Stabilization of Beach Sand Using Bitumen

Filed in Articles by on July 30, 2022

Stabilization of Beach Sand Using Bitumen.


The coastal and desert regions of Nigeria are endowed with abundant supply of beach and desert sand respectively which could have been used as sub-base material for road construction but for its poor bearing capacity.

As a result of this during road construction lateritic materials are imported from far distance to be used as sub-base material.

The purpose of this study was to offer a profound solution to this problem by stabilizing the available material with bitumen. Since, bitumen is known to impart strength to soil by cohesion (cementation) and water proofing.

To accomplish the above stated aim, several tests were conducted on the beach sand sample to depict its unsuitability to be used as a road construction material.

Also, the CBR test was conducted on the stabilized beach sand to ascertain the improvement in strength of the beach sand sample.

It was observed that on addition of 15% of bitumen, the CBR value increased to 9.5%. The minimum CBR value requirement for sub-base material according to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing general specifications for roads and bridges is 30%. Hence, this CBR value is insufficient for us.

Table of Contents





1.0 Background.             1

1.1 Statement of Problem.      . 3

1.2 Objectives of the Project. 3

1.3 Significance of the Study. 3

1.4 Scope and Limitations of Study. 3


2.0 Introduction. 5

2.1 Review of Past Works. 5

2.2 Foundational Studies On Beach Sand Stabilization. 18

2.2.1 Definition of Beach. 18

2.2.2 Definition and Composition of Beach Sand. 19

2.2.3 Formation of Beach Sand. 21

2.2.4 Sources of Beach Sand. 22

2.2.5 Types of Beaches. 23

2.2.6 Limitations of Beach Sand. 23

2.2.7 Definition of Bitumen. 25

2.2.8 Advantages of Bitumen. 25

2.2.9 Soil Stabilization. 26

2.2.10 Techniques Used for Improving Bearing Capacity of Soil.. 27

2.2.11 Methods of Sand Stabilization. 30


3.0 Framework of The Study. 33

3.1 Selection of Material 35

3.2 Specific Gravity Test. 35

3.3 Particle Size Distribution. 35

3.4 Compaction Test (Modified Proctor Test). 35

3.5 California Bearing Ratio Test (CBR Test). 36

3.6 Bitumen. 36


4.1 Sieve Analysis. 37

4.2 Proctor Compaction Test. 38

4.3 California Bearing Ratio Test. 38


5.1 Conclusion. 40

5.2 Recommendation. 41




1.0 Background

In Nigeria and other African countries, road engineers both in the private and public sectors are faced with tight budgets and increased environmental compliance challenges.

Traditional methods of building roadways are becoming more and more costly. Good quality construction materials are becoming increasingly scarce, especially for road construction.

The principal construction materials have been heavily utilized and depleted through ongoing construction and maintenance activities all over the country.

In addition, the haulage of good quality materials from other areas, over long distances is becoming very expensive.

Fortunately, in Nigeria, there is an abundance of naturally occurring beaches and desert sand that could be used in construction projects.

However, the fineness module of beach sand is so small that concrete in which ordinary sand is substituted by beach sand has low strength, poor adhesiveness and bad workability, which restricts the engineering application of beach sand.

Also, the presence of excess salt in beach sand causes steel corrosion when it is used in production. The salt in the beach sand tends to absorb moisture from atmosphere causing dampness.

In an attempt to resolve the problem associated with the use of beach sand as a construction material, researchers have developed several methods of treating beach sand to improve its quality.

One of such method is the use of lime as a stabilizing agent to form a strong material adequate for use in a low volume road pavement.

Cement stabilization is also used to provide a high strength, relatively stiff and inflexible pavement. Cement stabilized layers usually produce marked block cracking which can be the result of traffic loads as well as shrinkage stresses.

One of the cheapest means of improving the quality of beach sand is by mechanical stabilization. Such stabilization can be achieved by blending sand with other materials.

The choice of stabilizer is influenced by the properties of the material to be stabilized and the cost of stabilization.

This project is a comprehensive research into the use of bitumen as a stabilizer for beach sand found mostly along our coastal lands and areas.


Adam Hadhazy “Science of Summer: Where Does Beach Sand Come from?”       , 28-Dec-2017.
Al Salloum, “Fatigue Characteristics of an Asphalt Stabilized Dune Sand”, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Arizona, 1973. Coyne, and Ripple “Emulsified Asphalt and Mix Design and Construction”,
Proceeding, The Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists, Vol. 44, 1975, 281-301.
Dunn, C. S. and M. N. Salem, “Influence of Processing and Procedure on Strength of Stabilized Sand Stabilized with Cationic Emulsion”, HRE NO. 351, Highway Research Board, 1971, 50-56. 
Dunn, C. S. and Salem, “Temperature and Time Effect on the Shear Strength of Sand Stabilized with Cationic Emulsion”, HER No. 442, Highway Research Board, 1973,113-123.
Gregg, J. S., C. L., Dehlen, and P. J. Rigden, “On the Behavior and Design of Bituminous Stabilized Sand Bases”, Proceeding, 2nd international Conference on Structural Design of Asphalt Pavement, Univ. of Mich., Aug.1967, 709-729.
McKesson, C. L. and A. W. Mohr, “Soil Emulsified Asphalt and Sand Emulsified Asphalt Pavement”, Proceeding, Highway Research Board, 1941, 500-515.
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