Engineering characteristics of chemically treated water-repellent Kaolin

Youngmin Choi, Hyunwook Choo, Tae Sup Yun, Changho Lee, Woojin Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Water-repellent soils have a potential as alternative construction materials that will improve conventional geotechnical structures. In this study, the potential of chemically treated water-repellent kaolin clay as a landfill cover material is explored by examining its characteristics including hydraulic and mechanical properties. In order to provide water repellency to the kaolin clay, the surface of clay particle is modified with organosilanes in concentrations (CO) ranging from 0.5% to 10% by weight. As the CO increases, the specific gravity of treated clay tends to decrease, whereas the total organic carbon content of the treated clay tends to increase. The soil-water contact angle increases with an increase in CO until CO = 2.5%, and then maintains an almost constant value (≈134.0°). Resistance to water infiltration is improved by organosilane treatment under low hydrostatic pressure. However, water infiltration resistance under high hydrostatic pressure is reduced or exacerbated to the level of untreated clay. The maximum compacted dry weight density decreases with increasing CO. As the CO increases, the small strain shear modulus increases, whereas the effect of organosilane treatment on the constrained modulus is minimal. The results indicate that water-repellent kaolin clay possesses excellent engineering characteristics for a landfill cover material.

Original languageEnglish
Article number978
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant (16-RDRP-B076564-03) from Regional Development Research Program funded by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of the Korean government and by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIP) (NRF-2015R1A2A2A01006337).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by the author.


  • Artificial water-repellent clay
  • Contact angle
  • Landfill cover system
  • Organosilane
  • Stiffness
  • Water infiltration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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