SOIL STABILIZATION BY INJECTION OF SUITABLE GROUTS.

Grouting is a process whereby fluid like materials, either in suspension, or solution form, are
injected into the subsurface soil or rock.

The purpose of injecting a grout may be any one or more of the following:

1. To decrease permeability.
2. To increase shear strength.
3. To decrease compressibility.

Suspension-type grouts include soil, cement, lime, asphalt emulsion, etc., while the solution type grouts include a wide variety of chemicals. Grouting proves especially effective in the following cases:

1. When the foundation has to be constructed below the ground water table. The deeper the foundation, the longer the time needed for construction, and therefore, the more benefit gained from grouting as compared with dewatering.
2. When there is difficult access to the foundation level. This is very often the case in city work, in tunnel shafts, sewers, and subway construction.
3. When the geometric dimensions of the foundation are complicated and involves many boundaries and contact zones.
4. When the adjacent structures require that the soil of the foundation strata should not be excavated (extension of existing foundations into deeper layers).

Grouting has been extensively used primarily to control ground water flow under earth and masonry dams, where rock grouting is used. Since the process fills soil voids with some type of stabilizing material grouting is also used to increase soil strength and prevent excessive settlement.

Many different materials have been injected into soils to produce changes in the engineering properties of the soil. In one method a casing is driven and injection is made under pressure to the soil at the bottom of the hole as the casing is withdrawn. In another method, a grouting hole is drilled and at each level in which injection is desired, the drill is withdrawn and a collar is placed at the top of the area to be grouted and grout is forced into the soil under pressure. Another method is to perforate the casing in the area to be grouted and leave the casing permanently in the soil.

Penetration grouting may involve portland cement or fine grained soils such as bentonite or other materials of a paniculate nature. These materials penetrate only a short distance through most soils and are primarily useful in very coarse sands or gravels. Viscous fluids, such as a solution of sodium silicate, may be used to penetrate fine grained soils. Some of these solutions form gels that restrict permeability and improve compressibility and strength properties.

Displacement grouting usually consists of using a grout like portland cement and sand mixture which when forced into the soil displaces and compacts the surrounding material about a central core of grout. Injection of lime is sometimes used to produce lenses in the soil that will block the flow of water and reduce compressibility and expansion properties of the soil. The lenses are produced by hydraulic fracturing of the soil.

The injection and grouting methods are generally expensive compared with other stabilization techniques and are primarily used under special situations as mentioned earlier. For a detailed study on injections, readers may refer to Caron et al., (1975).