Effect of human hair fiber reinforcement on shrinkage cracking potential of expansive clay


This paper presents the results of an experimental investigation carried out to study the shrinkage cracking behavior of clay soil under natural and reinforced conditions. Waste human hair fibers collected from barbershops are used as reinforcement along with other natural/synthetic fibers such as coir fibers and polypropylene fibers. Effect of reinforcement is studied on Atterberg’s limits of soil and shrinkage limits. The progressive crack propagation with drying is assessed using an image processing technique under unreinforced and reinforced conditions. The cracking potential of soil is interpreted in terms of crack intensity factor and crack reduction ratio. It is inferred from the results that the geometric and morphological characteristics of crack patterns were significantly altered by random inclusion of fibers. It is found that polypropylene fibers are most efficient in controlling the cracking potential, and human hair fibers are also found to perform practically comparable with polypropylene fibers. The percentage reduction in cracking with coir fibers is relatively less.

Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment