Stabilization of a Clayey Soil with Ladle Metallurgy Furnace Slag Fines

Alexander S. Brand, Punit Singhvi, Ebenezer O. Fanijo, Erol Tutumluer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The research study described in this paper investigated the potential to use steel furnace slag (SFS) as a stabilizing additive for clayey soils. Even though SFS has limited applications in civil engineering infrastructure due to the formation of deleterious expansion in the presence of water, the free CaO and free MgO contents allow for the SFS to be a potentially suitable candidate for clayey soil stabilization and improvement. In this investigation, a kaolinite clay was stabilized with 10% and 15% ladle metallurgy furnace (LMF) slag fines by weight. This experimental study also included testing of the SFS mixtures with the activator calcium chloride (CaCl2), which was hypothesized to accelerate the hydration of the dicalcium silicate phase in the SFS, but the results show that the addition of CaCl2 was not found to be effective. Relative to the unmodified clay, the unconfined compressive strength increased by 67% and 91% when 10% and 15% LMF slag were utilized, respectively. Likewise, the dynamic modulus increased by 212% and 221% by adding 10% and 15% LMF slag, respectively. Specifically, the LMF slag fines are posited to primarily contribute to a mechanical rather than chemical stabilization mechanism. Overall, these findings suggest the effective utilization of SFS as a soil stabilization admixture to overcome problems associated with dispersive soils, but further research is required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4251
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Dynamic modulus
  • Ladle metallurgy furnace (LMF) slag
  • Slag characterization
  • Soil stabilization
  • Steel furnace slag (SFS)
  • Unconfined compressive strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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