By: Matthew W. Singel, PE
An often-asked question when discussing soil stabilizing additives is whether cement or lime is the cheaper option. This answer goes much deeper than the current price-per-ton comparison. When asked, this question, I often answer, “that depends”, followed by a series of questions that might include:
Ultimately, the in-place cost per square yard or cubic yard is where the actual determination lies. The project specification acceptance criteria might include target density, 7-day unconfined compressive strengths, PI reduction, application rates of additives as determined from a mix design, and stiffness readings to name a few. Overall project requirements may have time or re-trafficing constraints.
Hopefully, you now see that the initial question of “…which is cheaper…” does not have a simple answer. The better question might be, "Which stabilizer--or combination thereof--can minimize the entire project cost, and ensure appropriate performance?"
"This blog was previously posted in the Cement Council of Texas' "Texas Cement and Concrete Blog" (now inactive) and was carried forward to the current blog ("Cementx Pavement Blog") as it contains content that may be of interest to the reader".
The Cementx Pavement Blog seeks to make pavement owners, engineers and contractors smarter about selecting, designing, constructing and maintaining pavements. New blog postings began February 1, 2017; however, we carried over pavement-related blog postings from our older blog, the "Texas Cement and Concrete Blog," which ran until December 2016.