Document Type



Because of existing and predicted future shortages of road-building aggregates, the Iowa State Highway Commission has for several years sponsored research programs to find satisfactory substitutes. A major part of these investigations has been to investigate possible chemical treatments to waterproof and harden natural soils. In locations of most critical aggregate shortages in Iowa, loess, a fine silt soil, is often the major surficial material, and present investigations have been concerned mainly with loess in Iowa. During successive project years different loess soil areas in Iowa have been studied, first to determine petrographic and engineering properties of the soils and second to systematically examine various soil stabilizers with the object of selecting the most promising through laboratory tests. Considering the extremely wide variety of chemicals tried and the various stabilization principles involved, it is significant that one, treatment has remained consistently near the head of the list-that of stabilizing soil by adding water and Portland cement. Compacted mixtures of cement and water and soil, termed "soilcement", have been used as road base materials since about 1935, and many roads using this material have long and successful service records. The growth in. nationwide utilization of soil-cement has been most rapid in recent years, but perhaps as important is the fact that the advent of soil-cement marked the beginning of modern chemical soil stabilization, and field and laboratory procedures adopted for soil-cement have strongly influenced the investigations of other chemicals.

Publication Date


Journal Title

Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science





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©1957 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.



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