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AIRFIELD SHOULDER STABILIZATION

U.S. Military organizations have been working with Soil Stabilization Products Company, Inc. (SSPCo) for many years as part of an ongoing effort to address mission requirements at home and abroad with product technology that is both cost effective and environmentally friendly. SSPCo has supplied high visibility international actions including Operation Provide Comfort (Turkey/Iraq), Operation Provide Hope (Somalia), for the JLOTS Seven Week Test, for the requirements of the Air Command, Army and United Nations in Haiti, and most recently in Bosnia. Projects have included roads, landing strips, helipads, runway shoulders, taxiways, parking aprons, fuel storage facility containment systems, landfill covers, tank trails, retaining walls, and protection systems for berms, bunkers, channels, dikes, fortifications, and slopes.

Helicopter and fixed wing aircraft are all susceptible to dust and foreign object damage (F.O.D.). While helicopters and aircraft such as the C-130 are designed to operate from dirt helipads and dirt runways when necessary, the less dust and foreign objects (rocks and other debris) they encounter, the lower the maintenance costs. Consequently, large areas of native soil often need both stabilization and dust control treatment in order to effectively serve as landing strips, helipads, or shoulders for paved runways.

Faced with a large area of airfield shoulder adjacent to the Helipad area at Barstow-Daggett Airport, a facility located in a remote area of the California high desert, the design engineers from the US Army Corps of Engineers district office specified the EMC SQUARED® System for soil stabilization, followed by a light dust control spray application of an environmentally friendly emulsion treatment. This low-cost combination treatment had been used successfully for road and runway shoulder applications at other military base facilities and met all environmental as well as performance requirements. At Barstow-Daggett, bearing strength tests were conducted to verify the load bearing capacity of the stabilized soil following a period of water immersion. Using the California Bearing Ratio, or “CBR” test, the average CBR value for the variety of soils that were sampled from four different locations was improved by approximately one and a half times. The results of the CBR tests follow.

The field performance of the treated material demonstrated the dramatic degree of improvement provided by the stabilization treatment. Untreated soil materials adjacent to the shoulders have been rilled and washed away by heavy seasonal rainfall events. The stabilized shoulder areas remain solid and intact, providing the necessary dust control and retention of surface materials during dry weather, while resisting erosion and supporting maintenance vehicle traffic during wet weather conditions.

California Bearing Ratio
Specimen No. Untreated Soil Treated Soil
55324 89 100
55325 28 46
55326 68 111
55327 68 107
Average 63

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Soil Stabilization Products, Inc.
PO Box 2779
Merced, CA 95344

Toll Free: (800) 523-9992
Phone:     (209) 383-3296

Fax: (209) 383-7849

Email: INFO@SSPCO.COM

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