Abstract: Soft soils can be improved with reinforcement in the form of randomly distributed fibers of natural and synthetic types. In Alappuzha district in Kerala, the soil is very weak and plantain tree trunks are used conventionally inorder to improve the soil. In this context, a detailed study is undertaken to investigate the strength behaviour of the soil reinforced with randomly included banana fibres. The samples were reinforced with untreated and rubber coated banana fibres. The optimum percentage of fibres was added to soil in addition with lime also. The banana fibre reinforced soil samples are then subjected to compaction tests and unconfined compressive strength tests to study its strength behaviour. Tests were also done to study the effect of alkaline medium (calcium hydroxide) and fresh water on the durability of untreated and rubber coated banana fibres.

Keywords: Banana fibre, Kuttanad soil, unconfined compression test, rubber coated, durability.