The earliest humans were nomads. However, they quickly realized the importance of settling at one convenient location where a river provided them with rich soil for agriculture and an ample supply of water for their needs. Therefore, the connection between plots of land with suitable soil to fulfill their needs and human settlement has existed since the arrival of humans on this planet. These humans usually used caves for dwelling purposes.
The emergence of soil injection for stabilization
A few years down the line, they realized that they could manipulate the soil to suit their needs. They burnt down parts of forest and vegetation to provide them with fertile agricultural land and used rocks and burnt clay bricks for their dwelling needs. They also realized that the foundation of their dwellings needed to be strong for their homes to withstand the elements of the weather. This led to the need for soil stabilization.
Various methods of soil stabilization have been used since the time of the early human settlers. Soil stabilization essentially refers to the process of the soil being altered either mechanically or chemically to make it thicker and keep it locked in place so that it does not vacillate from its place and stays firm in one place.
Technology of using injections for soil stabilization work
The use of soil injection for stabilization saturates the soil mass with a chemical so that the minerals in the soil mass form a permanent bond with the chemical. This chemical reaction is irreversible. This adds up to enable a very cost-effective and relatively hassle-free alternative to the very arduous and time-consuming process of removal of the clay and its subsequent replacement. The technology of soil injection for stabilization entails the use of various materials like expandable polyurethane resin, potassium ions, etc.
At a molecular level, the process of soil injection with potassium ions entails the formation of an irreversible permanent chemical bond between the potassium ion and the clay minerals. Potassium Injection Stabilization is efficient in stabilizing the soil as it reduces soil swelling. As aforesaid, the soil injection process can also be done with other materials like polyurethane resin.
This process starts by making a 15 to 30-millimeter diameter hole in the foundation through which the two premixed chemicals are injected. The next step involves injecting the soil mass to the necessary treatment depth with a polyol and an isocyanate, which are intensely mixed with the help of a hydraulic system. This mix is then pumped under high pressure into the soil by using an injection pistol through the aforementioned hole in the foundation area. The success of this technology is based on the natural chemical reaction of the two chemicals, which leads to the resin expanding volumetrically to approximately 25 times its original volume. The exothermic chemical reaction produces carbon dioxide, which leads to volumetric expansion. The process leads to a rapid hardening of the area, which provides the necessary soil stabilization. The resultant polyurethane foam swells fill the voids and stabilize the soil.
It can also be used to fix issues with existing foundations
The stabilization chemical used for soil injection for stabilization penetrates an impervious soil mass, combines with the available minerals in an irreversible chemical reaction, and hardens the affected area quickly to provide a stable base for supporting building structures. This negates the inherent design challenges faced when structures have to be built on expansive clay. The soil injection process is not as cost-prohibitive as the traditional method of removal and replacement of clay soil. The process can be suitably modified to the required strength and stiffness parameters. It can also be used for settlement compensation and strengthening of existing foundations of building structures.
This technology is also used as an effective and rapid lifting process. It is said that knowledge is power. Therefore, extensive knowledge of different technologies of soil stabilization enables an effective solution for soil stabilization issues.