Sibu Peat Stabilization using Acrylic Copolymer Admixture

azrul-zulwaliProject Title:   Sibu Peat Stabilization using Acrylic Copolymer Admixture

Research ID:  4/2015/05

Principal Researcher:  Azrul Zulwali Kifli

Co-Researchers:  Syazie Nordzaima, Dr. Mohd Shahril Osman

Project Start Date:  12/1/2015

Duration of Project:  24 months

Research Summary:  Peat is found in various location throughout the world, with the total area of tropical peat land reaching 30 million hectares, and two thirds of that is located in Southeast Asia, mainly in the island of Borneo and Sumatra. As mentioned by M. N. Omar et al (2015), approximately 8% of Tropical peat amounts to about 2,457,730 ha of the 32,975,800 ha of the country’s total land area is covered with peat [1].  The state of Sarawak has the largest area of peat soils that amounted to 1,697,847 hectares.  The Sibu-Airport road is notorious for its bumpy ride, with settlements ranging from differential, uniform, till total settlement occur in pockets along the road.  A 2.5 km stretch of the said road which have been identified and located opposite to the Sibu General Hospital is having the worst case of settlement at five different pockets.  An admixture from Akar Indah, an Acrylic Copolymer based chemical, have a proven track record to stabilize both road and slopes with soft soil [2].  The admixture will bind the soil and form a concrete like base, which are able to withstand heavy machinery/ trucks/ cars on it, as proven from the company’s previous track record. This admixture is going to be used to treat the peat problem along Sibu-Airport road.  Samples will be extracted from the site to be tested through the Atterberg limit and moisture content test for the physical properties of the sample peat [3], [1], [4].  Unconfined Compression test (UCS) will be run to obtain the mechanical strength [5], [6].  The admixture is then added, with various percentage, where it will be cured at 7, 14, and 21 days, and testing is repeated.  It is expected that the results will show that the acrylic copolymer will significantly improve the peat, with an increase of strength by more than 2000% with an unconfined compressive value of more than 900kPa [7], [8], and will help in sustaining the health of both road pavement and also the foundations of construction.