Effects of compaction on shear strength of wax-coated sandy soils

Jean Pierre Bardet, Mehrab Jesmani, Nima Jabbari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Synthetic soils are being contemplated for replacing natural sandy soils in particular engineering applications such as recreational trails and sport arenas. In the case of sport surfaces, synthetic soils contain artificial additives that aim at reducing risks of athlete injuries by enhancing and stabilizing the shear strength and drainage properties of natural soils. For example in synthetic horseracing tracks, sandy soils coated with wax were found to achieve desirable mechanical properties during wet and dry weather conditions. Natural sandy soils have mechanical and hydraulic properties that strongly depend on their dry density and water content during compaction. When coated with wax, these synthetic soils exhibit new attributes such as decreased water retention, lower dry density, and improved drainage characteristics. However wax-coated soils are new materials with poorly understood engineering properties. This study investigates the effects of compaction on the shear strength of wax-coated sands based on a series of compaction tests and direct shear tests. Based on the experimental results obtained on a particular wax-coated soil, the study infers that the wax coating renders the shear strength of sandy soils less susceptible to changes in water content, and slightly increases the shear strength at low pressure without affecting significantly the internal friction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-461
Number of pages11
JournalElectronic Journal of Geotechnical Engineering
Volume16 D
StatePublished - Apr 20 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Cohesion
  • Compaction
  • Dry density
  • Shear strength
  • Synthetic soils
  • Water content
  • Water repellency
  • Wax-oated sand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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