This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits any use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.
Geosynthetic encasement of individual stone columns can provide additional confinement to the columns thus increasing their load capacities and reducing lateral and vertical deformations. Most of past studies have been focused on the load capacities and settlements (i.e. vertical deformations) of the encased stone columns. However, the load transfer mechanism and the lateral bulging deformation pattern of the encased stone columns are not thoroughly understood. In the present study, four series of laboratory model tests in a large-scale testing tank were performed to investigate the effect of geogrid encasement on the lateral and vertical deformations of stone columns installed in a clay bed. For comparison purposes, ordinary stone columns were also tested and evaluated. The main objective of this research is to investigate the lateral and vertical deformation patterns of the encased stone columns and the reinforcement mechanisms of the geogrid encasement with different encasement lengths. In addition, the stress–strain characteristics of the encasement were measured and analysed. The test results show that the ultimate load capacity of the soft soil was greatly increased by the geogrid-encased stone columns. The effective length of the encasement was three to four times of the diameter of stone columns based on the consideration of performance and economy. In comparison with the analytical solution based on the unit cell concept with full encasement of columns, the experimental tests on composite foundations with partially encased columns, which allowed lateral deformations of columns and soils and slippage along the column-soil interfaces (geogrid–soil, stone column–geogrid, and stone column–soil if the column is not encased), resulted in larger settlements, especially at higher vertical pressures.
Gu, M., Zhao, M., Zhang, L. and Han, J. (2016). Effects of geogrid encasement on lateral and vertical deformations of stone columns in model tests. Geosynthetics International, 23, No. 2, 100–112. http://dx.doi.org/10.1680/jgein.15.00035
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