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JET GROUTED COLUMNS-GROUND IMPROVEMENT FOR LIQUEFACTION

RESISTANCE – A CASE STUDY


Jibi C Yohannan, Va Tech Wabag, India, Email: c_jibiyohannan@wabag.in
Viswanathan N, Va Tech Wabag, India, Email: n_viswanathan@wabag.in
Miguel Dimadura, SEGCON, Philippines, Email: dimaduramiguel@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

This paper presents a case study of soil treatment carried out to mitigate liquefaction potential of the site
for a Sewage Treatment Plant at Tunasan, Muntinlupa City, Philippines. The assessment was carried out
using LiquefyPro software to determine the liquefaction potential and estimated settlement of soil deposit
due to seismic loads of PGA 0.71g. Design approach using Baez (Advances in the Design of Vibro
Systems for the Improvement of Liquefaction Resistance) was followed using the stress concentration
criteria to eventually co-relate to a new factor of safety for the improved site with jet grouted columns.
After installation, using high pressure jet injection system, cores were taken to evaluate the diameter
formed and the compressive strength of the soil cement columns to validate the design.
Keywords: Liquefaction, Ground improvement, Jet Grout columns,

INTRODUCTION
The site for proposed sewage treatment plant is situated south of Magdaong River and adjacent to
Muntinlupa Science High School, Tunasan, Philippines. ( Fig-1) The city, in general, is underlain by
alluvium (Holocene), marine and terrestrial sediments ( Pilocene-Pleistocene), and volcanic piedmont
deposits (Pliocene- Quartenary) Alluvium deposits on the east side of the area are basically from
deposition of sediments as the river streams following into Laguna Lake. Nearest seismic source is the
West Valley Fault (WVF), a type A source, located well with in 5km distance, and to the east of the
project (Fig-2).

Fig-1. Site Location Fig-2. West Valley Fault

A Seismic hazard assessment study was conducted to establish design acceleration parameters
corresponding to the Maximum Considered Earthquake (MCE) as defined in ACI 350.3.06 by
GEOSEED. Results of the site spectra were then compared with code (NSCP-2010) spectra and
concluded a high PGA 0.71g.

329 © 2018 Deep Foundations Institute


The results of the geotechnical investigation shows that the site is underlain by loose sands and silts,
interspersed with medium stiff to stiff clay. Considering the location of the area near the lake shore, and
the proximity of a seismic source capable of generating high-magnitude earthquakes, it is evident that the
loose to medium dense sands (SPT N-value = 4 to 27) within the site subsurface are susceptible to
liquefaction. Liquefaction analysis considering SPT data was undertaken using LiquefyPro software. This
is based on the most recent methods recommended by the National Center for Earthquake Engineering
Research (NCEER) Workshop on Liquefaction and Special Publication 117 (Guidelines in
Analyzing and Mitigating Liquefaction in California).

PRE-TREATMENT AND POST-TREATMENT LIQUEFACTION ANALYSES

The objective is to determine the extent of material prone to strength loss with seismic loading, and to
estimate the induced settlement in the event of an earthquake. The analysis is directed to implement the
findings from soil investigations conducted and the subsequent Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis. To
expedite the calculations, LiquefyPro v.5 (Civil Tech) was used. The program determines the liquefaction
potential and estimated settlement of soil deposit due to seismic loads. The evaluation requires the input
mainly of CPT, BPT or SPT data, design earthquake parameters, groundwater location, and soil
classification. The PGA value for liquefaction potential is calculated using 100% code-based
response spectra (NSCP 2010). The calculated PGA value of 0.5676g, which is based on the zero (0)
time period, is then multiplied by an importance factor of 1.25 resulting to a PGA value of 0.71g. The
Factor of Safety (FS) for liquefaction potential is calculated as the ratio of the Cyclic Resistance Ratio
(CRR) to the Cyclic Stress Ratio (CSR). Liquefaction-induced settlements are based on the Ishihara
and Yoshimine (1990). (FS = CRR M / CSR fs).

SOIL PROFILE

The soil profile for borehole BH-3 as presented hereunder (Fig-3b). The first 9m is composed of sand.
Except for the 1.5m intervening sand layer, the material from Elev. -9.0m to -22.5m is composed of silt.
Its consistency varies from stiff to very stiff whereby the PI is larger than 18 up to around 18m. The lower
layering is a sequence of alternating layers of sand and silt. Groundwater table is measured at around
0.3m below the natural grade line.

LIQUEFACTION ANALYSES

Liquefaction analyses are typically done on the upper 15m strata as per earlier methods by Seed and Idriss
(1971), with the procedure even extendable to 20m depth. In practice, liquefaction investigation beyond
24m are generally waived due to limitations of both empirical and detailed modelling methods, known
decreased impact with depth and difficulties of mitigating deep liquefaction. For this study, the depth of
analysis was limited to 20m.

For the required program input (LiquefyPro v.5), the following information, including the document
sourced, are as follow:

1. SPT N values, Groundwater Location and Soil Classification from Geotechnical Investigation Report
Proposed Tunasan STP Project
2. Peak Ground Acceleration - 0.71g
3. Moment Magnitude – 7.2 by the West Valley Fault
4. Overburden pressure – given by H of fill, with the net foundation load converted to an equivalent soil
height.
5. Soil Unit Weight – total unit weight of soil. To facilitate data entry, an average value of 19 kN/m3 was
used globally.

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6. Fines % - percentage of soil passing No. 200 sieve (Grain Size Analysis, Final Report). This value is
used to correct the cyclic resistance of the soil known to increases due to the presence of fine grained
material.

Fig. 3 (a) Pre Treatment Liquefaction Analysis Graph, (b) Bore log of BH-3

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LIQUFACTION ANALYSIS FINDINGS

Based on the parameters and soil information used, the location of liquefiable material and the estimated
induced settlement are as plotted in Fig. 3a for BH number 3. Areas with Factor of Safety less than 1.0 are
deemed liquefiable in the event of an M7.2 earthquake by the West Valley Fault. For BH3, liquefiable
material is generally confined between -3.0m to -20.0m.

However, since the induced settlement of the stretch from -9.0m and below is only 2.5cm and its effect at
the upper layer could be curbed by arching effect and distance, this lower liquefiable layer shall be left
untreated. Further, if PI>18 is invoked as non-liquefiable (Bray), the layers from -9.0m to -15.0m would
not yield to any settlement. As such, the liquefiable layer that needs soil treatment is from -3.m to -9.0m.
The summary of liquefaction analysis and computed settlement (averaged values 7.52 to 19.36cm) of
various boreholes are tabulated below. (Table-1).

Table 1. Average computed settlement for various boreholes

OPTIONS STUDIED TO MITIGATE LIQUEFACTION

Following three options were considered for mitigation-


- Stone columns
- Pile
- Jet grouted column or Deep cement mixing
Based on economy of the method, Stone columns were found the most economical and Piles of high cost.
The final option was guided by:
- Soil profile
- Local equipment availability,
- Pre and post installation and test regime procedures for similar ground improvement techniques,
- Economic considerations.

Depending on the specific site condition and method of installation few options were more influential
than others. In the case of low permeability silty soils not densifiable by the action of vibrations from the
stone, the stress concentration criterion would be more relevant for a viable solution. Considering the
above Jet grout columns were finally chosen.

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DESIGN APPROACH ON JET-GROUTED COLUMNS TO MITIGATE LIQUEFACTION

Based on the paper of Baez (Advances in the Design of Vibro Systems for the Improvement of
Liquefaction Resistance), the rigidity property of the vibro-concrete columns and its stress concentration
criterion can be applied to the jet-grouted columns. As such, the design for stress concentration criterion
(no densification and drainage) has been followed for the design of jet-grouted column system. Shear
modulus ratio (Gr) is calculated as the proportion between the shear modulus of jet grout column
(Gjg ) and the shear modulus of the surrounding soil (Gs ). (Gr = Gjg / Gs). Area replacement ratio, (Ar) is
taken as the ratio of Area of jet grout columns (Agc) to that of total area (A). (Ar= Agc / A). The
recommended reduction factor (function of area replacement ratio and shear modulus ratio) is applied to
the CSR (cyclic stress ratio) in the pre-treatment liquefaction analysis and subsequently a new factor of
safety is obtained. Average soil modulus of elasticity, Es of surrounded soil is taken as15 kPa. Average
modulus of elasticity of column is taken as 1500 kPa.

The shear stresses of the columns are calculated whereby the maximum shear stress of the former
liquefiable layers serves as a control for the establishment of the required shear strength of the column.

The column shear stresses are the soil shear stresses (calculated in the LiquefyPro program) multiplied by
the modular ratio and reduction factor.

The spacing and diameter of columns selected such a way that the liquefiable layers are no longer
liquefiable after the installation of the columns. In order to fulfil the liquefaction mitigation and allowable
column stress, the square spacing of 1.7m has been selected with column diameter of 0.8m.

A sample of the calculation for the Pre and Post Factor of safety for few layers is attached in Table-2
below.

Table-2. Factor of Safety Pre-Treatment (FS) and Factor Safety Post-Treatment (FS1)

Maximum shear stress in the Jet columns was found to be around 510 kpa. Hence the Shear strength of
the installed Jet columns needs to be more than this value. The shear strength is taken as 20% of the UCS.
Expected UCS of jet grout columns ranges from around 1.75 MPa to 3.0m MPa, reflecting the increasing
strength properties of the soil with depth and which is verified at site by testing drilled core of finished
columns. Hence the shear strength varied from 0.2x UCS, i.e., 350 kPa to 600 kPa. For the installed jet
columns UCS were carried out on extracted core samples.

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INSTALLATION

Figures 4 to 8 shows various sequence of work related to installation and testing.

Fig-5 Jet grout columns under installation


Fig-4- Layout (Part)- Jet grout columns

Fig-6- Installed Jet column diameter


measurement Fig-7 Cores Extracted from Jet grout columns

Fig-8- Cores prepared for UCS testing Fig-9-Tested cores

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FIELD TEST AND PERFORMANCE ACCEPTANCE CRITERIA

In order to verify the design assumptions, trial tests are conducted after installation of jet-grouted columns
and performance of specific checks. The important factors verified are the Unconfined Compression
Strength (UCS) value and achieved diameter of the columns. For the determination of the material
strength of the jet-grouted columns achieved in the prevailing site conditions as well as the achieved
diameter, coring of the columns after the curing period and sampling of cored samples were undertaken.
The cored samples taken at specified depths brought to the laboratory for unconfined compression tests.

For UCS Strength check


After a curing period of at least 10 days, coring through the entire length carried out. Four (4) cored
samples taken from the depths at the centre (or near centre if the central tube is placed for injection
process) of the column –which would represent each quarter of the whole length. The samples would be
drawn from the centre of each quarter. These shall be brought to the material laboratory for Unconfined
Compression Test. Diameter of cores to be 50mm.

Acceptance Strength Criteria, UCS


As the shear strength is taken is 0.2 of the UCS, the test results should ideally have this magnitude for the
particular depth as reflected in the liquefaction analysis. Core samples prepared and tested as per ASTM
C42 and core strength results shall be stated with due corrections done for height/diameter ratio as per
ASTM C42. Equivalent cylinder strength for UCS = UCS(Test) = Core Test strength/0.85. The above,
UCS (Test), found more than the UCS (Design), i.e, design strength for the representative quarter.

Diameter Size Inspection


The diameter size sufficiency can be verified by coring through the column at an internal position tangent
with the circumference of a 0.8m-column at 2 positions diametrically opposite. This coring is only to
validate the formation of diameter of the columns. Diameter of cores to be 50mm.

Acceptance Minimum Diameter Size


Achieved diameter size shall be assessed based on the continuity and quality of the cored materials.
Should there be a decrease in size, the top layers can be excavated to visually inspect the extent of the jet-
grouting and further evaluation shall be made.

Visual Inspection of column


Likewise, for these trial positions, excavation shall be carried out around the 2 positions until a safe depth
of around 2 to 3 meters. Hence, inspection at the upper portion should be sufficient.

Table-3- Required design UCS values for each quarter along length of Jet column

Tested cores met the design requirement of UCS values and thus the shear strengths.

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CONCLUSION
Jet grout columns of 0.8m diameter with length varying from 8.0 m to 15.0m with square grid spacing of
1.7m X 1.7m was proposed for various units based on the structure loading and soil profile. The resulting
design area replacement ratio satisfied both liquefaction mitigation and shear strength requirements as
well as settlement criterion under normal conditions. The design parameters were verified at site after
completion of jet grouting column installation for the column diameter, UCS. The results showed that the
tested cores of the Jet grouted columns met the design requirement for the UCS and thus the shear
strength of Jet grouted columns. The ground improvement thus followed using the concept of “Stress
concentration” (no densification and no drainage) as evolved by Baez were found to provide the solution
toward liquefaction mitigation due to the increased shear strength of the composite sub soil.

ACKNOWEDGEMENTS
The authors would like to acknowledge the appreciation to M/s Bauer Foundations Philippines, M/s
Wabag Philippines site team and support staff who successfully delivered this project and M/s SEGCON
Philippines, M/s ARUP Philippines for their technical assistance.
REFERENCES
Baez, J.I. and Martin, G.R. (1993) Advances in the design of Vibro-systems for improvement of
liquefaction resistance. Proceedings of the Symposium on Ground Improvement, Canadian Geotechnical
Society, Vancouver

Youd, T.L et al, (1997), NCEER workshop on evaluation of liquefaction resistance of soils, National
Center for Earthquake Engineering Research Technical Report NCEER-97-0022, p. 276

ACI 350.3-06 Seismic Design of Liquid-Containing Concrete Structures and Commentary

NSCP-2010 National Structural Code of the Philippines

GEOSEED Report- Site Specific MCE Seismic Design Parameters for the 20 MLD Muntinlupa STP,
Tunasan, Metro Manila

Geo-Institute of ASCE, Grouting Committee, Jet Grouting Task Force- Jet Grouting Guideline

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