You are on page 1of 6

See discussions, stats, and author profiles for this publication at: https://www.researchgate.


A review of the energy balance equations of the jet grouting

Article  in  International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering · October 2013

DOI: 10.1179/1938636213Z.00000000042

3 236

1 author:

Giovanni Spagnoli


Some of the authors of this publication are also working on these related projects:

Induced Polarization View project

Soil Mechanics View project

All content following this page was uploaded by Giovanni Spagnoli on 10 March 2014.

The user has requested enhancement of the downloaded file.

A review of the energy balance equations of the
jet grouting
Giovanni Spagnoli*
Jet grouting technology represents one of the most important recent developments amongst the in
situ soil improvement methods, exploiting the effect of very high speed jets to fracture the soil and
mix or partly replace it with a cement grout. Aim of this paper was to compare several specific energy
formulas from several authors based in in situ experiences or coming from theoretical evaluations.
Only monofluid system, in which the cement grout is injected at pressure typically between 30 and
70 MPa, was considered.
Keywords: Jet grouting, Monofluid, Energy, Pressure, Flow

Introduction exhaustively explain the main differences among them, e.g.

Xanthakos et al. (1994) and Croce et al. (2004). The main
Jet grouting is a versatile ground improvement technique. objective of this brief technical note is to review the energy
Several companies are specialized in this kind of work balance equations previously published, coming from in
developing their own patent, processes, and technologies: situ experiences for monofluid jet grouting. The main
Rodinjet by Rodio (Italy), Trevijet by Trevi (Italy), HDI problem is to control the treatment efficiency, in order to
by BAUER (Germany) or Soilcrete by Keller (Germany). obtain an adequate improvement. Theoretically, it is
The principle of jet grouting consists of injecting with high possible to treat every kind of soil with a simple cement
pressure (200–700 bar), through nozzles, a stabilizing suspension. The resulting diameters depend on the type of
mixture with which the soil is disintegrated and mixed in treatment in situ and soil characteristics and they could
situ, to form, when the mixture has cured, an element of change based on the stratigraphy. With the current
mixed cement-soil (element or column jetting) with equipment jet grouting diameters resulting from mechani-
improved mechanical characteristics compared to the cally improved soils with monofluid range between 0?3 m
initial conditions. The main objective of this method is in NC clays and 1?1 m in gravel (Croce et al., 2004).
to achieve this improvement in a controlled manner, both According to the different job site reports and technical
physically (by defining the radius of the treatment) and literature, it can be pointed out that the energy balance
qualitatively (obtaining predefined characteristics of the assumes more importance both for technical and eco-
jetted element). It is well-known that currently three kinds nomic issues, in order to optimize the treatment, combin-
of techniques are used for jet grouting treatments: ing different parameters which turn out in different
(i) monofluid; specific energy. This kind of approach is important dur-
(ii) bifluid and ing the preliminary project (applied energy for column
(iii) trifluid. length), the definitive project (specific energy referred to
The main differences among these techniques are the volumetric column), and for the end of the project
number of fluid techniques which come into play. In the (Tornaghi, 1993).
monofluid technique only cement is used with average Several types of formulas regarding the specific energy
pressures between 400 and 550 bar, for bifluid technique and its impact on the column diameters have been found
cement (200–400 bar) and air (5–20 bar) are used and for in literature. They have been evaluated and compared with
trifluid water is used with high pressure (200 and 550 bar) regard to the monofluid technique.
for disaggregating the soil, while cement (20–100 bar) and
air (5–20 bar) are used to create the soilcrete and filling the Operative parameters
void created by water and air jetting (Croce et al., 2004).
For further information about the principles of jet The single-fluid is the most basic approach of jet grouting.
grouting there are several interesting publications which In this procedure, the cement mixture injected with very
high kinetic energy is mainly used for:
(i) disruption of the soil in place by means of dynamic
Department of Maritime Technologies, BAUER Maschinen GmbH, BAUER injection
Str. 1, 86529 Schrobenhausen, Germany (ii) extraction of a part of the soil in place
*Corresponding author, email (iii) filling and mixing of cement with the soil in situ.

ß 2013 W. S. Maney & Son Ltd

Received 30 December 2012; accepted 25 February 2013 International Journal of
438 DOI 10.1179/1938636213Z.00000000042 Geotechnical Engineering 2013 VOL 7 NO 4
Spagnoli Energy balance equations of jet grouting

(ii) At constant soil strength resistance, the size of the

jet grouted elements increases with the increasing
energy. This is determined by the speed of
rotation and extraction of the rods;
(iii) To obtain a constant dimension of the elements
with the increasing depth, it is necessary to
increase the energy and the execution time, since
the soil strength grows with the depth;
(iv) The final strength of the jet grouted elements
depends on the composition of the cement, the
water/cement ratio, and the soil characteristics.
The water/cement ratios are not a constant but
they range between 0?6 and 1?5. However, the
latter is a value that should not be exceeded. In
order to obtain rapid curing time, portland
cement is used. On the otherhand if a good
1 Jet grouted columns for the parking construction in treatment in a chemically aggressive environment
Vancouver (courtesy of Sea To Sky Geotech. Inc) is required, the pozzolan cement is desired.
With regard to the selection of jet grout parameters with
respect to soil types Xanthakos et al. (1994) state that for
The monofluid technique is normally used where the any soil, grout pressure and probe withdrawal rate are the
presence of clay particles are not detected. However its most significant design factors impacting the volume of jet
use can be made in such soils by prewashing the ground grouted soil. The authors also point out that for any given
during the drilling phase. The uniaxial compressive grout pressure and withdrawal rate, jet grouted volume
strength (UCS) and the diameter of the column will still decreases with increasing clay content. Therefore, as clay
be lower than soils where fine particles are absent. In fine content increases, grout pressure must be increased and/or
sand, coarse sand, and gravel in the columns obtained by withdrawal rate decreased for a given jet grouted volume.
monofluid technique give good UCS values. It can be
stated that the controlling parameters that can determine
the quality of execution of the elements jetting are mainly Revision of energy balance
(Tornaghi, 1993; Croce et al., 2004): Tornaghi (1993) and Tornaghi and Pettinaroli (2004)
(i) the speed of rotation of the rods injection (rev extensively reported and evaluated different approachs in
min21) terms of required energy from statistical analysis of field
(ii) the lifting rate the rods (m h21) trials with direct size assessment of jet grouted elements,
(iii) the cement water ratio enabling to select treatment energy as a function of design
(iv) the suspension flow (m3 h21) size. The applied energy per unit length of column is
(v) injection pressure (in MPa) and calculated at the pump by the following formula for single
(vi) the area and number of the injection nozzles. fluid treatment (e.g. Tornaghi, 1993)
The criteria used for checking the effectiveness of jetting
are mainly the diameter of the columns, the resistance, and ES ~ (1)
the permeability of the elements, as well as the costs of vs
construction. The latter depends mainly on the speed of Where Q is the grout flow rate (m3 h21), P5grout pressure
execution (i.e. the speed of rotation and rods withdrawal), (MPa) and vs5monitor lifting rate i.e. treatment speed
the cost of the injected material, and the costs of the (m h21) gives an unit of MJ m21.
personnel and equipment required on site. Keeping The product P?Q is simply the power (kW), while the
management and personnel costs constant, only the specific energy is referred to the column length (Tornaghi,
parameters typical of this technology, can be varied and 1993). When the mean diameter D (m) is known by visual
must be predetermined in order to obtain the desired inspection or adequate coring and translated in terms of
results in terms of resistance and permeability of the specific volume of column VC (m3 m21), the volumetric
elements. From the huge amount of technical literature specific energy, as a function of applied energy is obtained
reporting jet grouting job sites (e.g. Aschieri et al., 1983; (Tornaghi and Pettinaroli, 2004)
De Paoli et al., 1989, 1992; Roberti and Ziller, 1993;
Xanthakos et al., 1994; Tornaghi and Pettinaroli, 2004; ES’ ~ : (2)
Spagnoli, 2008; Palla and Leitner, 2009), it is possible to V c vs
state that:
(i) With the increasing strength of the soil the energy The specific energy ES’ (MJ m23) necessary for the
needed to disintegration of the material increases. treatment of the unit volume of soil is a single design
The energy is determined by the speed of the jet parameter taking into account both grading and relative
from the area of the nozzles and the injection density or consistency characteristics of native soil. VC
pressure; (the mean specific column volume) is

International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering 2013 VOL 7 NO 4 439

Spagnoli Energy balance equations of jet grouting

VC ~0:785:D2 (3)

According to Como and Como (2005) the applied

specific energy (in J m21) is found by using a more
complicated equation than the one of Tornaghi (1993)
 : : 3
2 g P 2: :
ES ~g (4)

Where g is the nozzle performance (0?90 for nozzle

diameter,2?5 mm; 0?95 for nozzle diameter.2?5 mm), g
is the gravity acceleration, P is the pressure in N m22, c is
the specific weight of the suspension, s is the sum of the
nozzles in m2, vs is monitor lifting rate. Croce and Flora
(2000) consider further that the energy measured at the
pump is not as important as the energy directly measured 2 Relation between ES(1) and ES(2), where ES(1) is the equa-
at the nozzle (in MJ m21) tion obtained by Tornaghi (1993) and ES(2) is obtained by
rMd 2 v3u p Como and Como (2005) by changing the pressure
ES ~ (5)
vs 8
Where vu is the jet velocity measured at the nozzle, vs is the
lifting rate of the rods, r is the fluid density, M is the Q
vg ~ : {3 (7)
number of nozzles, d is the diameter of the nozzles. It is d 10
possible to state that the influence of vu is important since
in the equation it appears at the third power. Considering a flow rate of 18 m3 h21 and with the nozzles
The main difference between the equations (1) and (4) is area of 4 mm, the velocity obtained (about 716 km h21)
mainly the presence of the nozzle performance factor, is considerably lower than the one calculated by equation
gravity acceleration, and specific weight of the suspension. (6).
Taking into account a pressure of 40 MPa, with grout flow Putting the results of equation (7) in equation (5), the
rate of 18 m3 h21 and with a rod lift rate of 14?4 m h21, obtained applied energy per unit length of column is about
according to the Tornaghi equation the applied energy 37 MJ m21, which seems to be more realistic. By compar-
per unit length of column is 50 MJ m21. According to ing the equations (1) and (4) in a pressure range between 0
the Como and Como equation, taking into account and 70 MPa (arbitrarily assumed) an equation is obtained
further nozzles performance (i.e. 0?95), gravity accelera- (Fig. 2)
tion (9?81 m s22), specific weight of the suspension
(1500 kg m23), number of nozzles (assumed as two), and ES ð1Þ~{0:0027ES ð2Þ2 z0:97ES ð2Þz5:40 (8)
area of the nozzles (one nozzle of 4 mm diameter), an
applied energy per unit length of column of about 54?6 Where ES(1) is the applied energy per unit length of column
MJ m21 is obtained. From equation (5) (Croce and calculated by the Tornaghi’s equation and ES(2) is the
Flora, 2000), taking into account also two nozzles and applied energy per unit length of column calculated by the
with the same diameter (i.e. 4 mm), same fluid density equation of Como and Como (2005). The relation obtained
(1500 kg m23), with rod lift rate of 0?004 m s21, the jet in Fig. 2 is a polynomial function of second degree between
velocity, vu is calculated by Tornaghi (1993) the equations (1) and (4).
 1 Comparison calculations were performed by changing,
P 2 for instance the withdrawal rate and keeping other
vu ~159 (6)
c parameters constant. The relation between the Tornaghi
(1993) and Como and Como (2005) equations leads to a
where P is the pressure at the pump and c is the specific polynomial relationship as well (Fig. 3)
weight of the suspension. Jet velocity, vu of about ES ð1Þ~{0:003ES ð2Þ2 z0:98ES ð2Þz5:93 (9)
820 km h21 is obtained. Putting these data in equation
(5), a specific energy of 55 MJ m21 is obtained. Equation
(5) was developed for taking into account pressure drops. Another consideration is also done. Starting from
However, equation (6) is only the ideal velocity, without equation (1), Tornaghi and Pettinaroli (2004) state that
considering pressure drops, which in reality take place. the actual variables become two, since the main opera-
According to Tornaghi, the velocity depends on flow rate of tional parameter (the specific volume of injected grout (in
the grout and the nozzles area m3 m21) is

440 International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering 2013 VOL 7 NO 4

Spagnoli Energy balance equations of jet grouting

3 Relation between ES(1) and ES(2), where ES(1) is the equa-

4 Relation between ES(3) and ES(2), where ES(3) is the
tion obtained by Tornaghi (1993) and ES(2) is obtained by
equation obtained by Tornaghi and Pettinaroli (2004) and
Como and Como (2005) by changing the withdrawal rate
ES(2) is obtained by Como and Como (2005)

in the Varallo Pombia field trial, where 17 columns have

Q been executed at three different pressures (30, 40, 50 MPa)
VM~ (10)
vs (Tornaghi and Pettinaroli, 2004).
Taking into account a pressure of 40 MPa, with grout
And hence: flow rate of 18 m3 h21 and with a rod lift rate of
14?4 m h21, according to the Tornaghi and Pettinaroli
ES ~P:VM (11) (2004) equation the applied energy per unit length of
column is 49?96 MJ m21, which is very similar to the results
obtained by Tornaghi equation (1993) with the same values.
According to Tornaghi and Pettinaroli (2004), a further
However, the differences between the Tornaghi (1993) and
simplification leads to a direct proportionality between
Tornaghi and Pettinaroli equation (2004) is that for the
applied specific energy and specific grout volume
latter the ES values decrease (or increase) less rapidly with
ES ~40:VM (12) respect to the Tornaghi (1993) equation. The relation
regarding the two mentioned formulas above lead to the
following polynomial relation
By comparing again equation (4) (Como and Como,
2005) and equation (12), where the grout pressure is not ES (3)~{0:005ES (1)2 z1:07ES (1)z9:65 (15)
taken into consideration, increasing the lift rate the
following results are presented for ES values (see Fig. 4). where ES(3) is the equation obtained by Tornaghi and
Pettinaroli (2004) and ES(1) obtained by Tornaghi (1993)
The equation obtained by the latter comparison assumes
the form of a linear relation:
ES ð3Þ~0:916ES ð1Þz4 :10{13 (13)
This brief technical note compared and reviewed several
equations for calculating the applied jet grouting energy
According to Tornaghi and Pettinaroli (2004) observa- for column length. Although all the formulas are derived
tional data do not show in general a remarkable by the kinetic energy equation they slightly differ due to
systematic influence of pressure within the current range the amount of parameters taken into account. A very
of 30–50 MPa, but mostly around 40 MPa. simple comparison has been performed regarding the
Tornaghi and Pettinaroli (2004) also point out that for equation of Tornaghi (1993) and Como and Como (2005).
monofluid systems if ES increases with P, expressed by Both equations calculate the energy at the pump. The
equation (11), the applied energy per unit length of relationship, by changing one parameter letting the other
column may be found by the following equation constant (i.e. the grout pressure), show a polynomial
pffiffiffiffi relation. A linear relation was found for a modified
ES ~6:32:VM : P (14)
equation of Tornaghi and Pettinaroli (2004) and Como
and Como (2005) where the first pressure was not taken
The most exhaustive information about the influence of into account. Based on the tests in Varallo Pombia field
pressure on treatment specific energy ES has been obtained trial, Tornaghi and Pettinaroli (2004) found out another

International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering 2013 VOL 7 NO 4 441

Spagnoli Energy balance equations of jet grouting

equation for treatment specific energy ES. This one De Paoli, B., Tornaghi, R. and Bruce, D.A. 1989. Jet grouting
stabilization of peaty soils under a railway embankment in Italy,
compared with the simple formula of Tornaghi (1993)
ASCE Conf. on ‘Foundation engineering’, Evaston, IL, American
shows again a polynomial relation. Society of Civil Engineers, 272–290.
Palla, R. and Leitner, S. 2009. Application of jet grouting on the various
References contracts in the Lower Inn Valley, Geomech. Tunnelling, 2, (6), 693–708.
Roberti, P. and Ziller, M. 1993. Due casi di consolidamento con jet
Aschieri, F., Jamiolkowski, M. and Tornaghi, R. 1983. Case history of a grouting suborizzontale per lo scavo di gallerie urbane con bassa
cut off wall executed by jet grouting, Proc. 8th Eur. Conf. on ‘Soil copertura, Ital. Geotech. J., 4, 345–354.
mechanics and foundation engineering, Helsinki. Spagnoli, G. 2008. Theoretical evaluations of liquefaction mitigation
Como, G. and Como, G. 2005. Jet grouting: cenni teorici, campi through jet grouting, Geotech. News, 26, (3), 41–45.
d’application e impiego quale opera di sostegno, Report for Tornaghi, R. 1989. Trattamento colonnare dei terreni mediante gettinie-
SUPSI. zione (jet grouting), Proc. 27th Italian Geotechnical Conf. AGI,
Croce, P. and Flora, A. 2000. Analysis of single fluid jet-grouting, Roma, Italy, 193–203.
Geotechnique, 50, (6), 739–478. Tornaghi, R. 1993. Controlli e bilanci analitici dei trattamenti colonnari
Croce, P., Flora, A. and Modoni, G. 2004. Jet grouting. Tecnica, progetto mediante jet-grouting, Ital. Geotech. J., 3, 217–234.
e controllo, Hevelius Edizioni, Benevento. Tornaghi, R. and Pettinaroli, A. 2004. Design and control criteria of jet
De Paoli, B., Bosco, B., Granata, R. and Bruce, D.A. 1992. Fundamentals grouting treatments, Amelioration des soils en place, 295–319; Paris,
observations on cement based grouts (2): microfine cements, ASCE France, Presses de l‘ENPC/LCPC.
Conf. on ‘Grouting, soil improvements and geosynthetics’, New Xanthakos, P. P., Abramson, L. W. and Bruce, D. A. 1994. Ground
Orleans, American Society of Civil Engineers, 486–499. control and improvement, Wiley-Interscience, New York.

442 International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering 2013 VOL 7 NO 4

View publication stats