Geotechnical Aspects of Buildings on Expansive Soils in Kibaha, Tanzania Preliminary Study
Sammanfattning: The focus of this study is on potential problems resulting from construction on expansive soils in Kibaha region, Tanzania. For the fact that most of the affected structures are founded on expansive soils, a clear understanding of the soil behaviour and their interaction with structures, specifically as they relate to shallow foundations, has been of more interest to the study in order to evaluate properly the source of the problem.The geotechnical behaviour of expansive clay soils is investigated by looking into the geomorphologic, geological and climatic conditions and mineralogical composition of the soils in the study area. The geotechnical results are linked with the performance of the foundation as well as structures.Two sites, representative of known problem-areas in Kibaha were selected for geotechnical tests. Geotechnical site investigation consisted of open trial pits, profile description and the collection of both disturbed and undisturbed samples.The collected samples were submitted to soil laboratories at KTH and DIT for mineralogical composition tests, natural water content, density, Atterberg limits and swell tests (free swell and swelling pressure). The results of this investigation indicate that soil in Kibaha contains clay (31%), have high liquid limit (59%) and plastic limit (37%) which indicate high potential swell.Since swell potential and swell pressure are key properties of expansive soils, the swell parameters were measured by free swell tests and one-dimensional oedometer swell tests respectively. The free swell ranged from 100% to 150% and the swell pressure was in the region of 45 kPa.The properties of expansive soils were confirmed by the x-ray diffraction test which showed the presence of montmorillonite in the soil. It is from this fact that the source of the problem is in the expansive soils coupled with poor building materials.Physical conditions of the surveyed properties in the area confirmed the hypothesis of building damages due to poor building materials triggered by expansive soils. In support of the obtained data, the actual behaviour of the foundations is supplemented with prototypes of strip foundations whose performances are to be monitored over a long period. Finally, suggested are the ways forward to solve the problem of foundation on expansive soil.
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