Foundation, Concrete and Earthquake Engineering

Cement Soil Mixing and Grout Technologies Make Projects Possible

Soil mixing and stabilization techniques have been used for many years now at various construction sites. The purpose of this is to turn loose dirt into a pseudo-rock formation. The advancements in soil stabilization techniques and Grout technology makes almost any project feasible. No matter which variation is utilized the primary concept relies on mixing cement into the soil to create a soft rock layer.

The methods for performing this action vary. Some of the most common methods are lime columns, Cement soil mixing, and dry jet mixing. Each of these techniques is used to create a soil layer that aids in settlement and reduces sinking into the earth in loose soil areas.

The Process of Soil Mixing

On the average when cement is mixed with the soil, the consistency of that soil is brought to somewhere roughly between ten and twenty percent of the consistency of standard concrete. Generally the soft rock layer that is created is found to be the consistency of a thick clay or lightly cemented shale sub-layer.

Utmost care must be taken during any of these project types to make certain that large portions, pockets really, of the building area are not left unchanged. There are many construction methods to avoid this including the use of retaining walls.

In fact, retaining walls in general are one of the primary uses of the various soil mixing techniques. They are created using what are known as "slurry wall" techniques. This is a section of ground changed to make it far less permeable, to help retain hazardous chemicals, sludge, and ground water among many various liquids of interest.

Tools and Equipment For Soil Mixing

The most common form of soil mixing will involve the use of one or more augers and paddles to mix with. As the auger drills down into the soil, cement is released into the area through the hallow shaft and begins mixing with the surrounding soil. The auger begins the process and the paddles attach along the shaft continue mixing to create the slurry effect.

Once the equipment has reached a desired depth it will continue to rotate for a specified time then begin to move back up the shaft. While the upward movement occurs smaller amounts of cement are added and the entire mass will continue to be mixed.

The other methods utilize the same overall concept more or less. The only difference will come with the equipment used. Dry jet mixing will use streams of air instead of paddles, for instance. All that remains is quality control and testing which will depend on the type of soil consistency in existence prior to soil mixing.

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