Soil stabilization is a general term for altering and manipulating soil in any way to meet an engineering purpose. If the soil has been changed in any chemically, physically, biologically, or any combination of these ways in order to support an engineering project, it can be classified as soil stabilization. Natural soil has certain properties, and sometimes in order to achieve a particular result, natural soil must be altered to suit the needs of a building or engineering task.
There are many goals and objectives of soil stabilization. In some countries, soil stabilization is even being used to construct entire roads due to the nature of the environment, notably in developing countries. There are many ways stabilization may be performed. In the past, soil stabilization was mainly achieved by incorporating clay or cement into the soil to change the earth’s properties or using the compacting technique of ramming earth. These methods are still implemented, majorly in developing territories. Some newer, renewable methods include: using biopolymers, enzymes, ionic stabilizers, fiber reinforcement, and many other biological-based methods.
Although soil stabilization has been around for a long time, greener stabilizing alternatives have only received more recent recognition and widespread use. Mainly, the goal of soil stabilization is to increase the strength of the soil and control its properties for better, more specified use.
Actually, there are 3 main types of soil stabilization techniques. They are the basic and most well-known and widely used techniques for soil stabilization. Different types of soil stabilization techniques have been around for thousands of years. We’ll highlight the 3 main types below-
Polymer Stabilization- The newest form between the three main types of stabilization is polymer stabilization. It involves creating and fusing new polymers compounds with the soil. Polymers are becoming the leading type of soil stabilization for a few good reasons. Using polymers over mechanical methods cost less and are more effective, while they are also much more environmentally friendly than chemical stabilization methods.
Chemical Stabilization- Chemical stabilization involves adding substances to soil that will react with it and change its chemical makeup. The new compound will be suitable for whatever building task is required. Chemical stabilization methods are often the least expensive methods.
Mechanical Stabilization- Mechanical soil stabilization is one of the oldest types of stabilization. Mechanical stabilization involves changing the soil in its physical properties. One this can be done is by dynamic compaction methods. This means pounding out imperfections and deformities in the soil to make it even and usable for building projects etc. Vibrations may also be used for the same effect, called the Vibro compaction technique.
Soil stabilization is a great method for better preparing soil for building and engineering projects. Soil stabilization has come a long way over the years and is becoming more and more environmentally conscious and new stabilization techniques are discovered.