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Use of polymers to improve soil subgrades

Use of polymers to improve soil subgrades

(OP)
We are looking at an "ionic polymerisation" additive to stabilise and "waterproof" soil subgrade materials. The distributor claims the polymer links together and forms a bond which increases the density of the material, while reducing the porosity of the soil matrix making it resistant to water etc etc. Has anyone used polymers in soil stabilisation for pavements. The distributor also suggests the addition of cement (2-5%) with the polymer as an additive. Recommended polymer amount is 1.67 litres per square metre per 150mm depth.

RE: Use of polymers to improve soil subgrades

Snake oil!
It will work great if you add 2-5% cement....but then, you could add 2-5% cement without the polymer and achieve the same result.

Usually not worth the cost...other methods available to achieve same or better results.

RE: Use of polymers to improve soil subgrades

is it called "dirt glue?"

f-d

¡papá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

RE: Use of polymers to improve soil subgrades

A local vendor for such a product convinced the FHWA to spec their product as a dust palliative and to protect a prepared subgrade for a major highway project. The subgrade was fine volcanic ash. The rest of the pavement structure was to be constructed on a future phase of the project so the completed subgrade had to remain in place for an extended period before asphalt base and surface courses. The material was very pricey vs. the alternatives, and the alternatives probably would have also worked, but the product performed as advertised and did an excellent job of both controlling dust and protecting the subgrade, even when later subjected to heavy construction traffic. No cement was used, and the product was not mixed into the subgrade material. It was diluted in the water wagon and simply sprayed over the surface. Penetration was excellent. The product itself looks like, smells like, and to casual observation seems to act like Elmer's Glue. I would judge its performance as excellent, but question whether its expense would be justified over less costly alternatives in many applications - same as Ron said with his far fewer words!

RE: Use of polymers to improve soil subgrades

here's an example, very pricey and looks just like elmers glue.

http://www.gorilla-snot.com/

RE: Use of polymers to improve soil subgrades

I would use a soil cement and mix into the top 8 inches.

Richard A. Cornelius, P.E.
WWW.amlinereast.com

RE: Use of polymers to improve soil subgrades

(OP)
Thanks for the responses.
I feel "snake oil" is appropriate, but I should have asked if anyone knows of testing such as CBR, Atterberg Limits or UCS over a period of time which indicates the improvement, or lack thereof, when using polymers with and without traditional additives such as lime or cement.

RE: Use of polymers to improve soil subgrades

No, I haven't seen any such testing such as you have mentioned. However, I have never seen it used or marketed for those benefits either, though somewhere else it might mb. Rather, it is used on materials that already have those properties in desirable or sufficient measure, and the product simply protects the material from erosion due to wind, rain, and traffic so as to preserve those qualities when compared to unprotected material.

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