Engineering Properties of used and unused soil in a developing country
It is difficult to assess the strength parameters of lateritic soils from existing literature due to variability in test methods, degree of compaction and soil characteristics. This paper describes some significant engineering properties of both used and unused laterite soils, and also examines the reusability of laterite soil in construction of local houses. Disturbed samples of both used and unused laterite soils were investigated. The tests carried out are sieve analysis, atterberg limits, specific gravity, british standard compaction, air-dry moisture content, triaxial compression and compressive strength. The results from the study revealed that the geotechnical properties of the unused laterite soil samples are better than that of the used laterite soil samples. The compressive strength of unused laterite soil is greater than that of used laterite soil hence they are more suitable, preferable and safer to be used for construction of local houses than the used laterite soil. The used laterite soil can however be re-used or reutilized to build local houses by addition of 0.5% portland cement. Futhermore, addition of 0.75% portland cement to the used laterite soil makes it stronger and more suitable for construction than the unused laterite soil.