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Obras y proyectos

versión On-line ISSN 0718-2813


OCHOA-CORNEJO, Felipe  y  MUNOZ, Sergio. Laponite: a nanotechnology that retards liquefaction. Obras y Proyectos [online]. 2017, n.21, pp.6-12. ISSN 0718-2813.

Earthquake induced liquefaction of loose sand deposits has caused significant damage in severe seismic events in Chile (Valdivia 1960, Valparaíso 1985, Maule 2010) and in other countries (New Zealand 2010, Japón 2011). This requires the development of soil improvement methods to increase the liquefaction resistance of these deposits, particularly in proximity to existing structures, where traditional approaches relying on densification may not work. This paper presents an experimental study that explores the use of Laponite, a synthetic nano-clay withparticle diameter ten times smaller than Bentonite, for treating liquefiable soils. The effect of the presence of a small amount of laponite (1% by dry mass of the sand) on the liquefaction resistance of clean sand specimens with relative density in the 15-25% range is studied through laboratory triaxial cyclic tests. The addition of 1% Laponite leads to a significant increase in liquefaction resistance, with respect to the clean sand, with the number of cycles to liquefaction increasing by approximately two orders of magnitude under the same cyclic stress ratio. This is comparable to the effect recently reportedfor Bentonite, but with much smaller addition of the nano-clay. The study addresses the mechanisms that explain the improvement based on the thixotropic fluid formed in the sand pore space.

Palabras clave : Laponite; Bentonite; nanomaterials; sand; liquefaction.

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