Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Chemical Engineering


Hydration of the cement paste resulting in the formation of shrinkage cracks in soil-cement stabilized bases is one of the major problems when cement is used with certain soils. A new approach to control these shrinkage cracks is the use of expansive cement instead of regular portland cement. In this study the writer attempts to gain an insight into the effect of expansive cement on strength and durability of the soil-cement and examine whether it is advantageous to substitute expansive cement for regular portland cement.

A silty soil typical of materials found in the Red River Valley, North Dakota, was subjected to numerous stabilization tests. The stabilizing agents were regular portland cement and expansive cement. Addition of 10, 12 and 14 percent cement to this soil was in accordance with a Portland Cement Association recommendation. Cylinders and beams were molded at various moisture contents and tested for durability, shrinkage, resistance to rapid freeze and thaw, and compression and flexure. Results indicated that compressive and flexural strengths of soil-cement were lower when expansive cement was used, rather than regular portland cement. On the other hand, expansive cement was very effective in reducing the shrinkage cracks in the stabilized soil.