Influence of mica on unconfined compressive strength of a cement-treated weathered granite gravel

01 Apr 2014

The road construction industry faces a shortage of naturally occurring gravel materials that meet the requirements for base or even at times sub-base quality. This situation is exacerbated in some cases by the occurrence of mica in soils. This is reported to significantly affect the engineering properties of materials, including plasticity index and compacted density. The objective of this paper is to investigate the influence of mica on the unconfined compressive strength (UCS) and volumetric changes of a cement-treated gravel material. Free mica (muscovite) was added in predetermined percentages by mass to neat gravel (G5) and specimens subjected to a series of standard laboratory tests. The results show that UCS of greater than 3 MPa is achievable by stabilising less than 5% mica content gravel material with at least 4% cement. Mica content beyond 10% results in very low UCS, even for cement content greater than 6%.