As renewable and environment-friendly materials, coir and sisal natural fibers can be used in soil reinforcement with minimum cost and other benefits. In this study, we focused on their improvements of unconfined compressive properties of polymer treated sand. In total, 36 groups of unconfined compressive strength tests, combined with X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscope investigations were performed. We had studied the effects of polymer and fiber contents, and fiber types on the reinforcement effectiveness. The results showed that both coir and sisal fiber can improve the mechanical properties and microstructure of treated sand. In terms of strength properties, sisal fiber inclusion was better than coir fiber, while both have a similar reinforcement benefit on soil ductile behaviors. The strength and compressive energy increased with an increment in polymer and fiber content. The reinforced sand can have up to 1 MPa compressive strength and 140 kPa compressive energy for coir fiber inclusion, while 1.2 MPa and 170 kPa, respectively, for sisal fiber. The axial stress-strain characteristics and failure patterns were also improved, and the brittle index decreased toward zero, which suggests an increasing ductile. The polymer membrane enwrapping and bonding sand grains, and the network structure built by fiber crossing and overlapping among sand grains, as well as the interfacial attachment conferred by polymer between sand grains and fiber, all contributed to the reinforcement of treated sand.
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