The aim of the project is to advance and improve existing non-destructive scanning techniques for detection of desiccation cracks in the soil mass and to develop new remedial measures for cracked soils. The proposal contemplates the validation of geophysical resistivity measurements to detect the presence of desiccation cracks networks in the global soil mass. To date, no experimental technique is capable of performing such studies. Considering that this will be a very valuable tool for industry and other end-users to asses the global integrity of earth-works (such as embankments), it is evident that there is an urgent need to fill this gap. It is also important to bear in mind that the situation will worsen in the near future as the underlying assumption of intact soils (when evaluating their hydraulic conductivity and global stability) becomes even less accurate as a consequence of climate change. Therefore, an experimental technique that is able to quantify the degree of heterogeneities in the soil mass (induce by the presence of desiccation cracks) will be unquestionably necessary. The aim of this project does not stop in detecting the problem but also in proposing novel solutions (based on polymers and grouts) that will contribute to overcome the problems of the current remedial techniques (see previous section) mainly based on the use of lime and cement. In the last few years it has been a considerable advance in the development of new polymers and grouts, which can be very suitable for its application as remedial solutions (and tracers) for cracked soils. Once this project prove the viability of the new remedial solutions (by testing them at different scales and under different environmental conditions, see work plan) it will generate new knowledge that will be ready to transfer it to the industry, benefiting it and the society as a whole.
Field of science
- /natural sciences/chemical sciences/polymer science
Call for proposal
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