EMC SQUARED System products are entering their fourth decade of delivering sustainable technology for highway, transportation infrastructure, earthwork and environmental projects. These stabilization products are in service for industrial and recreational applications as well as for city,
county, state and federal agency roads and interstate freeway projects. In many cases this innovative technology is lowering construction costs and reducing environmental impacts while outperforming the conventional products in materials engineering tests and field service. In a world with increasing demand on available financial and natural resources, doing more with less is a necessity.

The demand for stabilization is increasing by the day. Aggregate supplies are being exhausted. Haul distances are increasing along with diesel fuel costs. Heavy trucks rapidly deteriorate road service life. Long hauls are increasingly unacceptable to the public agencies responsible for road maintenance and the taxpayers who are subsidizing new development by bearing these costs.
Deteriorating air quality in many metropolitan areas is forcing change, and this is already beginning to impact developers and contractors as they are forced to mitigate the impact of large construction projects on air quality. The EMC SQUARED product technology can save resources, improve road performance and dramatically lower construction costs while reducing wear on adjacent public road systems and reducing construction related air pollution. Stabilization Products LLC has a proven answer. Advanced engineering and product technology can have beneficial impact on construction costs, service life and the environment.

As in past centuries, in the history of great scientific progress, it often takes a convergence of advancements in related areas of knowledge and technologies before true breakthroughs are recognized and widely implemented. Stabilization Products LLC continues to advance stabilization technology while the more refined laboratory, field monitoring and design methodology have systematically been introduced into the universe of highway and geotechnical engineering. The advancements in these related disciplines are essential to provide the logical basis for widespread implementation of breakthrough technology. The increasing acceptance of our stabilization technology demonstrates the fact that Stabilization Products LLC offers a far more sophisticated product technology than the bulk application of cement and lime.

As former suppliers of aggregate and pavement materials, and as former general engineering contractors involved in road construction, our staff is conversant with the engineers who specify our products and the contractors who install. Stabilization Products LLC’s industry background and technical support are key to the success of a product technology that is reliant upon construction processes that must be conducted according to rigorous engineering quality controls. The cost-savings and performance improvements made available by the advanced product technology are contingent upon more sophisticated installation methodology. Product and application technology go very much hand-in-hand.

Whether it’s a case of replacing aggregate base rock with more economical soil stabilization treatment, or treating both aggregate base and soil subgrade layers to extend the smoothness and service life of newly constructed sections of freeway, a track record of success has been established. Applied with appropriate engineering controls, the EMC SQUARED System is highly effective in improving the stability behavior of a broad spectrum of aggregate and soil materials for service applications in a wide variety of climatic conditions. The product technology is both user-friendly and environmentally friendly. It has significant cost advantages over conventional cement and lime treatment. The economics are so favorable that it opens up a far wider world of opportunity for the cost-effective application of soil stabilization treatments.

Building Roads From The Bottom Up Delivers Strength Improvements and Major Cost-Savings for County Road Projects

The ability of the design engineer to select subgrade soil stabilization in place of a fourteen-inch thick layer of aggregate subbase material was facilitated by the design engineer's use of the AASHTO M-E Design Method, a design program developed with the support of the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the USDOT's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). AASHTO and FHWA had good reason to promote this design system as it directs attention to improving road performance by strengthening the subgrade and base course layers underneath the pavement in order to reduce road construction costs and extend road service life. Focusing on building a stronger foundation under the pavement is a design concept known as building the road from the bottom up. This is in contrast to the conventional design methods, which essentially build the road from the top down, a far more costly design approach that relies on thick layers of asphalt and concrete pavement, and even thicker layers of manufactured aggregate base materials. Top down design methods give little credit to the value of more economical measures that can be taken to increase the strength of the total road structural section by using construction procedures such as stabilization of the aggregate base course and of the soil subgrade layer.

As of a July 29, 2013, Mountrail County Road 5 (also known as Ross Road, or 90th Avenue NW/55th Street NW), the project featured in the attached case study, remains in excellent condition after a year in service under heavy oilfield service truck traffic through very wet spring and early summer conditions. On a road where oilfield service trucks are already a high percentage of the Annual Daily Traffic count (ADT), the ADT has more than doubled since 2011. The ADT is now 3,500. Of note, County Road 5 was among the very few roads in Mountrail County that were not subject to Load Restrictions this past winter and spring, the time of year when severe freezethaw cycling in this northern region traditionally weakens road foundations and leaves them subject to costly damage if traveled by heavily loaded trucks. Even the state highways running through Mountrail County, under the jurisdiction of the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) were subject to load restrictions through this same period of time. Since there were no load restrictions placed on County Road 5, built on top of the stabilized subgrade, loads weighing up to 105,500 pounds were permitted to use the road in all weather conditions. Two heavy drill rigs were moved on County Road 5 and the pavement structural section remained solid with no visible deformation of the asphalt pavement layer under the heavy loading of the drill rig equipment. You will notice a local news article in the attached case study that the North Dakota Highway Patrol, working in cooperation with the Mountrail County Sherriff’s Department, found that 70 percent of the trucks that they stopped during a commercial vehicle inspection conducted in Mountrail County in late February of this year were running over the legal weight limits, so you can get the picture of what we mean by "heavy truck traffic". This is another good reason to build roads from the bottom up with a stabilized subgrade, providing a more reliable road foundation to support the pavement properly under very heavy loading and spring ground conditions.

Now is the time to review the potential cost-savings available from reducing the use of aggregate materials and instead stabilizing locally available native soils with advanced Concentrated Liquid Stabilization (CLS) products from Stabilization Products LLC. Given the high cost of conventional paved road construction and the rapidly increasing volume of heavy truck traffic that continues to deteriorate newly paved roads constructed according to conventional top down design, there is an opportunity to extend the service life of the road systems scheduled for construction this year by adding stabilized subgrades into the construction package to stiffen the construction working platforms and provide stronger, more moisture resistant road foundations. The EMC SQUARED System stabilizer products are also effective with recycled pavement materials and make an ideal match for increasing the strength and stability of the mixtures created by Full Depth Reclamation (FDR) procedures, sometimes described as the "Mine and Blend" materials. These recycled pavement materials are often used as base course layers when failed asphalt roads are being reconstructed in preparation for new asphalt pavement surfaces. The overall strength and stability of these roads can be greatly improved at very low cost when the appropriate stabilization treatment is added into the compaction water during the standard construction processes for either the base course or subgrade layers. The implementation of advanced oil production procedures continue to accelerate the oil boom and the related volume of heavy truck traffic and super heavy drilling rig loads moving over deteriorating road systems. The times call for the implementation of advanced technology for road construction in order to address this challenge. The first and most cost-effective step is to improve the performance of the current road construction projects with the simple addition of a stabilized subgrade to the project construction specifications. In every high standard road construction project, the subgrade soils are already scheduled for costly subgrade preparation procedures prior to placement of the base course and pavement layers. It takes very little additional work to incorporate an EMC SQUARED System.

At a time of almost overwhelming demand for road reconstruction and new highway construction projects, how does it not make sense to incorporate economical subgrade stabilization as a standard item in road reconstruction in order to build better foundations under these road construction projects? The future is here — you can build better roads on stronger foundations at lower cost working from the bottom up. Take time to have a look at the attached case study as an example. Construction photos and engineering test reports are included.

For additional case studies where EMC SQUARED System stabilized soils have provided significant cost savings by eliminating the need for imported aggregate materials, or greatly improved the strength and moisture resistance of aggregate base course materials, please visit our website: www.sspco.com

Let us know if we can be of assistance in specifying subgrade stabilization or base stabilization for your road construction projects. We are available to be of assistance in value engineering reviews for projects currently in construction, provide price quotations, or address your other informational requirements.

If you are currently using yesterday's high dollar stabilizer products for base treatment, cement (CTB) or bituminous treatments (BTB); it's time to familiarize yourself with today's advanced stabilization technology. EMC SQUARED System treatment is much less expensive, and when properly matched with select virgin aggregate or recycled pavement aggregate materials; it provides a more appropriate, more logical engineering response to pavement base course requirements.


It's common knowledge that aggregate materials treated with cement are rigid and subject to shrinkage cracking. The expansion joints required in standard concrete installations are designed to control the cracking problem. With cement treated base (CTB) expansion joints are not part of the construction process, and cracking is inevitable. Asphalt pavement placed directly on top of a CTB layer will experience reflective cracking directly above the cracking in the CTB layer. EMC SQUARED base treatments, on the other hand, are flexible layers (as opposed to rigid), and provide improved bearing strength while retaining flexibility and resistance to cracking. As demonstrated in resilient modulus testing conducted at the University of Reno, aggregate materials treated with EMC SQUARED applications can demonstrate performance similar to hot mix asphalt pavement layers in regards to flexibility and bearing strength. Given this similarity in materials engineering characteristics, the EMC SQUARED layer is ideally matched as a base course for asphalt pavements.

EMC SQUARED base treatment is equally appropriate as a cost-saving and performance enhancing alternative to bituminous base course treatment (BTB). With many aggregate materials, EMC SQUARED treatments can produce higher strength, higher density layers with excellent resistance to moisture intrusion - at a fraction of the cost of BTB installations.


Highway departments often build their concrete pavements above cement treated base layers (CTB), using hot mix asphalt (HMA) interlayers to provide a cushioning layer between the two rigid layers (Portland Cement Concrete and CTB). EMC SQUARED base treatments produce stable bound layers without excessive rigidity or susceptibility to cracking and provide tremendous cost-savings over multiple layer systems using both HMA and CTB under concrete pavements.


EMC SQUARED System applications have proven effective in field treatment of moisture and frost susceptible aggregate materials. Laboratory testing also documents the effectiveness of these treatments in addressing moisture affinity problems. As demonstrated in the report listed below on Suction & Dielectric Testing, EMC SQUARED System treatments have converted highly moisture and frost susceptible aggregate materials to stabilized materials with moisture resistance characteristics similar to those of asphalt and concrete pavement materials.


EMC SQUARED System applications provide major savings over cement and bituminous treatments and offer a unique package of performance benefits that are often better matched to project specific requirements. Review the information provided on this website. Call us for additional technical support.



The EMC SQUARED System products are non-hazardous, non-flammable and non-corrosive. No special safety precautions are required for storage and handling. The EMC SQUARED System products are in use by private industries and public agencies with strict environmental review policies. EMC SQUARED System products are in service for US federal government agencies with major land management responsibilities including the US Air Force, the US Army, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Forest Service and the National Park Service.


The EMC SQUARED System has many advantages in handling over conventional calcium based stabilizers (such as cement, fly ash and lime) not the least of which are a tremendous reduction in freight costs and the complete elimination of the on-site problem of dealing with massive bulk quantities of dry or slurry products. These highly alkaline calcium based chemicals require protective clothing for safe handling including special face shields, head gear, gloves and boots. When calcium based powder products become airborne, they can become health hazards and are potentially damaging to structures, equipment, vehicles and aircraft within the vicinity of the project.

Liquid products based on sulfuric acid formulations and highly alkaline chemicals are sometimes added to soils. The liquid concentrates are hazardous to laboratory and construction personnel and require extreme caution in handling and dilution activities. Reactive and corrosive in nature, they can also damage laboratory testing equipment and construction machinery. The EMC SQUARED System provides a non-hazardous, noncorrosive, user-friendly alternative for stabilization of aggregate and soil materials without the need for special handling requirements.


As previously discussed, the EMC SQUARED System provides stabilization product technology that can be utilized by construction and testing personnel without special handling precautions and that can be specified for construction requirements in natural areas and other types of project applications with strict environmental review. This environmentally friendly aspect of the EMC SQUARED System products is important, but the ramifications of their use, improving the durability of earthwork and transportation structures and reducing the use of natural resources, is of far greater potential impact.

At the simplest of levels, substitution of a highly concentrated stabilization system for cement and lime based stabilizers can eliminate dozens and even hundreds of truck trips per single project while freeing up these products, which are so energy intensive in their production, for higher value applications where substitute products are not available. The lower applied costs and unique effectiveness of the EMC SQUARED System open up additional application areas for stabilization such as treatment of gravel roads. Stabilization helps to retain expensive gravel resources that have been mined, crushed, screened and hauled to site. This assists in cutting the high maintenance costs and erosion of surface materials associated with constant grading, and equally important, reduces the high equipment maintenance costs suffered by road users operating vehicles and trucks on unstabilized roads. These potential benefits apply to dirt as well as gravel roads, and in both cases, effective stabilization also translates into road surface erosion control and protection of water resources from road generated sedimentation.

Savings in natural resources occur when locally available soils or natural gravel resources can be upgraded in replacement of materials that must be mined, manufactured and imported to project location. In many cases, unpaved roads can be upgraded with stabilized aggregate surface courses to provide low maintenance running surfaces during interim or staged construction projects (functioning as stabilized or "bound" base layers for pavements to be placed at a later date) or as low cost measures that address rutting and washboarding problems adequately, thus eliminating otherwise seemingly inevitable requirements for reconstruction and paving.

Probably of greatest ultimate value is the economical improvement of roadbed materials to reduce or eliminate moisture infiltration and frost heave phenomenon. Problems unsolved in roadbed construction evolve into failures of overlying asphalt and concrete pavements, products that have been placed at a very high cost in natural resource use as well as financial outlay.

Aggregates and soils are natural earth materials. Engineering controls continue to improve through advances in geotechnical engineering and soil mechanics practice, but the reality is that most projects are unique in regards to their particular aggregate and soils. These are materials which have been made and arranged by nature (regardless of any crushing, screening and recombination processes to which they may later be subjected). While all aggregate and soil materials have much in common, the variety of aggregate and soil types is surprising. Consequently, the branch of engineering practice that relates to construction with earth or "geomaterials" must make extensive use of site specific monitoring and observational procedures.

To emphasize the individual nature of earth materials and the need for project specific quality control measures, a recently released software program for modeling of soils for geotechnical engineering applications includes experimental data on over 5,000 different soils. Given this variety, it is easy to understand why the use of laboratory compaction control tests has become standard practice for individual projects, preliminary to earthwork, subgrade, base course and surface course construction. Compaction control tests (also known as Modified Proctor Compaction tests or Moisture-Density Relationships tests) determine the maximum density that a given aggregate or soil can be compacted to with a given amount of compactive effort, and they determine the optimum moisture content at which that maximum density result was achieved. This baseline information is used by construction crews to guide their construction operations and by quality control personnel conducting on-site monitoring tests during construction.

The standardization of compaction control tests highlights the fact that density and stability are highly interrelated. Soil strength is normally increased as its density is increased. Porosity and void ratios are decreased, thereby lowering the permeability, moisture susceptibility and compressibility of the soil. The attainment of high densities is fundamental to the stability of earth materials, and the application of stabilization treatments in no way reduces the importance of achieving the highest possible density during construction operations. Adherence to compaction controls and compaction specifications normally requires mobilization of a significant amount of construction equipment and effort by construction personnel. Most professionals with construction and civil engineering backgrounds have been educated as to the importance of proper compaction, but the following results from representative compaction studies provide further illumination as to the value gained from the investment in compaction.

Compactive effort has a dramatic effect on the strength and moisture resistance of both treated and untreated soils. A compaction study with untreated silty sand and sandy silt soils was conducted at three levels of Modified Proctor compaction effort. The CBR index of the soils went from an average of 7 at 80% Modified Proctor compaction effort to 33 at 90% compaction and 62 at 95% compaction. Notice that the bearing strength of the soil is almost doubled as the density of the soil is brought five percent closer to its laboratory maximum density (100% compaction). On another compaction study with a treated pit run aggregate material, the CBR index went from 24 at 90% Modified Proctor Compaction effort to 48 at 95% compaction (the untreated CBR at 95% compaction was 17). Again, the bearing strength and stability of this material was doubled simply by the level of compactive effort applied. Moisture content at time of compaction is similarly important to density and stability. A variation of one percent moisture from the determined optimum moisture content may reduce density by over two pounds per cubic foot (thirty-two kilograms per cubic meter) and consequently increase the void space by a far greater percentage. An increased void ratio reduces strength and increases the susceptibility of the material to moisture intrusion and ultimately the loss of bearing strength. A compaction study comparing the unconfined compressive strength of EMC SQUARED® Stabilizer treatment of an expansive clay soil at different moisture content (prepared with the same level of compactive effort) clearly indicates that proper moisture control is key to obtaining maximum strength. At a variation of 1.4 percentage points from optimum moisture content there was over 10% loss in strength, at 2.1 percentage points variation over 30% loss in strength and at a 5 percentage points variation over 40% loss in strength. As the above test results indicate, there are good reasons for strict moisture controls during compaction. The maintenance of proper compaction moisture content and the achievement of specified compaction levels have direct bearing on the strength and moisture resistance of the compacted structure.


The attainment of specified levels of compaction and the achievement of the most densified structure possible are fundamental to aggregate and to soil stability. As any highway or earthwork contractor can testify, these laboratorydetermined compaction specifications are not always easy to achieve in the field. EMC SQUARED System products often solve compaction problems, allowing contractors to achieve higher maximum densities than possible with the use of water and compaction energy alone.


Conventional stabilizers such as cement and lime generally make soils more difficult to compact, reducing maximum density and raising the optimum moisture content for compaction well above that of untreated soils. These additives are obviously counterproductive for contractors interested in reducing water hauling and compaction costs, or struggling with soils which are difficult to compact. The EMC SQUARED System conditions soils in a very different manner. The maximum density of a treated soil is generally higher than that of an untreated soil and the optimum moisture content is generally lower than the optimum moisture content of the untreated soil. The net effect is that a soil or aggregate material can be prepared for compaction at lower moisture content and with a reduced volume of compaction water.

The EMC SQUARED System further facilitates compaction operations by improved wetting and penetration of soils and aggregate materials during mixing operations, extending available water supplies and improving the effectiveness of available construction equipment during compaction operations. All these factors ultimately contribute to improved stability values, as well as to more efficient construction operations. No different than stabilization applications with the EMC SQUARED System, field evaluation or materials laboratory testing are recommended for contractors considering use of the products specifically for compaction operations in order to address performance issues relative to the specific aggregate or soil.

Most applications for compaction requirements occur as a response to jobsite problems. Examples would be the inability to achieve 95% Modified Proctor compaction after an extended application of compactive effort, or the use of inordinate amounts of water in order to precondition hydrophobic soils for compaction. These problems are usually addressed by conducting immediate field tests to confirm that the amount of improvement after treatment of the problem soil or aggregate is sufficient for project goals. For large scale projects where there are concerns preliminary to construction in regards to compaction and soil densification issues, laboratory tests can be instructive. For example, in a compaction study for one aggregate material, a materials testing laboratory was able to demonstrate, using the EMC SQUARED additive, that fifteen percent less compactive effort was required to achieve a target level of compaction. Compaction tests also verified that the additive "flattened the compaction curve," providing the contractor with the ability to achieve specified levels of compaction at a wider range of moisture content than would be possible using water alone.

The documents indexed below provide a look at field and laboratory projects where EMC SQUARED System treatments were effective in preconditioning earth materials to achieve higher maximum densities than achievable through the use of water and compactive effort alone. See pages 5, 6 and 7 of the article titled "FHWA Experimental Feature Project in Alaska" for the section specifically related to compaction. As indicated in both the indexed items, results are specific to each unique soil and aggregate material. Preliminary testing is recommended to address project specific requirements.

Most people's familiarity with the subjects of soil stabilization and chemically treated or "bound" base courses begins with the use of cement and lime, two types of calcium based stabilizing agents. The EMC SQUARED® System treatments improve stability of compacted aggregate and soil materials in a distinctly different manner. The articles below provide perspective into important differences between the EMC SQUARED System and calcium based treatments. Engineering advantages are discussed as well as significant cost advantages.

The EMC SQUARED System is applied as an additive to aggregate and soil materials during the process of mixing, moisture conditioning and compaction. While the primary application is for the improvement of stability values, in many applications the
improvements in dust control and reductions in fugitive dust emission can be significant. The increased cementation of treated aggregate and soil materials can reduce dusting and wind generated erosion of fine particle soil materials. Stabilization treatment alone may suffice as a dust control measure for many sites where the compacted surfaces will be protected from traffic or subject to relatively infrequent use. There are reported cases of gravel road stabilization where the EMC SQUARED Stabilizer treatment has provided a level of dust control equivalent to dust palliative treatments (which are seasonally applied and require repeat applications), but general experience indicates that stabilized road surfaces can be further improved by application of dust palliative products when a high standard of dust control is required.

It's Time to Break the Cycle. While few people in warm climates are even aware of freeze-thaw cycling and seasonal load restrictions, these are a costly fact of life in cold climates. Frost-heave is every bit as destructive to road structures as the swelling or heaving of expansive clay soils. Frost-heave and thaw-weakening of base and subgrade and surface course materials are major causes of pavement and unpaved road damage in these cold regions. Trucks and other heavy equipment are drastically restricted in operation while roadbed materials remain saturated, and commercial activities are often impossible during annual load restrictions.

Susceptibility to moisture infiltration is the "Achilles Heel," or weak spot, of most aggregate and soil materials. Regardless of their degree of compaction, they fail to retain their dry strengths over time as they are unable to resist moisture flow and seasonal moisture fluctuations. Expensive additions of cement and lime are sometimes effective in increasing aggregate and soil strength, but these treatments often fail over time as calcium based stabilizers do little, if anything, to actually slow moisture infiltration.

Asphalt emulsions are used in some areas as binders for base course materials. Performance issues warrant further review in perspective of the non-petroleum options now available. Depending upon the rate and type of asphalt emulsion selected in the mix design, asphalt emulsion can run ten to twenty times the cost required for treatment than the EMC SQUARED System product for the same volume of aggregate. The EMC SQUARED System provides an attractive alternative, based upon environmental, economic and performance considerations.

While expansive clay soil problems receive great attention, silty soils are a far more widespread problem. Lime treatment is ineffective in treatment of silt soils and such high rates of cement are required that stabilization is rarely cost-effective.

Silt soils are highly moisture sensitive and their stability is influenced considerably by the degree of densification achieved during compaction. Silty soils are often hydrophobic and difficult to cost-effectively moisture condition for compaction. These are all characteristics that are favorably addressed by the EMC SQUARED System and laboratory and/or field testing are recommended during evaluation of projects where silty soils are present.

Few dense graded aggregate base or gravel road surfacing materials are naturally resistant to moisture infiltration. In saturated condition they fail to meet design expectations as pavement base layers and they perform poorly as gravel road surfaces, needing constant grading maintenance. Cement and lime treatments to increase strength are severely limited in range of application and by high cost and are often not able to reduce moisture susceptibility. In fact, they produce rigid, brittle base layers which are subject to cracking and moisture infiltration and they are incapable of costeffective stabilization of gravel roads.



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