Top Feed Stone Columns
The use of Stone Columns can be split into two distinct categories; as foundation elements (‘stone piles’) or as ground reinforcement.
As a foundation element, Stone Columns can be used for a wide range of building types from multi-storey buildings to oil tank foundations. They can function under multiple foundation types including single footing, strip footing and raft.
As ground reinforcement, Stone Columns can prevent liquefaction, provide embankment stabilization, increase slope stability, as well as provide other ground improvement applications via the combined effects of soil compaction, reinforcement and drainage.
A Green Product
Stone Columns represent the most natural and ecologically neutral foundation system in existence due to consisting entirely of natural stones.
Sufficient quality gravel or crushed rock for producing quality Stone Columns are widely available in many areas. The ecological balance can be further improved through the use of recycled concrete material. A smaller friction angle for the stone column has to be applied if recycled concrete is used.
Where to use the Top Feed Stone Column method?
- Where the working platform allows the flushing water to flow towards settlement ponds.
- Wherever the treated soil type doesn’t lead to problems handling the mud in the process water.
- Where space is available for a 500 sqm sedimentation pond.
- Where the installation crew has sufficient experience in the more demanding installation methodology.
Stone Columns and Liquefaction Prevention
It is well known that loose sandy soils below the water table can turn liquid (liquefaction) during an earthquake. This causes excessive settlement of the ground, leading to critical damage of structures and services. To prevent this from happening, Stone Columns can be installed and have a threefold effect:
- Compact loose sand and gravel layers.
- Reinforce layers that cannot be compacted
(such as silt and clay).
- Facilitate drainage in silty and clayey soils.