SOIL AND BASAL REINFORCEMENT
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Whenever construction is carried out upon soft or unstable ground, there is the possibility of settlement. This can include geological effects caused by subsidence, sink holes and solution features as well as man-made effects, such as mining voids.
The value of basal platforms. Differential settlement can be controlled by the construction of a basal platform to spread the loading upon the ground. In extreme circumstances, this platform can also be supported upon piles, for example within embankments supporting infrastructure.
Whenever there are large increases in overburden on native ground, there is the potential of differential settlement or collapse. Within mining works, stockpiled materials or heap leach pads impose great surcharges upon the ground. Basal reinforcement helps to reduce differential settlement.
Spreading the load. The performance of this platform can be enhanced by the use of high strength geosynthetic geogrids with strengths up to 1350kN/m. These grids absorb, spread, span or dissipate the applied loads vertically downwards into the ground, or into the piles. Furthermore, by increasing the capability of the soil to “span” or “arch”, a high strength geosynthetic can enable the pile spacing to be increased.
Royal Technergy geosynthetic solutions. Geogrids and geotextiles are often used in areas where mining subsidence is expected, or in areas where natural voids and solution features can occur. The geosynthetic is placed over the area of concern, so that in the event of the ground beneath collapsing, the geogrid or geotextile will span this void, supporting the ground above. Over the years, our geogrids have been used for reinforcement applications. In short-medium term applications, we have special woven geosynthetic material that are also a useful consideration.
Solutions to ground water challenges. Moisture laden ground beneath a platform or an embankment can also cause settlement problems. As the pore water within the soil dissipates, it settles. Geosynthetics can assist here as well, whether by separating foundation materials with different technical characteristics, or in accelerating the consolidation of the soil.
Strips of our drainage geocomposites, installed vertically deep into the soil, can also be used to drain saturated cohesive foundations, accelerating the consolidation process. This has proven to be successful at reducing liquefaction during earthquakes.
More than just a product supplier. Although the solutions seem straightforward, this is the beauty of good engineering; the design of such interventions requires experience and a deep understanding of the performance of geosynthetics, not merely a product supplier. As a designer and supplier of these solutions, we are well positioned to understand and fulfil the technical needs of the client, optimising the solution, design and product; it is the combination of products and the performance of the whole system that is of paramount importance.
Construction over Soft Soils
Soft soil solutions. Embankments constructed on cohesive or alluvial soils may be subject to settlement due to the compressible nature of the foundation soil.
A number of our solutions exist to reduce the effects of settlement;
– RoyalGeocom™ vertical wick drains to accelerate the consolidation of the soil
– RoyalGeotex™ geotextiles to separate poor strata from better quality embankment construction materials
– Woven geotextiles to reinforce and separate the foundation materials
– High strength-low strain geogrids to reinforce the embankment foundations
A combination of these solutions is often required to meet the service life and serviceability settlement requirements of the project.
Royal Technergy experience and expert knowledge. Note that as ALL geogrids and geotextiles (regardless of manufacturer and polymer used) need to strain (extend) prior to providing functional reinforcement. It is therefore necessary to be sure that the serviceability strain limits of the embankment are compatible with the expected long-term strain of the geogrid. As geogrid experts and project designers with specific geotechnical skills, we have a thorough knowledge of the product performance over time. Our engineers, with the use of our design software, are able to provide an invaluable contribution towards the solving of these types of problems.
Soft foundation challenges. There are many situations where is it necessary to limit the vertical settlement of an embankment, due to the consolidation of a soft foundation. For example:
– Thick layers of soft soil can generally be problematic, as well as differential settlement
– Construction adjacent to structures already on piled foundations (e.g. bridge support piers)
– Sensitive serviceability limits for the embankment above
In these situations, the embankment is typically built on a piled foundation.
RoyalGrid: strong and cost-effective. High strength geogrids, offering high strength with very low strain characteristics, used in conjunction with the piles, can take the place of the embankment foundation slab. These grids are placed in a single layer within a granular raft, immediately in contact with the pile caps. The grids, with design lives in excess of 120 years, working in conjunction with the soils, absorb the forces transmitted from the embankment above, transferring them vertically into the supporting piles. The presence of the geogrid enhances the overall embankment performance; the result is that the piles can be spaced wider apart, reducing costs.
Uses of RoyalGeotex. For less onerous or short-term conditions, woven polyester reinforcing geotextiles can be considered. We have implemented many piled embankment projects around the world making us a true leader in this application.
Tailor-made solutions. Using our specific design software and the capability to customize products within our reach (roll length, width, specific unit strength), we can optimize designs for our clients providing best value solutions.
Gravity Retaining Walls
Royal Technergy engineers consider multiple factors. The stability of mass gravity retaining walls relies upon the structural integrity of the units and their filled mass to support or contain unstable earth slopes. In order to select the optimum Royal Technergy retaining wall solution, our engineers work with clients to consider:
– The geotechnical parameters of the retained and foundation soils
– The presence of water and hydrostatic loads
– External loads from structures and live or seismic loads
– The simplicity and speed of construction
We are experts in gabion walls, but not only. From a wide range of solutions, we are uniquely able to provide a retaining wall to suit the clients’ technical needs; the soils being retained, the aesthetic requirements and budget. Renowned as a leader in gabion walls, an increasing number of our clients know that we now offer a wide range of retaining walls aside from gabions including blockwork and timber crib walls.
Always striving to reduce the unnecessary use of construction and waste materials. Whichever solution is selected, our retaining structures have a number of things in common: they are modular, flexible and can suit most ground conditions. Indeed, we attempt to reuse site-won materials whenever possible, reducing the import and export of construction and waste materials.
Royal Technergy systems are simple and quick to be constructed.
We offer client-specific solutions. Each system offers different benefits; whether a client needs the value, longevity and flexibility of a gabion wall, or the aesthetics of a segmental concrete block retaining wall system, our engineers can help. Unlike ‘mono-product’ companies who are only able to offer one wall type, we will offer a solution optimised to the clients’ needs.
Sub-grad Improvement and Soil Reinforcement
Issues surrounding unbound material-made roads and track beds. Sub-grades and access tracks made from unbound materials can suffer from a number of issues that prematurely age the road; including:
– Bearing capacity failure
– Differential settlement
– Access over wet/saturated ground
– Construction layer thickness
– Weak subgrades
These effects are apparent in many applications including railway track beds, forestry tracks, mine haul roads, construction sites and parking areas.
Geogrid reinforcement solutions to improve performance. Appropriately designed and installed reinforcement, placed within unbound granular layers improves the performance of the road or track bed, extending its life and increasing maintenance intervals. The geogrid reinforcement works in cooperation with the granular materials, helping them to perform better than they would do in an unreinforced state.
Two mechanisms work to increase the elastic modulus and bearing capacity, resulting in improved resistance to deformation and rutting.
– Lateral restraint to the aggregate particles
– Tensioned membrane effect
Improving performance while reducing thickness. In addition, reinforcement can reduce the layer thickness by a third and improve the performance of the subgrade.
Royal Technergy expertise can bring best-value solutions. Using our design software we can optimise the relationship between geogrid (or geotextile) reinforcement and sub-grade thickness to create best-value solutions.