Document Type : Original Research Paper


Department of Civil Engineering, Chandigarh University, Mohali, Punjab, India


Due to disposal concerns, an enormous quantity of personal protective equipment (PPE) waste from the COVID-19 pandemic constituted a severe health and environmental risk. During the pandemic, the usage of protective suits increased dramatically raising concerns about how to dispose of them to safeguard the environment. This research work uses shredded face masks (SFM) to stabilise clayey soil for sub-grade usage. Shredded face masks are added to clayey soil to investigate consistency limits, compaction characteristics, unconfined compressive strength (UCS), and California bearing ratio (CBR). Laboratory experiments demonstrate that clayey soil geo-technical characteristics such differential free swell, consistency limits, UCS, and CBR values have improved. Based on the CBR results, the IITPAVE software is used to design flexible pavement thickness, which was reduced for various commercial vehicles per day for all combinations. Cost analysis is also done to determine the total cost for a 1000-meter stretch. The results show that addition of SFM to clayey soils strengthen the geo-technical properties of clayey soil as the UCS values increase for all curing periods of 3, 7, and 28 days with a maximum improvement of 64% for 28 days curing for 1% SFM content. Also, the CBR value is found to be increased from 1.96% to 6.72%.


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