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Book Chapter

12. Specialized applications

Published:
January 01, 2006

Abstract

12.1. Principles

12.1.1. Scope of chapter

This chapter essentially covers the specialized uses of clay in construction not included in the more routine applications covered in other chapters. There is a very wide range of such specialized applications, so none can be treated in great depth in this book. In addition, some of the applications, especially in the areas of environmental engineering, are undergoing rapid development. Readers interested in particular applications should therefore consult the appropriate references given and be prepared to search for more recent publications.

The applications discussed in this chapter may be divided into two main categories, though there is some overlap between the two. The first category includes the use of clay slurries in drilling, piling, diaphragm wall construction and tunnelling. In most cases the slurry is used as a construction expedient to provide fluid pressure, support soil particles in suspension to prevent sedimentation, and to act as a medium of transport for excavated material. In some cases the slurry may be left in place to form an impermeable barrier; in such cases the clay slurry may be mixed with natural soil and/or cement to achieve a semi-solid final state. Clay or clay/cement slurries may also be used as grouts to seal permeable natural ground for either short- or long-term purposes.

The other principal category includes uses where plastic solid clay is employed to form impermeable barriers or waterproof layers, most commonly in the construction of engineered landfill facilities or for the containment of hazardous solids or liquids. In these cases the applications are making use of the low hydraulic conductivity of clays, which is maintained even when the material is deformed, due to the clay’s ability to strain plastically without cracking. A traditional form of such material is ‘puddle clay’, widely used in the past for lining canals and forming the core of earth embankment dams.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Engineering Geology Special Publications

Clay Materials Used in Construction

G. M. Reeves
G. M. Reeves
UHI Millennium Institute, Thurso, UK
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I. Sims
I. Sims
STATS Limited, St Albans, UK
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J. C. Cripps
J. C. Cripps
University of Sheffield, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
21
ISBN electronic:
9781862393837
Publication date:
January 01, 2006

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