Leach Tests on Lime-Treated Clays

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Courtesy of ASTM International

This paper describes the design, use, and results of a multiple leach-cell operation to test the changes in permeability and calcium removal of a lime-treated expansive clay under continuous water leaching. Seventy laboratory-prepared lime-treated clay specimens were subjected to continuous accelerated leaching for periods of 45 and 90 days with varying lime contents and compactive moisture contents. Permeability, leachate pH, and leachate cation changes were continuously recorded during the leach process.

Results indicate that lime dramatically increased the soil´s permeability, with maximum permeability occurring at the lime modification optimum (LMO). Leachate pH increased as the lime content of the soil increased but decreased linearly during the leach cycle. Calcium concentration in the leachate was lowest in specimens prepared at their LMO but increased as the lime content increased. There is strong evidence to suggest that calcium removal and permeability are in direct correlation to the complex ion interaction within the soil-lime mixture, and therefore the LMO is central in determining leaching effects on lime-treated soils.

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