Strength Characteristics of Silty Clay
Reinforced with Randomly Oriented Nylon Fibers


Sanjeev Kumar

Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering
Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, IL 62901


Everett Tabor

Former Graduate Student
Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, IL 62901





Admixtures and geogrids are frequently used in practice to stabilize the soils and to improve their load carrying capacity. In this study nylon fibers were mixed with silty clay soil to investigate the relative strength gain in terms of unconfined compression. Samples were tested in unconfined compression with 0, 0.05, 0.15, and 0.30 percent nylon fibers. Verifications tests were also performed to investigate the repeatability of the test results. The results presented show that the degree of compaction affected the relative benefits of fiber reinforcement for the subject soil. Samples compacted at 93 percent of the maximum dry density from standard Proctor tests showed significantly higher increase in the peak and residual strengths compared to the samples compacted to higher densities. Results are also presented to show that the addition of nylon fibers increased the residual strength of the soils significantly more than the increase in the peak strength. Verification tests performed revealed that even though the fibers were randomly oriented, tests results can be reproduced with reasonable accuracy.


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