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Open AccessArticle

Desiccation Cracking Behavior of MICP-Treated Bentonite

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rowan University, Stratford, NJ 08028, USA
School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210008, China
Department of Experiential Engineering Education, Rowan University, Stratford, NJ 08028, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2019, 9(9), 385;
Received: 14 June 2019 / Revised: 26 August 2019 / Accepted: 28 August 2019 / Published: 2 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Behavior of Expansive Soils and its Shrinkage Cracking)
This study aims to characterize the effect of microbial-induced calcite precipitation (MICP) on the desiccation cracking behaviors of compacted calcium bentonite soils. We prepare six groups of samples by mixing bentonites with deionized water, pure bacteria solution, pure cementation solution, and mixed bacteria and cementation solutions at three different percentages. We use an image processing tool to characterize the soil desiccation cracking patterns. Experimental results reveal the influences of fluid type and mixture percentage on the crack evolution and volumetric deformation of bentonite soils. MICP reactions effectively delay the crack initiation and remediate desiccation cracking, as reflected by the decreased geometrical descriptors of the crack pattern such as surface crack ratio. The mixture containing 50% bacteria and 50% cementation solutions maximizes the MICP treatment and works most effectively in lowering the soil cracking potential. This study provides new insights into the desiccation cracking of expansive clayey soils and shows the potential of MICP applications in the crack remediation. View Full-Text
Keywords: bentonite; desiccation crack; microbial-induced calcite precipitation (MICP); image analysis; volumetric shrinkage; crack remediation bentonite; desiccation crack; microbial-induced calcite precipitation (MICP); image analysis; volumetric shrinkage; crack remediation
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Vail, M.; Zhu, C.; Tang, C.-S.; Anderson, L.; Moroski, M.; Montalbo-Lomboy, M.T. Desiccation Cracking Behavior of MICP-Treated Bentonite. Geosciences 2019, 9, 385.

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