Date of Award

Summer 2022

Project Type


Program or Major

Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Majid Ghayoomi

Second Advisor

Pania Newell

Third Advisor

Fei Han


Advances in additive manufacturing create unique opportunities for the investigation of permeability of fine-grained soils. The permeability of fine-grained soils, such as clay, play an important role in various design considerations in the geotechnical, environmental, and stormwater management systems. Additionally, the investigations of flow through fractured clayey soils would benefit the empirical correlations that do not consider flow through macropores. This thesis investigates the feasibility of investigating permeability of 3D printed cylindrical clay specimens for the eventual application for flow through fractured clays. The effect of 3D printing, specifically direct binder jet printing, on the permeability, and other physical properties of clay was investigated. Cylindrical clay specimens were prepared using the advanced 3D printing method, direct binder jet printing, and tested in a flexible wall permeameter at effective confining stresses representing clay at very shallow depths. The results of this study show that the 3D printing process not only affects the permeability of clay, but also the specific surface area, and potentially the stiffness of the material. However, printing can provide consistent and repeatable specimens with very low disturbance and efficient controlled geometry.