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Cracked dry clay soil

Engineers and Architects

Engineers and Architects are well aware of the problems and costs associated with building on clay soils. However, there are important facts for engineers and architects to understand about clay soil improvement with Condor SS. Much information is contained in the pages on the Builders portion of this website. However there are other technical aspects of Condor SS that are most likely more beneficial to geotechnical and structural engineers. Those areas  will be discussed on this page.

Swell Testing

The standard ASTM test for one-dimensional swell do not normally reveal the full swell modification characteristics of Condor SS. Only one-dimensional swell tests conducted using undisturbed soil samples over multi-cycle wet-dry cycles will reveal the swell reduction characteristics of Condor SS. This is true even if the soil samples are pre-treated with Condor SS prior to subjection to the swell test.

Untreated Chart  Treated SS Chart

              Test #1 Cyclic Swell                                          Test #2 Cyclic Swell

Soil Stabilization of Oklahoma has performed long term testing on numerous soil samples using multi-cycle methods. The results are shown above from one typical test using a single undisturbed soil sample of dense clay (CH). During the testing, the water or Condor SS solution was added into the oedometer by inundation using the standard ASTM procedures. The difference between our testing and the standard ASTM method is that the soil sample was taken from a suboptimal moisture condition, or even desicated condition, to a saturated state. The sample was then allowed to slowly dry at room temperature over sometimes several weeks until shrikage appeared minimal.

Even though the Condor SS solution was added indirectly into the sample, one will note in the Test 1 cycle that introduction of the SS solution caused the sample to initially swell slightly more than the previous cycles. Subsequent to the initial swell however, the cyclic swell was on its way to reduction.  Due to the density of the clay however, the full effects of the Condor SS treatment would not be realized without a second treatment. One of the characteristics of Condor SS is that it will cause the hydraulic conductivity to increase. The first indirect treatment of Condor SS thus essentially opened the structure of the dense clay to allow the second treatment to take effect.

The initial and final swell was even more dramatic the second time the SS solution was added to the soil. After the second treatment the clay sample's cyclic swell/shrinkage profile diminished to the point of being virtually insignificant. It can also be noted from the lowest point of the shrinkage cycles of Test 2 that consolidation had also begun to ocurr and the shrinkage was actually going negative relative to the initial conditions.

Our accelerated multi-cycle testing has always demonstrated the same results. Our overall conclusion is that the consolidation features of Condor SS will not realized overnight as it will take time for the treated clay particles to realign to a minimal volumetric configuration and maximum density.  It should also be apparent, that one-shot standard ASTM testing methods will not demonstrate the ultimate effectiveness of this product in reducing swell to a minimum.

Condor SS has the proven ability to take even the most expansive soils and reduce the swell to 1% or less thus eliminating concerns for swell induced heave.

For supportive data from other geotechnical testing check out the Earth Science Products website. 


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