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Over View of Ground Improvement

Various Ground Improvement Techniques


Primary Consolidation

Definition of Vertical Drains


Suitability to different soil conditions

Design Aspects

PVD Installation

Soil Drain Interaction

Ground Improvement Techniques
Ground Ground Ground
Reinforcement Improvement Treatment

Stone Columns
Soil Nails Deep Dynamic Soil Cement
Deep Soil Nailing Compaction Lime Admixtures
Micro piles (Mini-piles) Drainage/Surcharge Fly-ash
Jet Grouting PVDs Dewatering
Ground Anchors Electro-osmosis Heating/Freezing
Geo-synthetics Compaction grouting Vitrification
Fiber Reinforcement Blasting
Vibro-Concrete Column Surface Compaction
Mechanically Stabilized
Primary Consolidation
Primary consolidation settlement develops with time, as drainage allows excess

pore pressures to dissipate. Volume changes, and thus settlement, occur as

stresses are transferred from the water (pore pressures) to the soil skeleton

(effective stresses).

The drainage rate depends upon the volume change and permeability

characteristics of the soil as well as the location and continuity of drainage

Vertical drains are artificially-
created drainage paths which can be
installed by one of several methods
and which can have a variety of
physical characteristics.

The use of vertical drains along with

precompression (pre-loading)has the
sole purpose of shortening the
drainage path (distance to a drainage
boundary) of the pore water, thereby
accelerating the rate of primary
Vertical Drains
Vertical drains are installed under a surcharge load to accelerate the
drainage of impervious soils and thus speed up consolidation

These drains provide a shorter path for the water to flow through to
get away from the soil

Time to drain clay layers can be reduced from years to a couple of

In general, prefabricated band
drains consist of a central core,
whose function is primarily to
act as a free drainage channel,
and a non-woven filter jacket,
which prevents the soil
surrounding the drain from
entering the central core but
Central Core
allows water to flow in.
Rolls of PVD
Mechanism Drain Jacket

Drain Core

Functions of Drain Jacket:-

Form a surface which allows a natural soil filter to develop to inhibit movement
of soil particles while allowing passage of water into the drain

Create the exterior surface of the internal drain flow paths

Prevent closure of the internal drain flow paths under lateral soil pressure

Functions of Drain Core:-

Provide internal flow paths along the drain

Provide support to the filter jacket

Maintain drain configuration and shape

Provide resistance to longitudinal stretching as well as buckling of the drain

When used in conjunction with

precompression, the principal benefits of

a vertical drain system are:

1) To decrease the overall time required for

completion of primary consolidation

due to preloading,

2) To decrease the amount of surcharge

required to achieve the desired amount of

precompression in the given time,

3) To increase the rate of strength gain due

to consolidation of soft soils when

stability is of concern.

Use of PV drains is applicable for soils which:

1) are moderate to highly compressible under static loading, and

2) Compress very slowly under natural drainage conditions due to low

soil permeability and relatively great distance between natural

drainage boundaries.

Soils with these characteristics are almost exclusively cohesive, fine

grained soils, either organic or inorganic.

3) Inorganic silts and clays of low to moderate sensitivity, organic silts

and clays, cohesive deposits

Use of PV drains is ordinarily not appropriate in highly pervious or

granular soils.
Design Approach

Design of a preloading scheme utilizing PV drains includes the following main


Evaluation of the project time requirements and the establishment of tolerable

amounts of post-construction settlement.

Subsurface investigations and laboratory soil testing program to provide

detailed information on site soil and drainage conditions and high-quality data
on pertinent engineering properties of the compressible soils.

Predictions of the total anticipated settlements at representative locations due

to primary consolidation and secondary compression.
Design Approach (Contd.)

Predictions of the rate of primary consolidation at representative

locations for the case without drains and for cases with PV drains at several

Evaluation of stability to establish safe heights of filling

Evaluations of the relative economic and technical merits of additional

surcharging versus drain spacings where it is determined that the rate of
primary consolidation settlement must be accelerated to meet the project
General Dimensions

1. Dia of PVD 100 to 300mm

2. Thickness of PVD material 8 to 10mm

3. Type of PVD material Geotextile Fabric ( Non-Woven)

4. Spacing of PVD 1.5 to 3.5m

5. Desired pattern of PVD Layoout Square/Equilateral Triangular

6. Projection of PVD above ground level Min 300mm.

7. Length/Height of PVD Up to hard strata beneath

8. Height of Surcharge Need dependent

(Based on required surcharge pressure in conjunction with duration of
PVD Layout
PVD Construction
PV drain installation results in shear strains and displacement of the soil surrounding the drain.

The shearing is accompanied oy increases in total stress and pore pressure. The PV drain is
protected by the mandrel during installation.
PVD Roll
Mandrel PVD Construction

PVD Roll
Drain Installation

The drain which is placed

inside the mandrel with tip
Soil Disturbance during Installation
Since, area of the mandrel is greater than that of the drain, there is the possibility
that an annular space is created around the drain which is present after the mandrel is

The installation results in disturbance to the soil around the drain.

Evaluation of the disturbance effects is very complex.

I) Mandrel size and shape.:-

1) Disturbance increases with larger mandrel cross sectional area.

2) The mandrel cross sectional area should be as close to that of the drain as possible to
minimize displacement
Mandrel & PVD
Soil Disturbance during Installation

II) Installation procedure:-

Alignment to static pushing is preferred to driving or vibrating the

mandrel especially in sensitive soils.

Drain performance can be sensitive to the rate of mandrel penetration.

Buckling or "wobbling" of the mandrel can cause added disturbance.

The penetration rate and mandrel stiffness should be selected to limit


The effect of penetration rate on wobbling should be observed during


If necessary, the rate should be controlled to limit wobbling.