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Desiccation-Induced Volumetric Shrinkage of Compacted Metakaolin-Treated Black Cotton Soil for a Hydraulic Barriers System


Black cotton soil treated with up to 24% metakaolin (MCL) content was prepared by molding water contents of −2, 0, 2, 4 and 6% of optimum moisture content (OMC) and compacted with British Standard Light (BSL) and West African Standard (WAS) or ‘Intermediate’ energies. The specimens were extruded from the compaction molds and allowed to air dry in a laboratory in order to assess the effect of desiccation-induced shrinkage on the compacted mix for use as a hydraulic barrier in a waste containment application. The results recorded show that the volumetric shrinkage strain (VSS) values were large within the first 10 days of drying; the VSS values increased with a higher molding of the water content, relative to the OMC. The VSS generally increased with a higher initial degree of saturation for the two compactive efforts, irrespective of the level of MCL treatment. Generally, the VSS decreased with an increasing MCL content. Only specimens treated with a minimum 20% MCL content and compacted with the WAS energy satisfied the regulatory maximum VSS of 4% for use as a hydraulic barrier.

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