Assessment of Bentonite Influence on Hydraulic Conductivity of Lateritic Soil
Lateritic soils are pedogenic surface deposits which occur in vast areas of tropical and subtropical regions of the world and find use as construction material in diverse civil engineering aspects. But, the predominance of kaolinitic 1:1 lattice clay mineral and coating of the clayey constituents with sesquioxides limits the ability of the soil from achieving very low hydraulic conductivity, (k) required for some geotechnical/geoenvironmental structures. The present study investigates the influence of low percent bentonite on the hydraulic conductivity of a residually derived lateritic soil. Accordingly, the test programme involved specimens of lateritic soil - bentonite mixtures containing 0, 2.5, 5, 7.5 and 10% bentonite (by dry weight of soil) prepared at different compaction states (optimum, dry and wet of optimum content), compacted with British Standard Heavy, (BSH) compactive effort and permeated in compaction mould permeameter using falling head test method. Results indicate that reductions in hydraulic conductivity values ranged from 1 x 10-9 to 6.79 x 10-11 m/s (i.e. two orders of magnitude) as the percentage of bentonite increased from 0 to 10%. Soil mixtures with up to 5% bentonite content recorded the lowest k values at 2% wet of optimum moisture content, beyond which an increase in k followed. For soil mixtures containing 7.5 and 10% bentonite, a continuous decrease in k was observed. Furthermore, a non – linear relationship between log k and bentonite content was established. These results met or exceeded specification requirements for the aforementioned structures which therefore suggest that the potentials of lateritic soils as a geomaterial for the construction of hydraulic structures can be fully realized when treated with bentonite.
A. A. Amadi and K.J. Osinubi, "Assessment of Bentonite Influence on Hydraulic Conductivity of Lateritic Soil", International Journal of Engineering Research in Africa, Vol. 3, pp. 84-93, 2010