Piled Foundations & Ground Improvement Technology for the Modern Building and Infrastructure Sector, (DFI and PFSF)

Microstructure of Bio-Cemented Coarse Sand
Aamir Mahawish, Abdelmalek Bouazza and Will P. Gates

Bio-grouting by means of microbial induced calcite (calcium carbonate) precipitation (MICP) to improve mechanical properties of granular soils has gained much attention in recent years. The biogrouting process offers an alternative and environmentally friendly approach to conventional soil improvement techniques, such as cement. Bio-grouting by urea hydrolysis has been extensively applied to tackle various geotechnical problems. However, it has yet to be applied to improve engineering properties (compressive strength) of a coarse cohesionless material with the aim using it as sand/stone columns within soft and very soft soils. This paper investigates the effect of using light, moderate and heavy biochemical treatments on the unconfined compressive strength (UCS) of coarse sand columns. In addition, the microstructure of the bio-cemented coarse material has been analysed by X-ray computed tomography (XRCT). The experimental results revealed that the UCS could reach up to 200kPa, 1000kPa and 5500kPa for light, moderate and heavy bio-cemented coarse sand columns, respectively. The microstructure investigations showed that the deposited calcium carbonate can be identified using XRCT imaging and can be associated with the gain in UCS values. Various microstructure properties, such as void ratio, dry density and porosity were also identified and compared with the laboratory data.

 article #2620; publication #1032 (IC-2017)