Test Study on Strength and Permeability Properties of Lime-Fly Ash Loess under Freeze-Thaw Cycles

Zhiquan Zhang1, Yufen Zhang2, *
1 School of Civil Engineering, Chang’an University, Xi’an, P.R. China 710061
2 College of Architecture and Civil Engineering, North China University of Technology, Beijing, P.R. China, 100144

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© 2014 Zhang and Zhang;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the College of Architecture and Civil Engineering, North China University of Technology, Beijing, P.R. China, 100144; Tel: 86-13522998929; Fax: 86-010-88803940; E-mails:,


In order to study the application of lime-fly ash loess in permafrost subgrade engineering, uniaxial compressive test, fast direct shearing test and permeability tests were carried out on lime-fly ash loess under different curing ages and freeze-thaw cycles. Uniaxial compressive strength of lime-fly ash loess increases slowly with the curing ages, and can reach 3.5 Mpa after the curing ages of 90 days (This strength is called 90d strength). 14d strength of lime-fly ash loess has already reached 50% of 90d strength; later strength including 28d strength and 90d strength is basically stable under different freeze-thaw cycles, so lime-fly ash loess has good water stability and freeze-thaw stability. Fast direct shear strength decreases with the number of freeze-thaw cycles without consideration of moisture content; the coefficient of permeability increases with the number of freeze-thaw cycles.All test data show that lime-fly ash loess with good behaviors can be applied in permafrost subgrade engineering.

Keywords: 90d strength, freeze-thaw cycles, lime-fly ash loess, subgrade engineering, water-saturated.