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  • AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY ON FOAMED CONCRETE

    FOUNDATION AS PEAT SOIL REPLACEMENT IN SARAWAK

    Lai Phui Hua

    Master of Engineering 2011

  • AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY ON FOAMED CONCRETE

    FOUNDATION AS PEAT SOIL REPLACEMENT IN SARAWAK

    P.KHIDMAT MAKLUMAT AKADEMIK

    .1IIIIIIIIIIi'm'llllllllll

    1000246326

    LAIPHUIHUA

    A thesis submitted

    in fulfillment of the requirement for the Degree of

    Master of Engineering

    (Civil Engineering)

    Faculty of Engineering .

    UNlVERSITI MALAYSIA SARA W AK

    2011

  • ,..... -

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    I want to express my deepest gratitude to my supervisor Dr Mohamad Ibrahim Safawi for

    providing me the laboratory, adequate materials and helpful inputs. His invaluable guidance

    and assistance from the beginning to the end have helped me a lot to achieve success in the

    research study. Furthermore, f also want to thank him for sacrificing his time especially for

    being present in my laboratory experiment on the weekend. His many constructive and

    beneficial advices have undoubtedly improved the final draft.

    A great thank to Mr. Teo Song Cheok for supporting me in doing my research in the early

    stage. Besides, I want to express my heartiest gratitude to all my coUeagues and friends for

    their support and suggestions to make this thesis a reality.

    Last but not least, I am grateful to my family especially my wife Lim Wang Ching for the

    spiritual and moral support all the way.

    - ii

  • I TABLE OF CONTENTS

    CONTENT

    PAGES

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    LIST OF APPENDIX

    LIST OF FIGURES

    LIST OF TABLES

    LIST OF ABBREVIATION

    ABSTRACT

    ABSTRAK

    CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION

    1.0 General

    \.1 Problem Statement

    1.2 Objectives of the Study

    1.3 Limitation of Study

    1.4 The Study Area

    1.5 Thesis Layout

    1.6 Research Methodology Flo~ Chart

    CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

    2.0 Introduction

    - iii

    ii

    iii

    VUl

    ix

    xii

    xiv

    xv

    xvi

    2

    3

    4

    4

    4

    5

    6

  • 2.1 General 6

    2.2 Classification of Peat Soil in Sarawak 9

    2.3 Characteristics of Peat Soil in Sarawak 10

    2.4 Construction Suitability in Peat Land II

    2.5 Construction Method on Peat Land 12

    2.5.1 Material replacement method 14

    2.5.2 Material placement method (Geotextiles) 14

    2.5.3 Pile foundation 16

    2.5.4 Load reduction method 18

    2.6 Cellular Lightweight Foamed Concrete 20

    2.7 Gap Analysis 21

    CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

    3.0 General 22

    3.01 Characteristics of foamed concrete properties 22

    3.02 Design and experiment of the foamed 22

    concrete foundation

    3.1 Materials used in the Experiment 23

    3.2 Experimental Measurement 25

    3.2.1 Slump flow test 26

    3.2.2 Compression strength of foamed concrete 27

    3.2.3 Fresh and hardened density of foamed concrete 27

    3.2.4 Percentage of the void in foamed concrete 28

    - iv

  • I

    CHAPTER 4: .

    3.2.5 Deformation of foamed concrete 30

    3.3 Design and Experiment the Foamed Concrete 31

    Foundation

    3.3.1 Determine the shape and size 32

    STUDY ON FOAMED CONCRETE

    4.0 Objective of Study 36

    4.1 Mix Proportion of Foamed Concrete 37

    4.2 Slump Spread Test 38

    4.3 Compression Strength of Foamed Concrete 40

    4.4 Validation of Fresh and Hardened Density of 43

    Foamed Concrete

    4.5 Deformation of Foamed Concrete on Hardening 46

    4.6 Percentage of Void in Foamed Concrete 48

    4.6.1 Determine void by density reduce method 48

    4.6.2 Waxed Method 51

    4.6.3 Comparison the result of Density reduce 52

    method and Waxed method

    4.7 Further Investigation on Density, Percentage of void 55

    and Compressive strength

    - v

  • CHAPTER 5: FEASIBILITY STUDY ON THE FLOATING FOUNDATION

    5.0 General

    5.1 Feasibility of Floating the Foamed Concrete in Water

    5.2 Floatability ofTreated Foamed Concrete in Water

    5.2.1 Foamed concrete treated by wax for

    fully impermeable

    5.2.2 Foamed concrete surface treated by wax

    CHAPTER 6: SIMULATlON OF FOAMED CONCRETE FOUNDATION

    6.0 General

    6.1 Floating Concept on Actual Ground

    6.2 Assumptions for Simulating Foamed Concrete

    Foundation

    6.3 Experimental Procedure for Measuring Simulation

    of Stability and Settlement

    6.4 Effects of Shape Variation in Foamed Concrete Sample

    6.5 Experiment Result for Stability and Settlement Test

    6.5.1 Stability and settleme.nt simu'lation for a

    cube shape

    6.5.2 Stability and settlement simulation for

    Trapezoid shape

    - vi

    58

    59

    62

    62

    64

    68

    69

    70

    71

    ~, 74

    75

    75

    77

    I

    ,-

    http:settleme.nt

  • I

    CHAPTER 7:

    6.6

    6.7

    6.5.3 Stability and settlement simulation for

    cylinder shape

    6.5.4 Summary of stability and settlement simulation

    Foamed Concrete Replacement Test

    6.6.1 Proposal for sand replacement factor, Ksand

    Proposed Design Procedure

    CONCLUSION

    81

    84

    96

    87

    91

    7.0

    7.1

    Research Conclusion

    Further Research Proposal

    96

    97

    REFERENCES 99

    - vii

  • ,.

    LIST OF APPENDIX

    Appendix A: SOIL INVESTIGATION ONPEAT DENSITYAND MOISTURE 102 CONTENT IN KUCHING AREA

    Appendix B: ESTIMATION OF FOAMED CONCRETE MATERIAL 105

    Appendix C: RESULT OF FOAMED CONCRETE SLUMP FLOW TEST 107

    Appendix 0 : STRENGTH OF FOAMED CONCRETE ON DAY 28 109

    Appendix E: MASS FOAMED CONCRETE VS EARLY HARDEN DENSITY 110 OF FOAMED CONCRETE

    Appendix F: DATA OF DEFORMATION OF FOAMED CONCRETE III

    AppendixG: DATA OF PERCENTAGE OF VOID VS. DENSITY OF FOAMED 1\4 CONCRETE

    Appendix H: DATA FOR FOAMED CONCRETE CUBE FLOATING TEST 115

    Appendix I: COMPARISON OF DENSITY BETWEEN SEA WATER AND 116 PEAT WATER

    Appendix J: RESULT OF SIEVE TEST OF SAND SAMPLE 117

    AppendixK: LABORATORY TEST RESULT FOR DRY, SATURATED AND 118 OVERSA TURA TED SAND CONDITION

    Appendix L: PEAT SOIL - SAND (BEARING CAPACITY FACTOR) 142

    - viii

  • LIST OF FIGURES

    Figure 1.1: Distribution of peat soils in Sarawak 2

    Figure 3.1: Slump test for foamed concrete

    Figure 3.2: Deformation measurement point

    Figure 3.3: The various shape (a) Cube Shape (b) Trapezoid Shape and

    Figure 1.2: Natural peat swamp forest activities in Sarawak 3

    Figure 1.3: Research Methodology Flow Chart 5

    Figure 2.1: Peat soil profile in Samarahan Area 7

    Figure 2.2: Cross section of geologic relation in Matang area, Kuching 8

    Figure 2.3: Settlement versus Time curves for Kuching and most places in Sarawak 13

    Figure 2.4: Replacement method on peat land road construction 14

    Figure 2.5: Road construction on peat land by using Geotextile 15

    Figure 2.6: Cross section of Geotextile on peat land 16

    Figure 2.7 : Principal types of pile 17

    Figure 2.8: Textures of cellular lightweight foamed concrete 19

    Figure 2.9: Overall view of produced foamed concrete 20

    (c) Cylinder Shape for foamed concrete for laboratory test

    Figure 3.4: Dimension -Area ratio for cube, trapezoid and cylinder shapes

    Figure 4.1 : The materials and tools of produce foamed concrete

    Figure 4.2: SP used in the mixing offoamed concrete and flowability (slump) is measured

    Figure 4.3: Result of foamed concrete slump test with SP and without SP

    Figure 4.4: Density Vs. Compressive strength of foamed concrete in various stages

    - ix

    ~------------------

    26

    31

    32

    37

    38

    39

    41

  • Figure 4.5: Density Vs. Compressive strength (28th days) for foamed concrete 42

    without fly-ash and with fly-ash

    Figure 4.6: The comparisons of percentage of moisture losses for foamed concrete 44

    in early hardened and hardened condition during process harden

    Figure 4.7: Early hardened density vs. Hardened density of foamed concrete 45

    Figure 4.8: The relation between hardened density and deformation of 47

    foamed concrete

    Figure 4.9: The percentage of foam added into the foamed concrete without 50

    fly-ash and with fly-ash

    Figure 4.10: Void vs. Density of foamed concrete 52

    Figure 4.11 : Comparison percentage of void by waxed and density reduces method 54

    Figure 4.12: Foam is found evenly distributed (homogeneous) inside the 55

    foamed concrete sample

    Figure 4.13: Relationship between percentage of void and compressive strength of 57

    foamed concrete

    Figure 5.1: Archimedes's principle is referred as the basic of the floatability 58

    Figure 5.2: Measuring the submerging of the foamed concrete sample 59

    Figure 5.3: Settlement Vs. Time 61

    Figure 5.4: Process of fully impermeable the foamed concrete sample and 63

    compressive strength test to the waxed foam~d concrete sample

    Figure 5.5: The semi-waxed foamed concrete cube sample was floated for a 65

    few days

    Figure 5.6: The floated cube could support the external load 66

    - x

  • Figure 5.7: The comparison density of fully waxed and surface waxed foamed 67

    concrete after waxing

    Figure 6.1: The concept of "Floating Foundation" on peat soil 69

    Figure 6.2: Simulation of stability and initial settlement test in a laboratory 71

    Figure 6.3: Stability and Settlement test for various shape foamed concrete in 73

    dry sand condition in laboratory

    Figure 6.4: Stability and Settlement test on Saturated and Oversaturated 73

    sand condition at laboratory

    Figure 6.5 : Rotation vs. Moment (Cube shape) 75

    Figure 6.6: Settlement vs. Pressure (Cube shape) 77

    Figure 6.7: Rotation vs. Moment (Trapezoid shape) 78

    Figure 6.8: Settlement vs. Pressure (Trapezoid shape) 80

    Figure 6.9: Rotation vs. Moment (Cylinder shape) 81

    Figure 6.10: Settlement vs. Pressure (Cylinder shape) 83

    Figure 6.11 : Degree of rotation Vs. Moment 84

    Figure 6.12: Settlement Vs. Pressure 85

    Figure 6.13: Replacement test of foamed concrete step by step 86

    Figure 6.14: Replacement test for various shape foamed concrete in the laboratory 87

    Figure 6.15: Factor of replacement Vs. Density of foamed concrete 90

    Figure 7.1: Proposed continue studies on a foamed concrete foundation on 98

    peat land in Sarawak

    - xi

  • LIST OF TABLES

    Table 2.1: Areas under peat in Sarawak 8

    Table 2.2: Classification of peat soils in Sarawak 9

    Table 2.3: Basic characteristics of peat soil in Sarawak II

    Table 2.4: Suitability of peat soil in construction 12

    Table 3.la: Sample of foamed concrete in cube shape 33

    Table 3.1 b: Sample of foamed concrete in trapezoid shape 34

    Table 3.1 c: Sample of foamed concrete in cyl inder shape 34

    Table 4.1: Mix proportion used in the study 37

    Table 4.2: Concrete strength at 28 days 40

    Table 4.3 : Relationship between density foamed concrete and compressive 41

    strength

    Table 4.4: The comparison of the density of foamed concrete in fresh, early 43

    harden and harden condition

    Table 4.5: Percentage of foam added into the foamed concrete 49

    Table 4.6: Equation to obtain the percentage of void by waxed method 51

    Table 4.7: Comparison percentage of void by waxed method and density 53

    reduce method

    Table 4.8 : Relation between percentage of void and compressive strength of 56

    foamed concrete

    Table 5.1: Result of floatability for untreated foamed concrete 60

    Table 5.2: The comparison of the density of water, sea water and peat water 62

    Table 5.3: Result on the floatability fully waxed foamed concrete 64

    - xii

  • I

    65

    in25 mm

    Table 6.1: Dimension-Ratio for cube shape 76

    Table 5.4: Result of the floatability of Surface Waxing with a thickness of wax

    Table 6.2: Size-Ratio for trapezoid shape 79

    Table 6.3 : Size-Ratio for cylinder shape 82

    sand condition

    sand condition

    Table 6.4: Result of factor of replacement foamed concrete in dry sand condition 88

    Table 6.5: Result of factor of replacement foamed concrete in saturated 88

    Table 6.6: Result of factor of replacement foamed concrete in over saturated 89

    Table 6.7: Conversion KSand- Kpeal 91

    Table 6.8: Load impose to the foamed concrete foundation 92

    - xiii

  • LIST OF ABBREVIATION

    UNIMAS M M2 M3

    Mm Kg G Fc N % Log FA mfe

    msand

    L,H,W 9

    Universiti Malaysia Sarawak Meter Meter square Cubic meter Millimeters Kilogram Gram Foamed Concrete Newton Percent ( or percentage) Logarithm Fly-Ash Mass of foamed concrete Mass Of Sand Length, Height, Width Degree Of Rotation

    - xiv

  • ABSTRACT

    This research is concerned with the prospects of using foamed concrete as fill material (which

    will be referred as foamed concrete foundation in subsequent sections) on peat land based on

    the density replacement method. This study adopted the concept of "floating foundation"

    where the density of foamed concrete foundation shall be less than or equal to the density of

    excavated peat soil. Two (2) mix proportions offoamed concrete were compared in this study.

    Although the strength of foamed concrete is not the main focus in this study, the target

    strength value should not be less than 8 MP~Assumptions made in the experiments are: - (a)

    The peat land is fully saturated, (b) Depth of the peat soil layer is 5 - 10m, (c) The depth of

    groundwater table is 0 - 40 cm. Two major findings of this study are: - (i) the physical

    properties and characteristics of foamed concrete make it suitable for peat replacement. The

    density of the foamed concrete ranged from 600 1m3 to 1200 kg/m3• The relationship between

    fresh and harden densities, the deformation of foamed concrete, and the percentage of the

    void of foamed concrete was investigated. (ii) The feasibility study of foamed concrete

    foundation: - shape, settlement and stability; it was expected that the foamed concrete shape

    would alter the stability and the initial settlement of the foamed concrete foundation. This

    study confirmed the suitability of foamed concrete foundation as peat soil replacement with

    load carrying capacity by controlling the density and the shape of the foamed concrete

    foundation.

    - xv

  • I

    ABSTRAK

    Kaj ian ini adalah berkaitan dengan kemungkinan kegunaan konkrit berliang sebagai bahan

    gantian tanah gambut (dimana selepas ini akan disebut asas konkrit berliang) dengan

    mengunakan eara tukar-gantian. Kajian ini adalah dipindah daripada idea asas apung dimana

    ketumpatan asas konkrit berliang ini hendaklah sama atau kurang daripada ketumpatan

    tanagh gambut yang dipindahkan. Da'lam kajian ini terdapat dua (2) jenis nisbah kandungan

    konkrit yang digunakan untuk perbandingan. Kekuatan mampatan konkrit berliang bukan

    merupakan matlamat utama dalam kajian ini, tetapi ke'kuatan yang ditagetkan hendaklah tidak

    kurang daripada 8 MPa. Beberapa andaian adalah perJu untuk dimantapkan sebelum kajian di

    makmal dijalankan sepenuhnya, iaitu: - (a) Kawasan tanah gambut adalah dalam keadaan tepu

    dengan paras air tanah adalah 0 - 40 em atas perrnukaan tanah. (b) Kedalaman tanah gambut

    adalah dalam Iingkungan 5 - 10m. Kajian ini mempunyai dua (2) penearian :- (i) Kesesuaian

    konkrit berliang sebagai bahan tukar-ganti tanah gambut dari kajian kepada nisbah kandungan

    dan eiri-ciri konkrit berliang terse but. Antara eiri-ciri yang dikaji adalah hubugan ketumpatan

    "Segar dan ketumpatan keras konkrit berliang, keruntuhan and peratusan liang udara konkrit

    berliang . Kajian ini adalah dilakukan dengan ketumpatan konkrit berliang antara 600 kg/m3

    1200 kg/m3• (ii) Kajian kemungkinan asas konkrit berliang dari segi:- bentuk, pemendapan

    dan kestabilan; adalah dipereayai bentuk konkrit berliang akan memberikan kesan terhadap

    kestabilan dan pemendapan permulaan asas konkrit berliang. Penghasilan kajian ini bagi (i)

    dan (ii) akan menentukan kebolehgunaan konkrit berliang bertukar ganti dengan tanah gambut

    supaya dapat membawa beban dengan pengawalan ketumpatan dan bentuk asas konkrit

    berliang.

    - xvi

  • CHAPTER 1

    INTRODUCTION

    1.0 General

    Construction works on soft soil especially peat soil is complicated due to its low bearing

    capacity, excessive settlement and differential settlement. Sarawak, a state with about 13% of the

    landscape covered by peat land, is facing the same problem in construction on peat soil especially

    for road construction.

    Generally, most of peat lands in Sarawak are located in low-lying coastal depressing areas,

    usually 2-4 km from coastal, especially in and around the deltas of Lupar, Rajang and Baram

    rivers as shown in Figure 1.1. (Melling et at., 2002).

    - 1

  • -_.........

    ...., ""\

    i • -,._Figure 1.1: Distribution of peat soils in Sarawak (Melling et aI. , 2002)

    1.1 Problem Statement

    There are a lot of industrial activities concentrated at peat swamp forests like timber

    logging, oil palm plantation and others. In such cases, floating timber bridge is commonly used

    for access into the peat forest as shown in Figure ,1.2.

    Floating timber bridge is constructed for temporary used, which it was not stable, not lasting and

    also not environmental friendly because trees may need to be cut down. In this case, the use of

    permanent floating foundation is being investigated to resolve this problem. Lightweight foamed

    concrete material could be a solution to address this problem.

    -2

  • (a) Peat Swamp Forest (b) "Floating" Timber Bridge

    Figure 1.2: Natural peat swamp forest activities in Sarawak

    (Pboto taken at logging area Beladin, Betong)

    1.2 Objectives of tbe Study

    There are three (3) objectives in this research study, in order to determine the applicability

    ofusing foamed concrete as a fill material. They are:

    (8) To determine the optimum foamed concrete mix proportion to meet the targeted density

    and compressive strength.

    (b) To identify the most appropriate shape and size offoamed concrete foundation.

    (c) To produce a design model of peat replacement by usi~g foamed concrete.

    - 3

  • 1.3 Limitation of Study

    The following two (2) limitations are adopted in this study with respect to the general peat

    soil condition in Sarawak:~

    a. The peat land is assumed to be fully saturated or over fully saturated with groundwater

    table 0 - 40 cm from the level of ground.

    b. The depth of peat soil layer is limited to the range of5 - 10 m.

    1.4 The Study Area

    The area of this research study consists of two (2) major parts:

    a. The foamed concrete properties and characteristic.

    b. The physical study of foamed concrete foundation: - shape, settlement and stability

    1.5 Thesis Layout

    The thesis layout consists of Seven (7) chapters. Chapter 1 presents the background and

    objectives of the study. Chapter 2 presents a review of the literature of the subject matter. A

    special section on the introduction of foamed concrete is written at the end of this chapter.

    Chapter 3 described about two (2) research methodologies, particularly on the experimental

    method and details of experiments. Chapter 4 covers the study of the consistency of the foamed

    - 4

  • "usat IJNJVE

    concrete characteristics and behaviour to obtain the optimum mix proportion for the continuing

    research. Chapter 5 described the concept of floating foamed concrete foundation and the peat

    soil replacement. Chapter 6 explained the simulation the foamed concrete foundation to find the

    relation between the foundations against the actual soil condition. Chapter 7 summarizes the

    findings of the research study.

    1.6 Research Methodology Flow Chart

    This research study basically can be device into 3 stages as flow chart below:

    Stage 1

    • Can foamed concrete float? 001 :> • Can foamed concrete re place peat soil?

    Stage 2 ~ 001 > • Lighter density foamed concrete • Sand replace peat soil

    StageJ ~ • Laboratory001 :> • Field

    Figure 1.3: Research Methodology Flow Chart

    - 5

  • CHAPTER 2

    LITERATURE REVIEW

    1.0 Introduction

    This chapter discusses the classification and characteristics of peat soil in Sarawak and the

    method currently used in peat land construction. At the end of the chapter, a brief introduction to

    the foamed concrete will be presented.

    1.1 General

    Dent (1986) mentioned that Malaysia has a total peat land area of 27,300 km2 of which

    covers almost 8.34% of total area (328,550 km2) of the country. Tie and Lim, 1991 stated that

    peat land area in Peninsular Malaysia is about 9800 km2 or 3.6% of the peat land area of the

    country. Sarawak contributes about 61 % or 16,600km2 ofthe total peat land area in Malaysia and

    whereas Sabah contributes only 900 km2 or 3.3% of peat land' in the country

    About 90% of the Sarawak peat is classified as deep peat with depth greater than 1.5 m, and some

    CII1 be as deep as 20 m. (Melling et ai., 2002).

    - 6

  • I Figure 2.1 shows that the thickness of peat in Samarahan area is on average 40 cm, which is

    considered as shallow peat.

    • I 7 I ._•....&...._.~a:.. ___._•.1-. ___ .~.

    Figure 2.1: Peat soil profile in Samarahan Area (Yonebayashi, 2003)

    Basically the depth of peat in Sarawak is spatially uneven. A sudden change from shallow peat

    to deep peat within a very short distance is common. Figure 2.2 shows that Matang area is

    covered by peat land with the depth of peat layer in range of I-10m. This area is the combination

    of the shallow peat and deep peat.

    -7