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DOI: 10.1179/1938636213Z.00000000042

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TECHNICAL NOTE

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

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 giovanni.spagnoli@bauer.de (iii) filling and mixing of cement with the soil in situ.

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

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

Q:P

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;

Q:P

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

Spagnoli Energy balance equations of jet grouting

VC ~0:785:D2 (3)

specific energy (in J m21) is found by using a more

complicated equation than the one of Tornaghi (1993)

: : 3

2 g P 2: :

sc

c

ES ~g (4)

2:g:vs

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

Spagnoli Energy balance equations of jet grouting

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)

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:

Conclusion

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

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.

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