ELIMINATION OF SWELLING - FOUNDATIONS.

The elimination of foundation swelling can be achieved in two ways. They are

1. Providing a granular bed and cover below and around the foundation (Fig. 18.19)
2. Chemical stabilization of swelling soils

Figure 18.19 gives a typical example of the first type. In this case, the excavation is carried out up to a depth greater than the width of the foundation by about 20 to 30 cms. Freely draining soil, such as a mixture of sand and gravel, is placed and compacted up to the base level of the foundation. A Reinforced concrete footing is constructed at this level. A mixture of sand and gravel is filled up loosely over the fill. A reinforced concrete apron about 2 m wide is provided around the building to prevent moisture directly entering the foundation. A cushion of granular soils below the foundation absorbs the effect of swelling, and thereby its effect on the foundation will considerably

be reduced. A foundation of this type should be constructed only during the dry season when the soil has shrunk to its lowest level. Arrangements should be made to drain away the water from the
granular base during the rainy seasons.

Chemical stabilization of swelling soils by the addition of lime may be remarkably effective if the lime can be mixed thoroughly with the soil and compacted at about the optimum moisture content. The appropriate percentage usually ranges from about 3 to 8 percent. The lime content is estimated on the basis of pH tests and checked by compacting, curing and testing samples in the laboratory. The lime has the effect of reducing the plasticity of the soil, and hence its swelling potential.


Figure 18.19 Relationships for using Van Der Merwe's prediction method:
(a) potential expansiveness, and (b) reduction factor (Van der Merwe, 1964)

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