The Effect Of Sodium Sulphate Contamination On Engineering Properties Of Lateritic Soil

Project and Seminar Materials for Civil Engineering CE

The Effect Of Sodium Sulphate Contamination On Engineering Properties Of Lateritic Soil


Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

Soil is the cheapest and the most widely used material in civil engineering project as foundation material either in its natural or improved form. It is highly heterogeneous and an isotopic in nature and existing with different engineering properties which can be influenced to some extend by the presence of sodium salts under the influences of water (Olawale, 2013).

The properties of soil as an engineering material depend on its surface electric charges, chemical composition, shape and size. The chemical composition influences to exhibit enormous change in the engineering properties especially in soil with high content of clay materials (Olawale, 2013).

Lateritic soil is one of the commonest materials that are widely used in the construction of civil engineering infrastructures, such earth dams, covers and pavement is constructed in layers in Nigeria, and surfacing. The first three layers are mostly constructed using laterite soil depending on the expected traffic volume and intensity suitability on the soil in terms of specification (Agbode and Osunolalo and FMN, 1997).

Transportation geo-environmental is a new emerging area that is interdisciplinary in nature. It cut across transportation, geotechnical and environment engineering, and aim at analyzing, predicting and solving problem of soil that are affected by environmental factors (Olawale, 2013).

The study of the effects of soluble salts in soil found out that chloride, sulphate and nirate of sodium increases the permeability of the soil, since there is clear indication that permeability; one of the engineering properties of soil is affected by the presented of the salts, it is pertinent to investigate their effect on the wider properties of the soil (Olawole, 2013).

The investigation made on the effect of sodium sulphate water on the mixed with clay soil, the result indicate there was increase in optimum moisture content and decrease in maximum dry density (Sherwood, 1992)

The effect of sulphate salt on engineering properties of lateritic soil was examined and the finding shows the maximum dry density and specific gravity decrease with tine while optimum moisture content increase with time (Sherwood, 1992)

The research is aimed at evaluating the effect of salt contamination on the engineering properties of soil using hydrated sodium (ii) tetraoxosulphate (iv) salt (NaSO4).


1.1 Statement of the Problem

The effect of sodium sulphate contamination on engineering properties of lateritic soil causes failure to highway pavement in existing roads and make highway foundation materials to be unsuiltable for highway construction.


1.2 Aim and Objectives Of the Study

  1. Access the actual performance of lateritic soil when contaminated with sodium (ii) tetraoxosulphate (iv) salt (NaSO4)
  2. To identify and appraise NaSO4 as a contaminant on lateritic soil.
  3. To show the effect of the NaSO4 on various engineering properties of lateritic soil.
  4. To evaluate the strength of lateritic soil when contaminated sodium (ii) tetraoxosulphate (iv) salt (NaSO4) and when free from the contaminant.

1.3 Justification

The effect of sulphate salt contamination on lateritic soil is highly needed in order to determine its effect on the engineering properties of lateritic soil which is the most commonest material used in highway pavement.


1.4 Scope of the Study

The research focused on the effect of sodium(ii) tetraoxosulphate(iv)salt as a contaminant on lateritic soil. The sample will be collected from a burrow pit and divided into four portions.

The first sample will be without NaSO4 while the remaining three portions will be contaminated in varied proportion.

The specimen will be subjected to the following tests:

  • Particles size analysis (sieve analysis)
  • Atterberg’s limits
  • Compaction
  • Califonia Bearing Ration(CBR)

1.5 Proposed Methodology

  • Procurement of material NaSO4)
  • Collection of the soil sample from a burrow pit
  • Mixing of the soil sample and NaSO4) as specimen; a portion will not be mixed which will serve as control for other mixed with contaminant.
  • Carrying out of laboratory tests which includes
    • Particles size analysis
    • Atterberg’s limits
    • British standard compaction
    • Califonia Bearing Ratio(CBR)
  • Calculation and analysis of the result.

Chapter Five


5.0 Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

From the investigations carried out on this work, the following conclusions are made:

The laterite sample is classified as Sand Gravel soil according to AASHTO classification system and it is a good sub grade and sub-base material for Civil Engineering construction.

The liquid test for unstabilized laterite is 60.31% and for the stabilized of 20% is 50.16,30 % is 46.9% and for 40% is 45.05 and plastic limits test for unstabilized laterite is 36.62% and for the stabilized of20% is 36.50, 30% is 33.99 and for 40% is 24.4 and liqiud indices test for unstabilized laterite is 23.69% and for the stabilized of 20% is 13.66, 30% is 12.91 and for 40% is 34.7 decrease with the addition of the contaminants. This reduction increase with increase in concentration of the contaminant “NaSO4” and meet the requirement of Federal Ministry of works (1975).

The California bearing ratio which is an important index for determining the usage of soil sample for construction also decrease with the ratio of increase of contaminant “NaSO4”

The maximum dry density decreases and optimum moisture content increase with the increase in concentration of the contaminant “NaSO4”

All the above show that the presence of NaSO4 in highway foundation materials can make them unsuitable for Civil Engineering construction or can cause pavement failure in existing roads.


5.2 Recommendation

The following recommendations are made:

The various sources of sodium sulphate contaminant in highway should be avoided by providing excellent drainage along highways.

The effect of the contaminant should be extended to base materials, especially if the base is constructed with lateritic soil because the effect on stone base may not be appreciable.

Sodium sulphates contaminants should also be avoiding through proper environmental impact assessment for roads under construction and existing highways.


The Effect Of Sodium Sulphate Contamination On Engineering Properties Of Lateritic Soil


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The Effect Of Sodium Sulphate Contamination On Engineering Properties Of Lateritic Soil


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