Iowa Department of Transportation
Iowa Highway Research Board
Recycled Materials Resource Center (RMRC)
University of Wisconsin-Madison
About the research
Concrete diamond grinding on pavement projects generates a nonhazardous waste byproduct called concrete grinding residue (CGR). CGR has known cementitious characteristics that suggest a latent use as a soil-stabilizing amendment, especially for poor and problematic soils.
In this study, Western Iowa loess soil was amended with CGR and subjected to rainfall simulations and wind erosion tests to measure the erodibility of several soil mixtures. The results of the rainfall simulations showed that CGR-amended silty soil (loess) had only slightly different optimum moisture contents and maximum dry densities compared to untreated loess, while rainwater runoff samples of CGR-amended loess exhibited dramatically higher turbidity and total suspended solids. The results of the wind erosion tests showed that erosion was lower in more granular shoulder material and higher in shoulder material containing more organics. Wind erosion tests performed on CGR-amended Western Iowa loess showed modest improvement in this highly friable silty soil compared to untreated loess.
A field study conducted in Washington and Clinton Counties in Iowa compared CGR-stabilized and untreated sections to determine the effectiveness of CGR as a stabilizer for shoulder material. The CGR-stabilized sections in Washington County did not show significant improvement in strength, while the CGR-stabilized sections in Clinton County exhibited a 20% to 40% improvement in the composite elastic modulus and California bearing ratio values.