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Improved Geotechnical Behavior of an Expansive Soil Amended with Cationic Polyacrylamide

Shengquan Zhou1, Minjie Shi1,*, Wei Chen1, Yongfei Zhang1, Weijian Wang1, Haojin Zhang1, Dongwei Li2

1 School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Anhui University of Science and Technology, Huainan, 232001, China
2 School of Civil and Architectural Engineering, East China University of Technology, Nanchang, 330013, China

* Corresponding Author: Minjie Shi. Email:

Journal of Renewable Materials 2021, 9(11), 1941-1957.


The characteristics of soil treated with cationic polyacrylamide (CPAM) mass content of 0%, 0.2%, 0.4%, 0.6%, 0.8%, and 1% were investigated through a series of laboratory tests to explore the practical engineering effect of an expansive soil amended with environmental protection material CPAM. The results indicate that with the increasing CPAM content, the liquid limit and plasticity index of soil decrease, the plastic limit increases, and the free swelling ratio and loaded swelling ratio decrease. Besides, the improved soil has less disintegrating property and better water stability. The shear strength increases as the content increases, and the optimal content is 0.6%. Meanwhile, the cohesion of the soil first increases and then decreases, and the internal friction angle increases. Additionally, the unconfined compressive strength first increases and then decreases. The improved soil presents the characteristics of brittle failure and reaches the peak value (410.1 kPa) at the content of 0.8% after curing for 14 days. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) exhibits that the number of curved and wrinkled sections of the expansive soil is reduced after CPAM improvement. Simultaneously, the arrangement of the superimposed polymer changes from face-face to side-angle or side-face-angle, and the reticular structure formed improves the strength and spatial stability of the soil. Therefore, adding appropriate cationic polyacrylamide could improve expansive soil in engineering.

Graphical Abstract

Improved Geotechnical Behavior of an Expansive Soil Amended with Cationic Polyacrylamide


Cite This Article

Zhou, S., Shi, M., Chen, W., Zhang, Y., Wang, W. et al. (2021). Improved Geotechnical Behavior of an Expansive Soil Amended with Cationic Polyacrylamide. Journal of Renewable Materials, 9(11), 1941–1957.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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