Document Type : Research Paper


1 Faculty Member of Department of Human Environment, College of Environment, Karaj, Iran;

2 Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

3 Student of Department of Human Environment, College of Environment


Mulching on the ground surface is one of the common approaches for fixing the sandy dunes and controlling dust. Despite the frequent use of oil mulch, due to its heavy costs and environmental problems, researches are focused on producing new environmentally friendly mulches. In this research, different treatments of cement, lime, wind sands and steel-slag, as cement-slag mulch, have been used to fix the sand dunes samples prepared from Robat-Karim region. Steel-slag is added to the mulch composition because of the benefits of waste reduction from environment and replacement of a part of the cement in the mulch composition because of Steel-slag pozzolanic property. To reduce the number of tests and find the optimal composition of the mulch, statistical mixture design approach was used. Furthermore, the effect of different percentages of the ingredients on shear, compression and impact strength and moisture content of cement-slag treatments were investigated. Results show that the addition of steel-slag increases the compressive and shear strength as well as the ability to maintain soil moisture in the proposed mulch. Finally, developing the mathematical model of the experiments, six different objective functions were considered for optimizing the composition of the proposed cement-slage mulch. As a result combination of 68.731% sand, 27% cement, 2.979% steel-slag and 1.3% lime were the best mulch considering all the objective functions. To validate the results of the optimization, six optimal compositions were re-constructed and the tested again. Obtained results showed an acceptable consistency between the predicted and tested values.


[1] Aiban, S.A. (1994). A study of sand stabilization in eastern Saudi Arabia. Engineering Geology, 38(1-2), 65-79.
[2] Asgari, H.R. and Afzali, S.F. (2018). Assessment Sugar Factories Wastes’ Performance on Wind Erosion Control. Pollution, 4(3), 539-546.
[3] Azoogh, L., Khalili-moghadam, B. and Jafari, S. (2018). Interaction of petroleum mulching, vegetation restoration and dust fallout on the conditions of sand dunes in southwest of Iran. Aeolian Research, 32, 124-132.
[4] Baradaran-ghahfarokhi, P., Mahdavi, M., Abedi, Z., Zafariyan, R. and Baradaran, E. (2010). Designing and manufacturing of synthesized and biocompatible mulch with the use of indigenous facilities in the regions of Iran in controlling wind erosion and retardation centers. 2nd National Conference of Wind erosion and Dust Storms, Yazd, Iran, pp. 190-196 (in Persian).
[5] Das, B.M. and Sobhan, K. (2013). Principles of geotechnical engineering, Cengage learning.
[6] Derringer, G.C. and Suich, R. (1980). Simultaneous optimization of several response variables. J Qual Technol, 12(4), 214–9.
[7] Ekhtesasi, M.R. and Hazirei, F. (2016). Effects of cement mulch combinations on sand dunes fixation. Journal of Range and watershed management, 68(4), 739-750 (in Persian).
[8] Fatemi, S., Varkani, M. K., Ranjbar, Z. and Bastani, S. (2006). Optimization of the water-based road-marking paint by experimental design, mixture method. Progress in Organic Coatings, 55(4), 337-344.
[9] Ghafari, E., Costa, H. and Júlio, E. (2015). Statistical mixture design approach for eco-efficient UHPC. Cement and Concrete Composites, 55, 17-25.
[10] Gharib, S.H., Bastani, S., Roustaazad, R. and Jalili, M. (2009). Optimization of water based flexography inks for printing on polyethylene films. Journal of Color Science and Technology, 3(3), 131-143 (in Persian).
[11] Hazirei, F. and Zare Ernani, M. (2013). Investigation of effect of clay-lime mulch for sand dunes fixation. Journal of Water and Soil, 27(2), 373-380 (in Persian).
[12] Khalili-Moghadam, B., Jamili, T., Nadian, H. and Shahbazi, E. (2016). The influence of sugarcane mulch on sand dune stabilization in Khuzestan, the southwest of Iran. Iran Agricultural Research, 34(2),71-80.
[13] Majdi, H., Karimian-Eghbal, M., Karimzadeh, H.R. and Jalalian. A. (2006). Effect of different clay mulches on the amount of wind eroded materials. JWSS, 10(3), 137-149 (in Persian).
[14] Montgomery, D. C. (2017). Design and analysis of experiments. John wiley and sons.
[15] Mirabedini, S.M., Jamali, S.S., Haghayegh, M., Sharifi, M., Mirabedini, A.S. and Hashemi-Nasab, R. (2012). Application of mixture experimental design to optimize formulation and performance of thermoplastic road markings. Progress in Organic Coatings, 75(4), 549-559.
[16] Moosavi, M., Moradian, S., Bastani S. and Jalili, M. (2012). The use of experimental design for optimizing the photo stabilization of a substrate printed by a water-based overprint clear coat. Journal of Color Science and Technology, 6(1), 1-8 (in Persian).
[17] Mottaghi, H. and Rabbani, M. (2007). Product quality improvement by implying design of experiment (doe), (case study on mgo-c brick in pars factory). IQBQ, 11(20), 161-179 (in Persian).
[18] Movahedan, M., Abbasi, N. and Keramati, M. (2012). Wind erosion control of soils using polymeric materials. Eurasian Journal of Soil Science (Ejss), 1(2), 81-86.
[19] Naghizade-Asl, F., Asgari, H.R., Emami, H. and Jafari, M. (2017). Stabilization of drifting sands using micro silica-lime-clay mixture as a mulch. Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 10(24), 536-543.
[20] Naseri, H.R., Shabani, N. and Keshtkar, A.R. (2014). Investigating the efficiency of calcium chloride magnesium chloride for controlling wind erosion. 3rd national Conference on combating desertification and sustainable development of Iran Desert Wetlands (Relying on Meighan Desert Wetland) Yazd, Iran, pp. 539-545 (in Persian).
[21] Pour-Shams, A., Zareh, M., Ekhtesasi, M.R. and Sarami-Naini, M.A. (2018). Effect of geotextile layer on increasing the strength of armed cement mulch. 4th National Conference of Wind erosion and Dust Storms, Yazd, Iran, pp. 290-296 (in Persian).
[22] Refahi, H.G. (1999). Wind Erosion and Its Control. Tehran University Press (in Persian).
[23] Safai-Ghahnoye, A.R., Rouhani-Shahraki, F., Karimzadeh, H.R. and tarkesh Esfahani, M. (2012). Determining the best blend of blast furnace slag (Folad Mobarakeh) as a mulch for stabilizing the eroded sediments of the wind (Case study of Soils in East of Isfahan). 1st National Desert Conference, Tehran, Iran, pp. 540-548 (in Persian).
[24] Zare., S. (2015).Evaluation of the efficiency of resin, mineral, polymer and biopolymer mulch for stabilization of sand dunes and the feasibility of replacing them with oil mulch. Ph.D. Dissertation, Tehran University (in Persian).