This research aims to experimentally investigate the potential use of a geopolymer made from various stabilizers or byproducts (fly ash (FA-F, FA-C), slag (SL), glass powder (GP), metakaolin (MK), marble powder (MP), bottom ash (BA), rice husk ash (RHA), silica fume (SF)) to enhance the mechanical performance of soil (clay) via a deep mixing technique. Strengths of geopolymer soilcrete specimens were determined by unconfined compressive strength (UCS) tests regarding curing times (7 to 365 days) by comparing with Portland cement (PC). In addition, ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV) tests, the effect of molarity (8–16 M), stress-strain behavior, failure modes, and microstructure (SEM, EDX) of geopolymer specimens were examined. Compared to PC, UCS responses of geopolymer specimens yielded: (i) a decreasing trend for FA-F, GP, MK, BA, and MP + FA-F, (ii) an increasing trend for FA-C, SL, and combinations of SL (BA + SL, RHA + SL, SF + SL, MK + SL) favorable with fewer proportions of stabilizers, and (iii) higher increments due to long-term curing (90, 365 days). Despite some decrements, most UCS values were found acceptable (>0.2 MPa) for sufficient enhancement of soft clay. The UCS results were mostly confirmed by UPV performances. The geopolymer specimens were also found to present: (i) strength development for alkaline concentrations from 10 to 14 M, (ii) brittle behavior of stress–strain curves that failed in axial splitting and near axial directions, and (iii) intensity of the silica peak for strength responsibility of the dense microstructure. The findings relatively support the usage of stabilizers or byproducts in the production of geopolymers for potential use in deep mixing. Thus, this research could be a basis for further efforts in this area.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited