Influence of Randomly Distributed Coir Fibers on Shear Strength of Clay

Treasa Maliakal, Sudheesh Thiyyakkandi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The use of natural fibers such as coir for soil improvement is highly attractive in countries where such materials are locally and economically obtainable, in view of the preservation of natural environment and cost effectiveness. This paper discusses shear strength of clay reinforced with randomly distributed coir fibers based on a series of consolidated undrained triaxial compression tests. Test results show that major principal stress at failure for clay-coir fiber matrix increases with increase in fiber content (Wf) and fiber aspect ratio (Ar). For all the combinations of fiber contents and aspect ratios, failure principal stress envelope exhibits a curvilinear variation with a transition at a confining stress, known as critical confining stress. Separate regression analyses have been performed for observations below and above critical confining stress to develop mathematical models, which consider fiber content, aspect ratio, confining stress and plain soil characteristics as the input parameter, to predict major principal stress at failure for the clay-fiber composite. In general, the study identifies that the inclusion of discrete coir fibers in random fashion significantly improves the shear strength of clay and hence could be effectively used for the cases where in-place mixing of soil with fibers is possible (e. g., pavement sub-grade, landfill liner, small embankment). The developed regression models may be used in the design phase for the rough estimation of shear strength of the composite.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-433
Number of pages9
JournalGeotechnical and Geological Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • Coir fiber
  • Confining pressure
  • Fiber reinforced clay
  • Triaxial compression test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Soil Science
  • Geology

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