The Mechanical and Binding Potentials of Fresh Cow Dung (FCD) for Gravel Roads Construction

  • Anthony Mugendi Nyagah University of Nairobi
  • Sixtus Kinyua Mwea, PhD University of Nairobi
  • Francis John Gichaga, PhD University of Nairobi
Keywords: Dust Suppressants, Environmentally, friendly, Fresh Cow Dung, Gravel Roads, Sustainable
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Among the developing nations, unpaved (gravel and earth) roads form a disproportionately large percentage of the road network when compared to the paved roads. For instance, in Kenya earth roads account for 47% of the road network, while the gravel roads account for about 38%. The most significant problem associated with gravel and earth roads is dust emission, which contributes to the deterioration of the road surface. In addition, the dust causes road safety, human health and the environmental quality issues. In order to minimize dust emission dust suppressants are applied annually. Dust suppressants, for example, Magnesium or Calcium Chlorides solutions are expensive and hence not widely used in developing countries like Kenya. In many Kenyan rural homes and in most African countries, fresh cow dung (FCD) is used as dust suppressants in madhouses. Therefore, this study seeks to explore the mechanical and binding potentials of FCD for gravel roads construction as a dust suppressant, improvement of mechanical and resilience properties of lateritic soils for gravel roads construction. The effect of FCD on gravel soils was determined at various percentages (0%, 3%, 6%, 9% and 12%) by weight. The Index properties, compaction properties, plasticity requirements and bearing strengths {Unconfined Compressive Strength (UCS) and California Bearing Ratio (CBR)} were determined. The results show that Maximum Dry Density (MDD) reduced while the Optimum Moisture Content (OMC) increased with the increase in dosages of FCD. The UCS test results were 257 kN/m2 (0%), 257 kN/m2 (3%), 300 kN/m2 (6%), 267 kN/m2 (9%) and 213 kN/m2 (12%) while, the CBR test results were 21%, 39%, 54%, 34%, and 24% for 0%, 3%, 6%, 9% and 12%. The research concludes that FCD at 6% by weight can be used for mechanical stabilization of gravel soils for road construction. FCD is cheaper, readily available, sustainable and environmentally friendly. This will go a long way in the economic development of low and middle-income countries.


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28 June, 2021
How to Cite
Nyagah, A., Mwea, S., & Gichaga, F. (2021). The Mechanical and Binding Potentials of Fresh Cow Dung (FCD) for Gravel Roads Construction. East African Journal of Engineering, 3(1), 22-32.

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