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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 810652, 12 pages
Research Article

Macroscopic and Microscopic Mechanisms of Cement-Stabilized Soft Clay Mixed with Seawater by Adding Ultrafine Silica Fume

Department of Civil Engineering, Zhejiang Ocean University, No. 1, South Haida Road, Changzhi Island, Lincheng Avenue, Dinghai District, Zhoushan, Zhejiang 316022, China

Received 7 August 2014; Revised 20 October 2014; Accepted 21 October 2014; Published 13 November 2014

Academic Editor: Pavel Lejcek

Copyright © 2014 Qiang Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The strength of the cement-stabilized soil can be improved by the use of seawater. Compressive strength test results show that the strength of cement-stabilized soil mixed with seawater is 50% greater than that mixed with freshwater at the 90th day. However, the application is limited because the expansion of the cement-stabilized soil mixed with seawater increases significantly. A kind of ultrafine silica fume was added into the cement-stabilized soil to inhibit swelling of the cement-stabilized soil with seawater. The expansion of cement-stabilized soil mixed with seawater by adding ultrafine silica fume is close to that of cement-stabilized soil mixed with freshwater. With the addition of ultrafine silica fume, the unconfined compressive strength increases by close to 6.5% compared with seawater alone at the 90th day. The mechanisms of adding ultrafine silica fume into the cement-stabilized soil mixed with seawater are revealed by several physical and chemical characterization parameters, such as specific gravity, unbound water content, surface morphology seen with SEM, and crystal products by X-ray diffraction tests. The results show that the crystal growth is an important factor, affecting the strength and expansion of cement-stabilized soil mixed with seawater.