Static and dynamic behaviors of granular soil reinforced by disposable face-mask chips

Jun Qi Zhang, Xiang Wang, Zhen Yu Yin, Ningyu Yang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The stock of disposable face masks has climbed steadily due to COVID-19, which results in an urgent worldwide environmental problem. This investigation aims to assess the potential of using waste mask chips (MC) as reinforcement in granular soil. To evaluate the mechanical properties of the mask chips - granular soil mixture (MSM), a series of monotonic and cyclic triaxial tests with different confining pressures and MC contents are conducted. Then, the shear behaviors of MSMs are quantified from both static (strength, stiffness, dilatancy) and dynamic (energy absorption capacity, resilient modulus, deformation) perspectives. Furthermore, based on the static and dynamic indexes, the effects of adding MC into granular soil are comprehensively analyzed. All experimental results indicate that the MSMs exbibit an increase of shear strength and a reduction of shear-induced volumetric dilation, but a decrease in stiffness. The addition of MC also leads to an increase in energy absorption but will not affect the cumulative strain of MSMs. Thus, MC has great potential to be used in the embankment construction of road and railway, backfill or reclamation construction, and so on. This experimental study provides a new perspective and thought on the recycling of waste face masks in civil engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129838
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2022


  • Granular material
  • Static and dynamic characteristics
  • Triaxial tests
  • Waste masks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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