A stone column is one of the soil stabilizing methods that is used to increase strength,
decrease the compressibility of soft and loose fine graded soils, accelerate a consolidation
effect and reduce the liquefaction potential of soils. The columns consist of compacted
gravel or crushed stone arranged by a vibrator. This paper deals with Priebe`s theory
(1976) on the design of an improvement factor, which belongs among the most used
analytical methods and also describes the numerical and laboratory models of stone
columns. The improvement factors calculated from numerical and laboratory models are
compared with the improvement factors resulting from Priebe´s theory.

© All Rights Reserved

21 tayangan

A stone column is one of the soil stabilizing methods that is used to increase strength,
decrease the compressibility of soft and loose fine graded soils, accelerate a consolidation
effect and reduce the liquefaction potential of soils. The columns consist of compacted
gravel or crushed stone arranged by a vibrator. This paper deals with Priebe`s theory
(1976) on the design of an improvement factor, which belongs among the most used
analytical methods and also describes the numerical and laboratory models of stone
columns. The improvement factors calculated from numerical and laboratory models are
compared with the improvement factors resulting from Priebe´s theory.

© All Rights Reserved

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3, 17 21

J. PIVAR

Jn PIVAR

jan.pivarc@stuba.sk

Research field: stone columns

stone columns

determination of the soil

improvement factor

Faculty of Civil Engineering

Slovak University of Technology,

Radlinskho 11, 813 68 Bratislava

ABSTRACT

KEY WORDS

Astone column is one of the soil stabilizing methods that is used to increase strength,

decrease the compressibility of soft and loose fine graded soils, accelerate aconsolidation

effect and reduce the liquefaction potential of soils. The columns consist of compacted

gravel or crushed stone arranged by avibrator. This paper deals with Priebe`stheory

(1976) on the design of an improvement factor, which belongs among the most used

analytical methods and also describes the numerical and laboratory models of stone

columns. The improvement factors calculated from numerical and laboratory models are

compared with the improvement factors resulting from Priebestheory.

Introduction

Vast areas covered with thick layers of fills or with layers of soft

clay deposits are not suitable for the construction of afoundation.

With the increasing size of urban areas and industrial zones it is

necessary to consider the possibilities of realizing foundations

on these areas. Ground improvement techniques are normally

preferred for economic considerations. Out of several techniques

available, stone columns belong among the most preferable and

are also widely used. This ground improvement technique has

been successfully used to increase bearing capacity and reduce

the settlement of constructions such as storage tanks, earthen

embankments, raft foundations, etc. Their main advantage lies in

improving the soil properties below astructure (raft and depth) and

following the reduction of an irregular settlement.

In spite of the wide use of stone columns and their development

in construction methods, present design methods are empirical,

and only limited information about designing stone columns are

available in technical codes.

Stone column,

design,

laboratory model,

numerical model.

in the early 1960s. Stone columns in compressive loads fail

in2 main different modes: bulging (Hughes and Withers, 1974)

[1] and general shear failure (Barksdale and Bachus, 1983) [2].

McKelvey, et al. (2004) [3] carried out experimental studies on

agroup of five stone columns and reported that the central column

deformed or bulged uniformly, while the edge columns bulged

away from the neighboring columns. Many researchers have

developed theoretical solutions for estimating the bearing capacity

and settlement of foundations reinforced with stone columns.

Priebe (1995) [4] proposed amethod for estimating the settlement

of foundations resting on an infinite grid of stone columns. The

basic for this method is the unit cell concept. In this concept, Priebe

considered the area of soil surrounding astone column at adistance

depending on the spacing of the columns. As all the columns are

simultaneously loaded, it is assumed that alateral deformation in the

soil at the boundary of the unit cell is equal to zero. The settlement

improvement factor is derived as afunction of the area ratio of the

whole unit cell and stone columns and the angle of internal friction

17

2011/3 PAGES 17 21

Material

w (%)

S5-SC

16

G2-GP

Edef (MPa)

3.1

0.35

45

0.2

of the column material. With the exception of the area near the edges

of the loaded area, the behavior of the stone columns is the same;

thus, only one column unit needs to be analyzed.

This study is focused on acomparison of numerical, analytical and

laboratory model settlements to estimate the improvement factor of

soil improved by stone columns. All the models in this study were

prepared by the vibro replacement method, which means that soil is

removed from ahole and not compacted to the sides such as in the

vibro displacement method.

cu (kPa)

()

16

24

45

(kN/ m3)

16.01

14.97

17.36

16.52

behavior of the improved complex was observed. Arigid 10 mm

thick steel plate was used as aloading plate. The loading was

applied by acompactor with aconstant velocity of 5 mm/min. Thus,

the increased force and deformation were observed by electronic

sensors at intervals of 1 sec. The left side of figure 3 shows the final

shape of the stone column when the whole complex of the stone

column and surrounding soil was loaded. On the right side the final

shape of the column is deformed by bulging when only that area of

laboratory model

The laboratory experiments were carried out using stone columns

with diameters of about 60 mm and lenghts of 300 mm, 420 mm

and 540 mm. All the laboratory experiments were performed with

stone columns surrounded by clayey sand, S5SC according to

STN 73 1001, incylindrical test boxes with aheight of 600 mm

and withvariable inner diameters from 125 mm to 253 mm. The

cylindical boxes represent the required area of aunit cell around

astone column. Atriangular pattern of stone columns was under

consideration. Testing of the stone columns was carried out with soil

parametres acquired from laboratory tests of samples removed from

the cylindrical test boxes after compaction of the soil. The stone

columns were modeled as afloating unit in the soil space; that is, the

bottom part of the longest column is about 1 d, or, about 60 mm from

the bottom of the test box. Because the stone column has relatively

less stiffness in comparison to aconventional pile and also because

ahorizontal deformation is more expected than avertical one, the

distance of the stone column of about 60 mm from the bottom of the

test box is adequate. The ratios of the length of the stone columns

to the diameter of the stone columns l/d are modeled as 5, 7 and9.

The test was carried out in atest box filled with clayey sand S5SC

with atotal cohesion cu = 16 kPa. The humidity of the soil in the

box was set before testing, so an appropriate quantity of clean water

was poured into dry soil. Every experiment was realized with the

same humidity of soil of about 16%. All the samples were left for

at least 24 hours for saturation before putting them into the boxes

and compacting and forming the stone column (fig. 1, 2). The stone

columns were formed from gravel, which was classified according

the STN 73 101 as G2 GP. The fractions of the gravel were from

2 mm to 5 mm. All the soil and gravel properties are seen in table 1.

18

columns.

Fig. 2 Installing astone column into the soil and acompacted stone

column.

2011/3 PAGES 17 21

Fig. 3 Shape of the failed stone column after the area of SC was

loaded; the whole area of the SC and surrounding soil was loaded

(equivalent area).

s/d

Factor of improvement -

2.43

1.67

1.36

the stone column was loaded. This subexperiment was carried out

to verify the influence of the loading area on the deformation of the

stone columns. The results are in good agreement with the results of

Hughes and Withers [1].

Table 2 summarizes the settlements of the SC after various pressures

were applied. Because the behavior of the soil under aloading plate

in the cylindrical test boxes is similar to that of an oedometer, the

oedometric modulus of the improved soils for different spacing/

diameter ratios was calculated. All the results, including the oedometric

test of the unimproved soil, are summarized in table2. Table 3 shows

the final soil improvement factor with the stone columns calculated

like the settlement ratio of the unimproved to improved soil.

Numerical model

equival area loaded.

test boxes, the Mohr Coulomb elastic prefect plastic criteria for

modeling soil was chosen using PLAXIS V8 software. Fifteen node

elements were applied. The finite element (FE) meshing is shown in

figure 4. The boundary conditions along the vertical boundaries of

the axially symmetrical model are fixed for the lateral deformations.

The boundary condition allows vertical deformation. Fig. 4 also

shows atypical deformed mesh after loading only the stone column

area and atypical deformed mesh after loading the equivalent area

of the stone column.

All the soil and gravel properties used in the numerical model are

summarized in table 1.

Tab. 4 summarizes the settlements of the SC complex after various

pressures are applied, similarly to tab. 2. Table 5 shows the final soil

improvement factor with the stone columns.

Experiment

s/d

Diameter of loading

plate (m)

Settlement for

50kPa (m)

Settlement for

100kPa (m)

oedometric

modulus (MPa)

0.115

0.0021

0.00582

8.06

0.181

0.00314

0.00945

5.10

0.243

0.00492

0.012

4.24

3.1

19

2011/3 PAGES 17 21

Experiment

s/d

Diameter of

loading plate (m)

Settlement for

50 kPa (m)

Settlement for

100 kPa (m)

0.125

0.00397

0.00802

7.96

0.191

0.00562

0.01130

5.34

0.253

0.00664

0.01364

4.29

0.253

0.0150

0.0245

3.16

oedometric modulus

(MPa)

s/d

Factor of improvement -

s/d

Factor of improvement -

2.52

2.76

1.69

1.69

1.36

1.39

conclusions

soil (unit cell) - fig. 5.

factor by the stone columns with Priebesoriginal diagram is shown

in fig. 6. The agreement of the results of the improvement factor

calculated by Priebe`smethod and, the FE method and obtained

from the laboratory experiments appears satisfactory. All the models

in this study were prepared by the vibro replacement method, which

means that soil was removed out from the hole and not compacted

to the sides such as in the vibro displacement method.

Acknowledgement:

This paper is part of the VEGA 1/0619/09 research program

wall and that the vertical deformations are equal in every plane.

He assumes that the column is stiff and uncompressible, whereas

the surrounding soil is elastic. The stress distribution in the soil is

isotropic, and arigid base plate is above the stone column. Also, the

load transferred to the subsurface soil is uniform.

For the analytical calculations the same soil properties as in the

numerical and laboratory models were used. Table 6 shows the final

soil improvement factor with the stone columns.

20

different approaches.

2011/3 PAGES 17 21

REFERENCES

with stone columns, 1974.

[2] Barksdale,R.D., Bachus,R.C.: Design and construction of stone

columns, 1983.

[3] Mckelvey, D., Sivakumar, V., Bell, A., Graham, J.: Modelling

vibrated stone columns in soft clay, 2004.

[4] Priebeh, J.: The Design of Vibro Replacement, 1995.

21

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