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Structure damages are becoming very common at Cuiaba/ Brazil, especially in case of low structures, probably due to expansive soil behavior. This work analyzes a typical problem where an expansive soil was found to be the cause of the problem. Soil samples collected at different depths were tested according to the conventional geotechnical investigation tests, swelling potential, x-ray diffraction analysis, scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive x-ray technique. Moreover, the wall cracks were dated and studied together with a foundation structural analysis. All the analysis tests led to the conclusion that the soil had an average to high swelling potential due to the presence of expansive-clay minerals, like smectite and vermiculite.

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Structure damage due to expansive soils: A case study
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Structure damage due to expansive soils: A case study

Structure damages are becoming very common at Cuiaba/ Brazil, especially in case of low structures, probably due to expansive soil behavior. This work analyzes a typical problem where an expansive soil was found to be the cause of the problem. Soil samples collected at different depths were tested according to the conventional geotechnical investigation tests, swelling potential, x-ray diffraction analysis, scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive x-ray technique. Moreover, the wall cracks were dated and studied together with a foundation structural analysis. All the analysis tests led to the conclusion that the soil had an average to high swelling potential due to the presence of expansive-clay minerals, like smectite and vermiculite.

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