• Vol 11, No 1 (2020)
  • Civil Engineering

The Behavior of the Flexible Plate – Supported with SiCC-Mortar Column on Expansive Soil

Agus Setyo Muntohar, Willis Diana, Muhammad Yogma Tafalas, Nakosa Rafa Bimantara

Corresponding email: willisdiana@umy.ac.id

Cite this article as:
Muntohar, A.S., Diana, W., Tafalas, M.Y., Bimantara, N.R., 2020. The Behavior of the Flexible Plate – Supported with SiCC-Mortar Column on Expansive Soil. International Journal of Technology. Volume 11(1), pp. 123-132
Agus Setyo Muntohar Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta, Jl. Brawijaya, Tamantirto, Bantul, D.I. Yogyakarta, 55183, Indonesia
Willis Diana Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta, Jl. Brawijaya, Tamantirto, Bantul, D.I. Yogyakarta, 55183, Indonesia
Muhammad Yogma Tafalas Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta, Jl. Brawijaya, Tamantirto, Bantul, D.I. Yogyakarta, 55183, Indonesia
Nakosa Rafa Bimantara Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta, Jl. Brawijaya, Tamantirto, Bantul, D.I. Yogyakarta, 55183, Indonesia
Email to Corresponding Author


This paper provides the test results of the load-deformation test on a flexible plate, supported and unsupported by SiCC mortar columns in the laboratory setting. Two columns types were used in this experiment, a circular column (O-shape) and a column with head enlargement (T-shape). The main purpose of this study was to examine the heave of flexible plate due to the swelling effect and modulus of subgrade reaction under a loading-unloading cycle. The expansive soil was put into a testing container with a diameter and height of 550 mm and 1000 mm respectively. The clay thickness was 700 mm and the sand layer was compacted to 200 mm at the bottom of the container. The column diameter (Dc) was 50.8 mm (2 in.), and had a length of 500 mm. The height and diameter of the column head were enlarged to three times the column diameter (3Dc), which was about 152.4 mm (6 in.). Loading tests were performed after 8 days of saturation and 14 days of curing the column. The test results showed that installation of the column in support of the plate reduced the heave to about 16% and 22% respectively for the O-shape and T-shape column-support plates. The T-shape column-strengthened plate can enhance the modulus of subgrade reaction to about 203%. This result indicated significant improvement by the enlarged column head in carrying and transmitting the load to the soil.

Deflection; Expansive soil; Flexible plate; SiCC column technique


Building and road pavement damage on expansive clay soil has become a problem that needs serious treatment. The swelling and shrinking of expansive clay soil will have a considerable effect on the supported construction. Several methods can be applied to increase soil bearing capacity, such as material replacement or soil mixing, the alteration of chemical properties and the use of geosynthetics. Chemically, lime is widely used to stabilize expansive soil at a shallow depth of up to 1 m. Many investigators studied a deep mixing method using lime-columns or lime/cement- columns to strengthen expansive soil, e.g. Tonoz et al. (2003), Rao and Thyagaraj (2003), Hewayde et al. (2005), and Puppala and Pedarla (2017). These researchers explain that the lime or cement column technique can also serve as a mini pile foundation which functions to control the uplift force and deformation. The installation of columns from pozzolans into the subgrade is principally similar  to  the  mini  piles (Abiodun  and  Nalbantoglu,  2015).   The   columns   system  can  increase the strength and decrease the deformation of the foundation caused by the swelling pressure of expansive soil (Tonoz et al., 2003; Hewayde et al., 2005; Muntohar and Liao, 2006). Active lime columns will absorb the soil moisture to produce hydration reaction in adjacent soil and surrounding column. The calcium ions from lime will penetrate into soil and migrate into the soil surrounding the column and will be enclosed by the lime-column (Abiodun & Nalbantoglu, 2015). The lime column, which is moistened with water, will react more rapidly than the column that is not moistened (Abiodun and Nalbantoglu, 2015; Puppala & Pedarla, 2017). When the columns are applied to support an upper structure, such as pavement, the system can be modeled as a piled-flexible plate (Core and Siddiqui, 2013; Diana et al., 2016; Puri, 2017; Huang et al., 2017).

The previous research, e.g. Abiodun and Nalbantoglu (2015), Damoerin et al. (2015), Tonoz et al. (2003), Hewayde et al. (2005), Muntohar and Liao (2006), mainly used lime or cement columns as a form of deep mixing stabilization. Those studies of lime or cement column were applied as a foundation system for flexible pavement on expansive clay. Hence, this paper introduces a new foundation system for flexible pavement to control the soil heave and enhance the load carrying capacity of the pavement. The purpose of this research is to study the characteristics of a flexible plate supported by the columns on expansive soil as a foundation system. 


This laboratory experiment was conducted to evaluate the heave and load deflection of the flexible plate supported with SiCC mortar columns. Two types of columns were used, an O-shape and T-shaped column. In general, this research shows that SiCC column-supported plates on expansive clay can reduce the heave and increase the load carrying capacity. In general, the heave increases with the elapsed time. Installation of the column to support the plate reduces the heave at about 16% and 22% respectively for the O-shape and T-shaped column-support plate. The reduction of the heave can be attributed to the mechanically effect instead of the migration of cations from the SiCC into the soil. The addition of the O-shape column increases the modulus of subgrade reaction slightly by about 18%. However, the T-shape column-strengthened plate can enhance the modulus of subgrade reaction (k) by about 203%. This result indicates a significant improvement by the enlargement of the column head to reduce the heave and carrying and transmitting the load to the soil. However, further study for both large scale and numerical models are needed to confirm this concluding remark.


        This paper is part of research sponsored by the Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education in 2014–2017 under the National Strategic Research Grant number DIPA- and DIPA-


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