Foundation, Concrete and Earthquake Engineering

Slurry Walls and Soil Mixing give Construction Solid Ground

Slurry Wall Construction and Deep Soil Mixing are Important Parts of Construction

Many don’t realize it, but construction is a complicated process. People think construction projects take too long because people are not working hard. This couldn’t be further from the truth. One of the reasons certain construction projects take so long is because of the ground improvement which needs to take place. It isn’t a good idea to try to build something on ground which isn’t properly prepared to bear the weight of a structure. One key process is making sure that groundwater is kept out of the area to keep the ground from becoming saturated and shifting.

Bentonite Slurry Walls Help Establish a Barrier against Groundwater

One way to do this is with slurry wall construction. Slurry walls are usually a combination of bentonite and water inside a trough. Bentonite is an absorbent clay which increases the viscosity of the solution, so the slurry is thicker than water. The slurry exerts an outward force which counteracts the force on the outside of the trench. The slurry wall can hold as a temporary barrier until it isn’t needed anymore, or it can be replaced with concrete. Regardless of the use, the slurry is collected and recycled when it isn’t needed. This means that there is very little waste involved in this process.

Dropping Anchors with Deep Soil Mixing

Another procedure used to establish solid foundations during construction is soil mixing. There are several varieties of soil mixing, including deep soil mixing, shallow soil mixing, and backhoe stabilization. All procedures use similar processes though. A large auger (one to four yards across) is drilled into the ground while fluid grout is pumped through the center of the auger. After reaching the proper depth the auger is removed and the solution dries. This creates a solid, stable anchor pillar in the ground. These anchors are used as elements to the building contraction, or a solid point to position heavy machinery on top of.

The Critical first step of Construction

These two processes are extremely important and common in construction projects. They both require state of the art machinery and qualified technicians to be completed properly. So the next time there is a construction site which seems to be stuck in the preliminary stages, consider all the preparation work which has to be done before the plans can get “off the ground”.

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