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Just Add EMC SQUARED® Stabilizer to Your
Compaction Water and See the Results

Fast & Easy Stabilization Process
February 2021

Believe it or not, a few gallons of EMC Squared® System products added to the compaction water can outperform a ton or more of lime or cement products for stabilizing a highly expansive heavy clay soil, and at a fraction of the cost. As evidenced by the test results that accompany this case study for the construction of a federal penitentiary project in Central California, by effectively stabilizing the highly problematic clay soil to provide a resilient and water-resistant load carrying layer, application of the concentrated liquid stabilizer treatment in the compaction water also replaced the need for importing crushed aggregate base course material by providing a layer of more than equivalent stiffness, as measured in the soil materials testing laboratory with state of the art resilient modulus testing.

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For sake of perspective, the same few gallons that were more than equivalent to a ton or more of cement or lime, also replaced the need for 308 tons of crushed aggregate by providing a stabilized soil layer that had a resilient modulus that was more than equivalent to a layer of crushed aggregate base course materials. The resilient modulus test data was then incorporated in the Mechanistic-Emperical Pavement Design Method, a design method promoted by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The stabilized soil layer was well under one-third the delivered cost of the crushed aggregate material that would have required a 60 mile round trip trucking haul. While lime treatment was an option that could have provided cost savings on this project that ultimately included a long paved access road off the state highway and 15 acres of paved parking lots, the EMC SQUARED System stabilizer products provided $250,000.00 more in cost savings.

Demonstrating effective performance, the EMC SQUARED System stabilized clay roads and parking lot areas provided all-weather support for the construction traffic associated with the $100 million first phase of construction through two extremely wet winters. A delay in the government funding for the second phase of construction also delayed the planned placement of the hot mix asphalt pavement surface course on top of the stabilized clay base course. In spite of far more than a year of delay in the paving schedule, the stabilized clay access road performed without need for repair, retaining its stability and bearing strength with nothing more than two inches of gravel spread on top of the stabilized clay as a traction surface. The areas of the construction site that were not stabilized remained impassible for months each winter and spring due to the saturated clay soils. In addition to the cost-savings, the advanced EMC SQUARED System soil stabilization treatment also replaced the need for the mining and manufacturing of 30,000 tons of crushed aggregate and the road impacts and air pollution associated with the 1,200 truck loads of aggregate and a 60-mile round trip haul to deliver the materials to the project location. With a national goal of counteracting climate change and a construction project located in the San Joaquin Valley, an air basin contending with extreme air pollution problems, reducing the air pollution related to the mining operations and road construction projects is an increasingly important factor to evaluate when considering design and construction alternatives.


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