Canadian Geotechnical Journal recently published an article featuring Cypher Environmental and Red River College‘s joint Capillary Rise experiment program that was abstracted earlier in 2017. The experiment program was conducted and documented by Neil Chandler of Red River College and the Cypher Environmental engineering team.
The focus of the program was two 1-year capillary rise experiments designed to test the influence of the soil additive on the soil’s adsorption of water. The enzyme additive is typically applied to marginal clay-based soils to improve the performance of road subgrades. The study investigated the potential increase in shear strength and the reduction in swelling. The two long-term soil column tests were conducted to measure water absorption due to capillary rise for soil specimens with, and without, enzyme treatment. The test results demonstrated that the addition of the enzyme soil additive had the effect of reducing water retained in the pore spaces of a partially saturated soil. The soil treated with the enzyme additive absorbed a lower quantity of water in the capillary rise test, and at a slower rate of absorption. The results from a concurrent suite of tests suggested that partially saturated clay having lower moisture content was linked to an increase in shear strength.
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