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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 547615, 10 pages
Research Article

Effects of Using Pozzolan and Portland Cement in the Treatment of Dispersive Clay

1School of Civil Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Penang, Malaysia
2Department of Geotechnics and Transportation, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81300 Johor, Malaysia

Received 30 April 2013; Accepted 4 June 2013

Academic Editors: C. M. Petrone and G. Ventura

Copyright © 2013 A. H. Vakili 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.


Use of dispersive clay as construction material requires treatment such as by chemical addition. Treatments to dispersive clay using pozzolan and Portland cement, singly and simultaneously, were carried out in this study. When used alone, the optimum amount of pozzolan required to treat a fully dispersive clay sample was 5%, but the curing time to reduce dispersion potential, from 100% to 30% or less, was 3 month long. On the other hand, also when used alone, a 3% cement content was capable of reducing dispersion potential to almost zero percent in only 7 days; and a 2% cement content was capable of achieving similar result in 14 days. However, treatment by cement alone is costly and could jeopardize the long term performance. Thus, a combined 5% pozzolan and 1.5% cement content was found capable of reducing dispersion potential from 100% to zero percent in 14 days. The results indicate that although simultaneous treatment with pozzolan and cement would extend the required curing time in comparison to treatment by cement alone of a higher content, the task could still be carried out in a reasonable period of curing time while avoiding the drawbacks of using either pozzolan or cement alone.