Tuesday, December 4, 2012


On some sites, it may be feasible to apply a pretreatment technique either to stabilize the soil or cause collapse of the soil deposit prior to construction of a specific structure. A great variety of treatment methods have been used in the past. Moistening and compaction techniques, with either conventional impact, or vibratory rollers may be used for shallow depths up to about 1.5 m. For deeper depths, vibroflotation, stone columns, and displacement piles may be tried. Heat treatment to solidify the soil in place has also been used in some countries such as Russia. Chemical stabilization with the use of sodium silicate and injection of carbon dioxide have been suggested (Semkin et al., 1986).

Field tests conducted by Rollins et al., (1990) indicate that dynamic compaction treatment provides the most effective means of reducing the settlement of collapsible soils to tolerable limits.

Prewetting, in combination with dynamic compaction, offers the potential for increasing compaction efficiency and uniformity, while increasing vibration attenuation. Prewetting with a 2 percent solution of sodium silicate provides cementation that reduces the potential for settlement.

Prewetting with water was found to be the easiest and least costly treatment, but it proved to be completely ineffective in reducing collapse potential for shallow foundations. Prewetting must be accompanied by preloading, surcharging or excavation in order to be effective.

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