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Durham e-Theses
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Examining Soil Based Construction Materials through X-Ray Computed Tomography

SMITH, JONATHAN,CHASE (2015) Examining Soil Based Construction Materials through X-Ray Computed Tomography. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Abstract

X-ray computed tomography (XRCT) enables the non-destructive analysis of samples internal structures down to a sub-micron resolution and has been used to examine the macrostructure of unstabilized soil based construction materials (SBCMs) alongside experiments on the materials unconfined compressive strength. SBCMs are manufactured mixtures of clay, sand and gravel which should be considered as highly unsaturated compacted soil where suction is the key source of strength. The use of XRCT in geotechnical literature is comprehensively reviewed before three laboratory investigations are described. Firstly crack propagation in SBCMs following unconfined compression is investigated and key lessons about XRCT scanning highlighted. Secondly the impact of altering sample size to match optimum XRCT scanning conditions is explored through experiments on void size distribution and unconfined compressive strength. Finally the effects of adding expansive clay to SBCM mixes on macrostructure are investigated and insights on how the unconfined compressive strength develops as SBCM dries are given. Conclusions from this thesis have applicability to both the SBCM industry, as the insights into the fundamental behaviour of SBCM can be used to inform building practice, and geotechnical researchers where the extensive use and development of XRCT can be applied to investigate the internal structure of a wide range of geotechnical materials.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Soil Based Construction Materials; Rammed Earth; XRCT; X-ray Computed Tomography; Unsaturated Soils; Geotechnical Engineering; Expansive Clay; Compressive Strength
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Engineering and Computing Science, School of
Thesis Date:2015
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:03 Jun 2015 11:25

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