Geotechnical Approach to Earthen Architecture Durability by Cyclic Freeze and Thaw Test

 

Tianyu Zhao

Lanzhou University, Key Laboratory of Mechanics on Western Disaster and Environmental in Western China, Ministry of Education, Lanzhou, 730000, China; e-mail: zhaoty07@lzu.cn

Huyuan Zhang

Lanzhou University, Key Laboratory of Mechanics on Western Disaster and Environmental in Western China, Ministry of Education, Lanzhou, 730000, China; Corresponding author: e-mail: zhanghuyuan@lzu.edu.cn

Gengsheng Yan

Hydro China Xibei Engineering Corporation,xi’an, 710065, China; e-mail: yangsh2006@lzu.cn

Liu Ping

Lanzhou University, Key Laboratory of Mechanics on Western Disaster and Environmental in Western China, Ministry of Education, Lanzhou, 730000, China; e-mail: liuping@lzu.edu.cn

ABSTRACT

Earthen architecture ruins are mostly found in the arid area, which suffer from strong wind erosion and freeze-thaw process. In order to understand the durability of earthen architecture, the cyclic freeze-thaw tests were conducted on undisturbed and remolded specimens from Jiaohe cultural architectures, Xinjiang, China. Subsequently, the wind erosion and the strength attenuation of specimens were test before and after cyclic freeze-thaw. Test result shows that, when the original water content as low as 5%, the weight of the soil specimens whether undisturbed or remolded is increased during the beginning 5 freeze-thaw cycles. With the further increase in freeze-thaw cycles, on the other hand, the weight of undisturbed specimens exhibit a decreasing tendency while remolded specimens keep in a steady state. The undisturbed specimens which subjected to cyclic freeze-thaw show a decrease in strength and an increase in wind erosion, that is, a weaking in durability. However, the remolded specimens exhibit an enhancement of microstructures at beginning cycles, characterized by an increase in strength and a decrease in wind erosion, that is, an improvement in durability. At the further freeze-thaw cycles, the remolded specimens turn to exhibit a decreasing tendency on durability. With respect to a soil water content as low as 5% in arid area, freeze-thaw process promote an effect on the deterioration of earthen architecture.

Keywords: Earthen Architectures; Cyclic Freeze and Thaw; Wind Erosion; Durability

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