Are you looking to lay a foundation for your construction project? It is important to ensure that your foundation is strong and well-grounded since the building’s longevity depends on it. To achieve this strength, it is not uncommon for your construction site to require extensive ground stabilization.
Ground stabilization entails all the activities of ground treatment to enhance its durability and stability. Stabilization enhances the ground’s ability to withstand tons of weight. Furthermore, it enhances the ground’s resistance to water damage and other harsh environmental conditions.
Stabilization is also suitable for foundation and sinkhole repair. Below are some of the common soil stabilization methods in use today.
The mechanical method is generally considered to be the easiest form of stabilization. It is a standard method of ground stabilization that dates back to the early 90s. In this method, you endeavor to change the physical properties of the ground.
This is achieved by applying physical force to the soil. During compaction, engineers drop weighty materials on the earth at regular intervals. This is done until they achieve a flat yet stable ground surface in a process known as dynamic compaction.
Another method of mechanical stabilization is Vibro Compaction. The process of stabilization is quite similar to that of Dynamic compaction, except for the additional use of vibration aids during the compacting process. Both compaction techniques may require the construction of drainage systems. These systems are used to remove excess water from the soil. It is a critical step in the stabilization process since it prevents soil deformation.
In both methods of compaction, a lot of attention is given to the soil’s aggregate mechanical strength and its mineral composition. These two factors affect the soils ability to compact and thus determine how successful mechanical stabilization is likely to be.
Mechanical stabilization is widely used in the construction of bases and road surfaces. The method is also applicable in railway lines, desert structures, or structures constructed on sloppy ground. Ancient and present-day engineers prefer this method because it is cheap compared to others.
The chemical method is another common stabilization method. This process aims to increase the solidity of the ground through chemical grouting. It can also be done by changing physical characteristics, such as strength and compressibility, as a result of chemical reactions.
Common stabilization chemicals include cement, lime, kiln, and fly-ash. Other specialized chemicals applicable are Sodium chloride and Calcium Chloride. For small areas, cement is the most preferred because it improves soil quality and enhances strength. Lime can also be used even though it leaves long-lasting changes on soil property since it increases strength and decreases plasticity.
For large projects, however, it is the soil type that determines the chemicals to be used. Engineers should conduct laboratory tests to confirm the type of soil before beginning chemical stabilization.
The polymer is the latest technology-driven method of ground stabilization. This method involves mixing soil with other substances to stabilize it. The addition of a polymer to the construction ground causes a change in the physical properties of the soil particles, e.g., size and shape. They also affect the aggregation strength of the soil.
This method of stabilization, thanks to its ever-evolving technology, is cost-effective. The technique is also environmentally friendly, which makes it appropriate for large-scale construction.
Polymers also help in preventing soil erosion by strengthening soil structure, thereby increasing the ground’s infiltration level. This makes the process not only suitable for construction but also for Geotechnical engineering and agriculture projects.
As construction projects get bigger and move into new territory, ground stabilization has continued to gain popularity. Luckily, advancement in technology has seen the polishing of existing methods, and the introduction of new ones e.g, the use of polymers.
The choice of stabilization method you make depends on the type of soil in use. Therefore, you must do a soil analysis and note all the other important factors likely to affect soil compaction before making up your mind.