Soil Stabilization is defined as the alteration of the soil to enhance their physical properties. There are many methods of soil stabilization such chemical additive, mechanical, and polymers. While every application might require a different treatment and approach one of the methods that has gained a lot of traction over the years is Polymer Soil Stabilization.
Polymers are essentially a glue, in the case that they are used for soil stabilization the polymer is bonding the soil particles together. While there are many different types of polymers used for soil stabilization the main are biopolymers and synthetic polymers. It is important to note that every polymer is different and has different qualities but as a whole, biopolymers are often more environmentally friendly especially compared to traditional soil stabilization measures.
Polymers are also very versatile soil stabilizers meaning that they can be used for a variety of different soil types. The polymer’s versatility roots from the fact that is essentially a glue that bonds the soil particles together.
As detailed prior there are some advantages to the polymer-based soil stabilization but there are also some disadvantages. One of the largest disadvantages to the polymers is that they are not a permanent solution. In layman terms, since the polymer is gluing the particles together the glue will essentially wear away from increased friction (i.e. use of the road) and water absorption. A traditional lifespan of a road with polymer treated soil is the range of 6-18 months depending on polymer type, soil type, and environment.
Another challenge and disadvantage for polymers is the fact that most polymers have a difficult time producing ideal results with soils that have a high percentage of clay. This trouble roots from the fact that the polymer is chemically bonding the soil particles together so when the soil is comprised a lot of small particles (i.e. clay) the polymer has difficulty reaching all of the particles to present a bond.
Perma-Zyme is another form of soil stabilization. Perma-Zyme is an enzyme-based soil stabilizer. Perma-Zyme works by interacting with the clay particles in the soil and inducing an electrochemical reaction in which permanently bonds the soil particles together for over 10 years. Because Perma-Zyme is an enzyme-based product, it is environmentally friendly, non-toxic, and non-hazardous.
When using Perma-Zyme the expected life span of an unpaved/dirt road is over 10 years. When the road starts to degrade it is often because the surface is becoming worn in areas where the vehicles are always operating, or water is constantly running. The wearing is often similar to how any other material would wear such as concrete or asphalt, it will wear down in the areas that receive the most use and friction.
The uses for Perma-Zyme vary, Perma-Zyme can be used for unpaved roads, base treatment for paved roads, and even pond lining. When using Perma-Zyme the cost is often drastically decreased compared to traditional measures and even methods such as polymer soil stabilization. It is common when using Perma-Zyme for unpaved roads the cost will be less or equivalent to a polymer application but when the lifespan of the road is factored in the cost comparison is dramatically different.
While both Polymers and Perma-Zyme have their strengths, it is common that many customers find Perma-Zyme to be a higher performing product and decreases the overall costs as time goes on. Perma-Zyme stabilizes the customer’s budget by permanently stabilizing the soil and bonding the particles together so the customer doesn’t have to worry about the road for the next 10 years.