Incorporation of a nanotechnology-based additive in cementitious products for clay stabilisation

Eyo Umo Eyo, Samson Ngambi, Samuel Abbey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
53 Downloads (Pure)


The mechanical performances and water retention characteristics of clays, stabilised by partial substitution of cement with by-products and inclusion of a nanotechnology-based additive called RoadCem (RC), are studied in this research. The unconfined compression tests and one-dimensional oedometer swelling were performed after 7 d of curing to understand the influence of addition of 1% of RC material in the stabilised soils with the cement partially replaced by 49%, 59% and 69% of ground granulated blast furnace slag (GBBS) or pulverised fuel ash (PFA). The moisture retention capacity of the stabilised clays was also explored using the soil-water retention curve (SWRC) from the measured suctions. Results confirmed an obvious effect of the use of RC with the obtained strength and swell properties of the stabilised clays suitable for road application at 50% replacement of cement. This outcome is associated with the in-depth and penetrating hydration of the cementitious materials by the RC and water which results in the production of needle-like matrix with interlocking filaments – a phenomenon referred to as the ‘wrapping’ effect. On the other hand, the SWRC used to describe the water holding capacity and corresponding swell mechanism of clays stabilised by a proportion of RC showed a satisfactory response. The moisture retention of the RC-modified clays was initially higher but reduced subsequently as the saturation level increased with decreasing suction. This phenomenon confirmed that clays stabilised by including the RC are water-proof in nature, thus ensuring reduced porosity and suction even at reduced water content. Overall, the stabilised clays with the combination of cement, GGBS and RC showed a better performance compared to those with the PFA included.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Pages (from-to)1056-1069
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
Issue number5
Early online date27 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • Cement
  • Fly ash
  • Ground granulated blast furnace slag (GBBS)
  • RoadCem (RC)
  • Soil-water retention curve (SWRC)
  • Stabilisation
  • Swell
  • Unconfined compressive strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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