Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Department of Engineering

Advisor(s)

Kyle Gipson

Abstract

The weathering and erosion of weak rocks along roadways can cause dangerous and potentially fatal rockfalls.   Various slope stabilization methods exist, but each presents a set of challenges and trade-offs.   The focus of the project is to understand the feasibility of utilizing of a polymerbased slope stabilization technique. Rock samples were collected along US Route 33 in Virginia and West Virginia, and preliminary tests were conducted to evaluate the absorption of water (% mass) and durability. The study evaluates three polymer options in regard to the following criteria: adhesion to rock, layer thickness, semi-permeability, insolubility, and non-toxicity. The polymer selection process yielded that a water-based polyurethane would present the benefits of creating a waterproof and lightweight coating when applied to the rock analyzed as part of this study. Polymer coated rock samples were tested in same manner as the uncoated rock samples from the preliminary tests; where the results indicate a slight decrease in water absorption and an increase in erosion durability.   Intended future work will investigate the impact of application technique on the durability and absorptive properties of coated rock samples.

 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.