Thixotropic Hardening of Fao Clay

  • Ahmed Shakir Kamil College of Engineering-University of Baghdad
  • Ala Nasir Aljorany College of Engineering-University of Baghdad
Keywords: Clay, Thixotropy, Strength regaining, Thixotropic effect, Remolding.


Fao region is characterized by weak soft silty clay to clayey silt thick layer which extends to a depth of about 20 m. The construction of some structures on such soils may needs piles. During the installation of driven piles, the soil geotechnical properties are exposed to significant changes result due to shearing under large shear strains. These changes significantly decrease the shear strength of the virgin soil due to the destruction of soil structure caused by remolding. The degradation of shear strength is usually followed by strength regaining which is called “Thixotropy”. In this study, the thixotropic effect on Fao clay was investigated. Many disturbed and undisturbed soil samples were brought from Fao region. Some of the soil samples were thoroughly remolded in the laboratory in its natural water content and molded as direct shear specimens. More than 180 specimens were prepared and tested over 36 weeks in order to accurately assess the percentage of strength regaining with time passing. The results show that soil remolding causes about a 45 % reduction in shear strength in comparing with the shear strength of the intact soil. This reduced percent in shear strength was almost fully regained after 25 weeks due to thixotropic effect.



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How to Cite
Kamil, A. and Aljorany, A. (2019) “Thixotropic Hardening of Fao Clay”, Journal of Engineering, 25(5), pp. 68-78. doi: 10.31026/j.eng.2019.05.05.