Determination of the mechanical performance characteristics of soils treated with cementitious road binders

Areas of Expertise (1)


A prenormative research project for the determination of the mechanical performance characteristics of soils treated with cementitious road binders started on 1st September 2009. The second two-year period of this project, which was funded by the Belgian Federal Service “Economy”, expired on 31st December 2013. In this context BRRC purchased equipment for the splitting tensile strength (also called the “Brazilian”) test. With this test it is possible to determine the tensile strength and the elastic modulus of stabilized soils.

The objective of this research project was to define the procedures for determining the mechanical performance characteristics and the water and frost resistance of soils treated with cementitious road binders, while considering the conditions liable to occur in Belgium: climate, soil types, etc. These aspects are addressed in European standard EN 14227-13, but some of the procedures needed further development or refining to yield reproducible results.

During the first two-year period, which ended on 31st October 2011, the test methodologies of standard EN 14227-13 for the mechanical characteristics and the workability time of soils treated with cementitious road binders were investigated with a view to specifying certain parameters, to make those methodologies applicable to the soils found in Belgium.

Two types of soil, one sandy and the other silty, were selected and sampled in adequate quantities for testing. After characterization and identification, the same soils were used in the test programme of the second two-year period.

During that period (1st January 2012 through 31st December 2013) the aspects relating to stabilization, especially durability, were investigated. According to PIARC terminology, soil stabilization is an “operation which significantly changes (generally in the medium or long term) the characteristics of the soil in a way that renders it stable, particularly with respect to the action of water and frost; it gives a permanent strength that can be measured by methods typical of solid materials”.