COLLAPSE OF SOIL IN PILE BORE HOLE AND ITS SABILISATION USING BENTONITE SUSPENSION

By

DHRUBAJYOTI BHATTACHARYA *
ABSTRACT The prime technology for installation of cast in situ vertical bored pile is “stabilisation of soil in vertical cut pile bore”. Stabilisation of soil is absolute necessity for the quality of pile as well as for time and cost economy. Stabilisation of soil depends on soil characteristics. In non-cohesive soil, liner is provided in pile bore to prevent soil-collapse. In cohesive soil, stabilisation of soil depends mainly on cohesive factor and angle of friction. Stabilisation of vertical cut cohesive soil in pile bore also depends on depth of the bore hole and character of liquid in the borehole. Consistency of soil character being very uncertain, and to ensure non-collapse of bore hole surface soil in cohesive soil, bentonite (sodium based) suspension of required consistency is used. In India, in a number of projects, it has been observed that during boring operation of cast in situ vertical bored piles, bentonite slurry is being used as it is referred in the Specifications of MoRT&H. Piles, while being done under ground, neither can be observed directly nor the quality of pile shaft and concrete therein can be ensured visually. In a number of cases, during installation of bored cast in situ pile, proper attention is not given to the technology behind collapse of soil in pile bore as well as to the proper use of bentonite for stabilization the soil surface in the vertical cut bore of the pile. Thus the concrete shaft of the pile gets affected with collapse of soil in the pile bore. In view of the same, for maintaining the quality of bored cast in situ piles, the detailed technology on collapse of vertical cut soil in pile bore and the function of bentonite for its prevention is discussed in this paper. LIST OF NOTATIONS c c’ Ø Ø’ : : : : : α’ γ H, Ζ pa Z0 Hc : : : : : : Cohesion force. Effective cohesion force. Angle of shearing resistance, i.e., angle of friction. Effective angle of shearing resistance or effective angle of friction. Angle of inclination of soil planes with horizontal plane during plastic failure. Effective inclination of failure plane = 450 + ↓/∋/2. Density of soil. Height of unsupported vertical face of soil. Intensity of earth pressure. Depth of unsupported vertical face of soil, where pa =0 Critical height of an unsupported vertical cut, which can be made in cohesive soil; Hc = 2 Z0 = (4c’ / γ) . tan α’. H2O γs Cs : : : Molecular formula of water. Density / Specific Gravity of the bentonite suspension. Concentration (%) of bentonite in water by weight

1.

INTRODUCTION

The most common and largely recognized methods for executing Cast-in-Situ Vertical RCC Bored Piles are Direct Mud Circulation (DMC), Reverse Mud Circulation (RMC), Bailor (Sludge Pump) Boring method & Rotary / Auger method. In all the methods, boring is done using heavy chopping or cutting tools. The method of taking out the dredged soil from the hole differs in different methods. In all the methods, stabilization of soil in the dredge hole is very important to maintain the quality of pile. In case of absolute non-cohesive soil, stabilization of vertical cut earth in pile bore hole may be very difficult owing to turbulence in water during pile boring operation. To support the soil vertical face of such borehole, in view of achieving good concrete shaft in pile, steel casings / liners may be used. When soil is cohesive or partially non-cohesive, for stabilization of vertical soil inside the pile bore hole, bentonite solution is used. The basic content of this paper is to analyze the detailed technology and criteria on collapse of soil during boring for vertical bored cast in-situ piles as well as function of bentonite suspension in soil stabilization during execution of pile bore holes including methods for use of bentonite suspension during pile boring operation to achieve the maximum utilization of bentonite property on soil stabilization. 2. TYPES OF COLLAPSE OF SOILS DURING PILING Collapse of soil during pile boring operation.

2.1

During boring operation of the pile, collapse of inside surface soil of the borehole increases the diameter of the pile irregularly with erratic increase of clear cover of the reinforcement bars. This not only affects the quality of the pile, but also affects the economy. This is due to over breakage. Pouring of concrete in pile bore will be more than the requirement to fill the over breakage volume. 2.2 Collapse of soil just before pouring of concrete into the pile bore.

* Chief General Manager, Consulting Engineering Services (India) Private Limited, New Delhi
E-mail : dhruba48@yahoo.co.in

1

On completion of the pile boring.. while soil is moisturized and consists finer particles. The probability of collapse of the vertical face of soil inside the borehole depends mainly on the following factors: • • • • • • Type of the soil – cohesiveness and angle of shearing resistance / angle of friction. the collapse of soil into the pile bore during pile operation is not desirable. The technologies behind the basic factors of collapse of vertical cut soil are briefly analyzed hereunder in seriatim. The surface tension also is different for different liquids. angle of friction (Ø). After such flushing of the pile bottom and prior to pouring of concrete into the pile bore. Gravitational force owing to increase of soil weight will be more effective to promote sliding. again loose muck will be deposited at the pile bottom. owing to different viscosity of the liquids. Deposition of collapsed loose soil at pile bottom. The surface tension varies with the temperature and decreases with the increase of temperature. may cause settlement of the pile when loaded.1 Soil collapse factor: type of soil – cohesiveness and angle of shearing resistance / angle of friction. i. the failure planes are inclined to horizontal plane at an angle = 450 + ↓//2 where ↓ = angle angle of friction 3. the basic factors of collapse of soil are identified hereunder. no significant force is developed to resist the soil vertical face from collapse. implied on soil particles. 3. Obtaining absolute dry soil is very difficult.2 of shearing . flushing of the pile bottom is operated. Liquid inside the borehole. which may cause damage to the pile and reduce the load bearing capacity. Thus the collapse of side soils of the pile bore affects the quality of pile adversely. counter act the earth pressure (owing to weight / density of soil) and resist the collapse of the soil vertical face. Collapse of soil during concreting of the pile may create soil pockets inside the pile concrete shaft. In view of the above. in view of maintaining the quality of pile. In non-cohesive soil. Method of prevention i. Moisture content in soil increases the weight of soil per unit volume. Type of soil mainly depends on cohesion force ( c ) factor and angle of shearing resistance. 2 . soil is dredged out and the vertical face of the soil inside the borehole is exposed. 2. Normally all the phenomenon and calculations are considered on the basis of properties at normal atmospheric temperature of 200C. is less than the developed cohesion. Weight / density of soil. while ‘c’ (cohesion force) = 0.(1) resistance. i. if full length casing is not used for the same. The cohesion force. to resist this collapse of soil in the pile bore. FACTORS AFFECTING COLLAPSE OF SOILS Before analyzing the technology of function of the bentonite suspension for stabilization of soil. is basically the use of proper bentonite solution. As the soil particles become finer. 3. Surface tension develops due to the capillary action in the voids of soil particles.. generally using tremie pipes.. the vertical face of the borehole collapse. soil during pile concrete area increases. developed in the cohesive soil. cohesive force becomes more. In such cases due to earth pressure intensity. The gravitational force acts on particles as shown in the Fig. 1. except the only frictional force. till the horizontal component of gravitational force. for end bearing piles. after withdrawal of the DMC / RMC pipes and lowering of reinforcement cages. void becomes more and specific surface Gravitational forces acting on soil particles The cumulative horizontal components of the gravitational forces act on the free vertical face of the soil resulting to collapse. In absolute dry soil the cohesion force will not be developed. if there be no counter resistance force.3 Collapse of operation. Vibration and earthquake effects. and is held by the force of adhesion.e. Cohesive force is basically the surface tension. Pore water pressure / water table.e. Normally all the individual soil particles are considered to be spherical. While boring for cast in situ vertical bored piles. developed due to presence of moisture in soil. if side soils of the borehole collapse. Surface tension directly varies with the surface area of particles. 1. So.e. Height of unsupported vertical face of the soil. During this plastic failure of soil. Fig. because the soil particles obtain hygroscopic moisture not only from direct water but also from atmosphere by the physical force of attraction. Soil collapse factor: weight / density of soil Weight of the soil creates the ‘earth pressure intensity’ due to gravitational force acting on each particle.…………….

which decreases the magnitude of cohesion in soil. It is also evident from the fig. 2. the soil collapses. In bored piles such support is provided with temporary / permanent steel casings. when c = 0. b. after full saturation of soil. At a depth Z0.(5) In case of non-cohesive soil. Upto a depth less than Z0. Z0 = (2c’ / γ) . The surface tension developed amongst the soil grains.(4) When pa = 0 .3 Soil collapse factor: pour water pressure / water table Normally rainfall and atmospheric precipitation are the main water sources. during vibration. owing to capillary action. α’ = Effective inclination of failure plane = 450 + ↓/∋/2 ↓/∋ being effective angle of shearing resistance effective angle of friction. Density of soil (γ). the pressure will remain negative. may be disturbed or destroyed due to vibration or earthquakes. cot α’ (-) Z0 = (2c’/ γ) tan α’ 2 Z0 H At this depth. but the pressure will decrease with the increase of the depth. Height of the unsupported vertical face of soil (H).(3) In case of cohesive soil.5 Soil collapse factor: height of unsupported vertical face of soil. cot2 α’ Fig. H. The vertical face of the soil in pile borehole. the intensity of active earth pressure can be represented as: pa = [(1-sin Ø’) / (1+sin Ø’)]. or Having no significant force being developed in non-cohesive soil to counter act this earth pressure intensity (pa). therefore can not stand in case of noncohesive soil. The horizontal force arising out of vibration / earthquake. While encountered with non-cohesive soil: Where. From Eq. Z = (2c’ / γ) . From Bell’s equation. thus decreasing its shear strength. pa = (-) 2c’ . γ. particularly in unconsolidated soil. 2c’. Increase in moisture content of the soil material promotes slides because it adds weight to the unit weight of soil. ……. While encountered with cohesive soil: In case of cohesive soil. if becomes more than the cohesive and frictional forces. H ……. the active soil pressure will be zero. specific surface area of soil grains is quite more than that of non-cohesive soil. cot α’ ………. pa = 0 Net (+) a. 2. which enter into the pervious soil either from ground surface or at depth.2 3 . tan α’ ……….3. Owing to large surface area in cohesive soil. as required. Surface water-flow or water from atmospheric precipitation also aggravates slides. From earth pressure theory and applying ‘Rankine Coefficient’. as the cohesive force is zero. may result in collapse of the vertical face of the borehole. even causing slides of soil as well.4 Soil collapse factor: vibration and earthquakes. (4) and Fig. (3) : At Z = 0. Pour water pressure is generated by excess water. vibration affects the capillary bond of the soil. show that the negative pressure is exerted by the soil at the top of the vertical face.(2) Eq. where pa = 0 So. Intensity of earth pressure (pa) for non-cohesive dry soil depends on Effective angle of shearing resistance or angle of friction (Ø’). tan α’ The depth considered to be Z0. cot α’ . Z. 3. withstanding of the force due to vibration / earthquake does not arise. In case of non-cohesive soil. γ. cot2 α’ – 2c’. where water accumulates or flows. Accumulation of under ground water above impervious layer of soil is ‘water table’. Ζ = Height of the vertical face of soil. Pressure distribution diagram in unsupported vertical face of cohesive soil. 3. pa = γ. the vertical face of the earth inside the borehole may not be stable unless supported. because the soil particles of cohesive soil are finer. surface tension developed in such soil is significant to retain the unsupported soil upto certain critical height.

3. Presence of liquid inside a borehole increases the stability of the vertical cut earth surface of the borehole. The pressure exerted by the liquid increases with increase of density of the liquid. Quantum of pressure exerted by the liquid on the vertical cut surface of the hole depends on the density of the liquid. Attraction of electrical charges of water molecules which results stability .6 Soil collapse factor: liquid inside the bore hole.(6) Where. Depth of such crack remains limited to Z0 (Eq.H2O + + H2O - It has been assumed that there is no organic bond in the soil. a tension crack usually forms in the soil at the top near the edge of the vertical face. STABILISATION OF SOIL ELECTRIC DOUBLE LAYER. STABILISATION OF VERTICAL CUT SOIL SURFACE INSIDE A PILE BORE HOLE FILLED WITH WATER. the total net active soil pressure will be zero. Bond amongst the soil grains in that zone of earth also gets lost. the earth. 5. in course of time. there are surplus positive electrical charges and in other region of water molecules. is somewhat less than this height. exposed on the vertical surface. Refer Fig. In water. when immersed in water. Hence slowly. when immersed in water. 2 Z0 being represented by Hc. the greater is its specific surface area and consequently more negative ions are accumulated on the finer soil grains of the vertical surface of soil. The more the soil particles are fine. cot α’. which also prevent collapse of the earth in vertical cut surface of pile bore. Pour water pressure. Z0.6 above. Actual unsupported vertical height. 3. Horizontal force of vibration. Attraction between the positive poles of molecules and negative poles of other molecules and vice versa occurs in water. Water is designated as ‘polar substance’ as because molecules of water can be represented as a system of electrical charges. which reside on its surface. Thus cumulative passive pressure of the surface earth on the vertical face gets reduced significantly. While soil collapses. By virtue of the negative pressure on top of the soil. Presence of liquid in the borehole exerts counter pressure to resist the active pressure on the soil and facilitates the stability of the soil. gets reduced.Z0. So. 4. in some of the molecules. mutual electrical interaction occurs in polar water molecules.H2O + . total active pressure becomes more than the cumulative passive pressure. Owing to presence of both electrical charges. as already stated under paragraph 3. arranged in a polar structure. Repulsion of electrical charges of water molecules which results instability Fig. gets saturated and cohesive force is lost in that zone. Besides the phenomena. At this critical depth Z0. 4 . Hc = 2 Z0 = (4c’ / γ) . while remain in a medium of water.e.H2O + Passive pressure in earth generally arises out of : • • Cohesive force in soil. horizontal gravitational force. Active pressures on the earth generally arises due to : • • • Weight i. tan α’. the grains of earth from the vertical face get displaced due to turbulence in the liquid and subsequently collapse and drop in the liquid by gravitational force. Under certain conditions this type of soil.. Attraction results stability and repulsion results instability. the positive pressure begins to act on the wall.that the effect of cohesion in the soil will be reduced at every point of the vertical face by 2c’. component of . This type of negatively charged soil grain layer on the vertical cut face of the pile bore hole is normally called the ‘first layer of electric double layer’. Owing to presence of liquid inside bore hole. DUE TO Colloidal (clay) soil has got a typical characteristics. exposed on the vertical surface. which can be made in cohesive soil. For a depth of 2. there exist surplus negative electrical charges. As well as due to buoyancy effect the frictional force in earth. carries negative electrical charges. in general. 5). 3. cohesive soil should stand unsupported with a vertical face upto a depth of 2. particularly in that zone of earth. Frictional force developed amongst soil grains. α’ = 450+ ↓/∋/2 Hc represents a tentative critical height of an unsupported vertical cut. water has got another different character. ………….

Such rigidity / stability of electric double layer on the vertical cut surface of soil in the pile bore resist the intensity of earth pressure or other active pressures and consequently prevent the collapse of the soil.1 Mineral groups – swelling/expansive soil: Normally the following three major mineral groups of soil are available: • • • Montmorillonite. The outer layer of positively charged ions in water is the mobile part of water. The other two groups do not swell significantly. which is practically rigid. This oppositely charged ions (cations) generated in water by virtue of polarization. The ions on the soil surface are rigidly adsorbed at low temperature. This soil has got high swelling as well as shrinkage characteristics. to the specific surface area. immersed in water. is called the ‘Electric Double Layer’. formed at the interface of solid soil and liquid (water).. increase of volume in contact with water) of montmorillonite clay mineral is caused mainly due to the following three basic reasons.e. Such movement of liquid through a porous medium under the influence of an Electric double layer The thickness of this electric double layer. This electro-osmosis is basically an electro-kinetic phenomenon of liquid moving through a porous medium. Diffuse zone Free & mobile ions Swelling capacity / expansivity of soil depends on the characteristics of soil. Bentonite is an alteration product of volcanic ash. 4 6. This swelling characteristic depends mostly on the type and amount of exchangeable cations. The amount of the fine grained clay materials and exchangeable bases are the main factors for swelling. while in contact with water. which extends into the homogeneous interior of the liquid.e. BENTONITE SUSPENSION FOR STABILISATION OF SOIL IN PILE BORE HOLE. 6. under the influence of a primary electric field.1 Properties of stabilisation. The inner layer of positive ions (cations) in water. form the electric double layer. Swelling also is related to the fineness of the soil particles.. Swelling also occurs owing to the phenomenon of “Electro-Osmosis”. With the increase of temperature the adsorbed ions dissipate. The second or outer layer of the electric double layer is formed by the excess of the oppositely charged ions (cations) in water. whereas surface area of the other mineral clay is normally varies between 8 to 10 cm2/gm. accumulated on soil particles. It is montmorillonite clay mineral. The montmorillonite clay is much more expansive than other clay because of the high specific surface area. together with negatively charged ions. which is approximately 10-5 to 10-6 mm. The distribution of ions. on vertical surface of pile bore hole. the characteristics of bentonite is firstly analyzed hereunder. i. bentonite useful in soil SOIL Soil wall vertical surface (+) (–) (+) (+) (–) (+) (+) (–) (+) (+) (–) (+) (+) (–) (+) Almost rigid bond of ions WATER (+) (-) (+) (+) (+) (+) (-) (+) (+) (-) (+) (+) (-) 6. • The montmorillonite is an expanding – lattice clay mineral.1.The first layer of the electric double layer is formed by the negative charged ions on the surface of the soil colloidal particles. Before analyzing the function of bentonite suspension for stabilization of soil. Illite & Kaolinite. Bentonite solution is used during pile boring instead of plain water.1. adhering firmly to the negative ions of wall soil particles. The negatively charged soil particles tend to surround themselves with ionic atmosphere for stabilization.2 Causes of swelling of montmorillonite clay mineral : Swelling (i. 6. a rigid ionic atmosphere. Refer Fig. Surface area of montmorillonite clay is approximately 250 to 300 cm2/gm. PotentIal Distance Fig. specific energy of adsorption and the presence of molecular heat movement. Total dissipation of ions may not be possible owing to influence of the charge on the soil wall surface. depending upon the kind and amount of exchangeable cations. is governed by the mutual interactions of electrostatic forces. is normally of the magnitude of one molecule. The montmorillonite clay mineral swells considerably. in the electric double layer zone. 4. • • 5 .

called ‘osmotic pressure’. altered to sodium based to acquire requisite properties. Sodium based bentonite suspension (bentonite powder mixed with water) takes normally 12 hours time to get the maturity. special additives as indicated in IS : 9556 / 1980. remaining in calcium based bentonite clay. Although both sodium based bentonite and calcium based bentonite clays are montmorillonite clay. 6. while immersed in water. as well as due to hygroscopic pressure developed by water in the void space amongst the fine particles of bentonite and in the effect of ionization and exchange of cations. but as per requirement. as a result of which the bentonite swells. walls of trenches etc. By determining the pH value and the swelling index the basic quality and type of bentonite can primarily be confirmed at site.2 Role of sodium based bentonite suspension in soil stabilisation. Visually it is very difficult to recognize the type of bentonite powder. but sodium based bentonite is having the property of high swelling. for the specific purposes on stabilization of vertical cut soil surface. 6. the sodium based bentonite solution changes its state. If potable water is not available for mixing with bentonite power and saline or chemically contaminated ground water is required to be used for making the bentonite slurry. If ‘Free Swell Test’ is performed with bentonite powder.1. Bentonite is a mined product. The water molecules insert between the sheets.electric potential is defined as “ElectroOsmosis”. bentonite of good sodium based quality will swell from 1200 to 2000 percent. Normally two types of bentonite are available – Sodium based and Calcium based. The pH value : Between 9 to 11. Bentonite is mostly available as calcium based in nature. While pore water is relatively free of dissolved materials. Due to thixotropic properties the sodium based bentonite solution forms a gel. As such it is not possible to distinguish between calcium based and sodium based bentonite only by mere visual inspection. in abundant quantity of water). The cations 6 . Sand content of bentonite powder is preferred to be limited to 7% by weight because of the following: To reduce wear and tear of bentonite mud pump. immersed in water like bored piles. only potable water shall be used. Analysis of function of bentonite suspension for stabilization of vertical cut soil surface during boring of piles is based on consideration of the following properties (at normal atmospheric temperature of 200 Celsius) of bentonite / bentonite suspension. Otherwise the technology of soil stabilization will not function. The octahedral sheet in general contains aluminium.montmorillonite clay : Bentonite is a very fine-grained clayey material having high percentage (>85%) of montmorillonite material. Free Swell of Kaolinite will be about 80% and that of Illite will be between 30 to 80 %. (measured by swelled vol. Matured swelled bentonite shall be a jelly like mass or jell material. since the valence of sodium cation is less than that of calcium.05 gm / cm3 to 1. Sodium based bentonite suspension contains exchangeable sodium cations (Na+). In turn due to osmosis effect the bentonite gel is transferred to cake. The dilute solution is diffused into higher concentration resulting to jell formation by virtue of this osmosis phenomenon. Sodium based bentonite has got more swelling / expansive capacity than calcium based bentonite. Due to such expansion of bentonite. Sodium based bentonite has also got high liquid limit than other clay materials even quite more than calcium based bentonite.3 Bentonite . may be used. Electric double layer of fine-grained soil particles is developed with high ion concentration. For preparation of bentonite suspension for pile boring. as analyzed hereinabove. The basic structural unit of montmorillonite is composed of an octahedral sheet sandwiched between two silica tetrahedral sheets. oil wells. which is of lower valence than ‘calcium’. It should be only ‘Sodium’ based. To minimize precipitation of sand from the bentonite suspension in the pile bore. it tends to diffuse into the double layer under a pressure. Sodium based bentonite clay has got ‘sodium’ as exchangeable cations. Greater osmotic pressure develops in clays with low valence exchangeable cations. magnesium or their combinations. Swelling of montmorillonite clay occurs owing to the phenomenon of osmosis.5 Density of bentonite solution : 1. diaphragm walls. • Swelling Index : 100 % or more in 12 hours. • • • • • Liquid limit : More than 300% and less than 450% Marsh viscosity: Between 30 seconds to 40 seconds. passing through 425 micron sieve.12 gm/cm3 Sand content of bentonite powder: Less than 7 % by weight. Bentonite must not be ‘Calcium’ based. iron. expand and dissociate the crystal into its basic structural units.

After completion of pile boring. stability is derived from the hydrostatic head of the suspension. To eliminate calcium ions. Thus surface tension in the surface soil particles of the pile bore will be more.12 is to be used. jell materials becomes fluid by breaking the electrical bonds or otherwise during undisturbed condition the suspension will form jelly.006 x Cs Where ‘γs’ is the density of the bentonite suspension & ‘Cs’ is the concentration of bentonite by weight.(7) For example. after penetration into the voids of soil particles.33 % by weight. For less cohesive soil. generated due to ionization.…………. In 1 m3 of water 83.Gr. the developed cohesiveness and surface tension thereof amongst the soil particles of the surface soil will be reduced resulting collapse of the vertical cut soil surface. To maintain requisite specific gravity of this rejuvenated bentonite solution and to continue boring operation in pile with this rejuvenated bentonite solution.05 to 1. called ‘Contaminated Bentonite Tank’. the over-flowed bentonite solution from the pile bore during boring is collected through a temporary channel by gravity and stored in a tank. accumulated on soil particles of the vertical cut surface of pile borehole. On completion of pile boring upto the requisite depth. So.10 to 1. becomes undisturbed and subsequently forms jelly and makes the soil surface impervious. the concentration of bentonite is calculated as under: γs = 1 + 0. Under this condition. resulting to stability of the vertical cut soil surface in the pile borehole. the bentonite suspension may not penetrate into the soil. bentonite suspension of specific gravity between 1. as analyzed under paragraph 5 (Stabilization of soil due to electric double layer) shall be exchanged by the cations (Na+). the specific To economize the use of bentonite. the bore is flushed with fresh bentonite solution of proper Sp. In case of impervious soil : In case of impervious soil surface. but deposits a thin film on the surface of the borehole. for cleaning of the bored pile bottom and flushing of the contaminated bentonite solution in the borehole. required Sp.05 Cs= 1/6 x (1. Such stability is governed by the mutual interactions of electrostatic forces. the ‘apparent cohesion’ in soil particles will be increased.12 is very important for retention of the vertical cut soil surface of pile borehole.generated in water by virtue of polarization. generated from cement slurry. Increase of surface tension in the surface soil wall by virtue of penetration of bentonite jelly into the soil voids will ultimately increase the passive pressure. of the bentonite suspension = 1. During turbulence / disturbance in the suspension. ‘Concentration of bentonite’ means percentage of bentonite (by weight). To achieve the requisite specific gravity of the bentonite solution. The thixotropic property of bentonite suspension maintains the consistency of the fluid by virtue of electrical bonds. gravity of bentonite solution should be more to prevent collapse of soil. the thixotropic property allows the bentonite solution. The bentonite solution. while agitated.Gr. to be mixed with potable water to get requisite density / Sp. The flushing operation has got two activities: 7 .05 to 1. If the specific gravity of the bentonite suspension is less than 1.05 Sp. specific energy of adsorption and molecular heat movement. • • For making pile bore. 6.Gr. of bentonite solution. Cs = 1/6 x ( γs – 1 ) x 1000 . i. either matured bentonite jelly or fresh bentonite solution will be mixed time-to-time with this rejuvenated bentonite and agitated or re-circulated for homogeneity. generated in the matured sodium based bentonite suspension. of the bentonite solution. Thus these exchanged cations together with negatively charged ions. The specific gravity (between 1.3 Concentration of bentonite. to penetrate into the capillary voids of the soil particles of pile bore under positive pressure.3 kg bentonite shall be mixed to get 1. special additives like ‘Phosphates’ and ‘Sodium Hydroxide’ may be used. The density of such bentonite suspension being more than that of water. and accumulated in the rejuvenated tank.05. will form electric double layer resulting stability of the vertical surface of the soil. which is called ‘Rejuvenated Bentonite Tank’. The bored muck mixed with bentonite suspension is collected in this tank and after a lapse of time the bored muck is precipitated and the rejuvenated bentonite solution is calmly overflowed and collected in another adjacent tank. fresh bentonite solution of specific gravity between 1.Gr. Maintenance of the specific gravity of bentonite suspension between 1.12 is to be maintained.e.05 – 1) x 1000 = 8. In case of pervious soil : This sodium based bentonite suspension. when introduced into the vertical cut pile borehole.05 to 1.12) of bentonite solution shall be maintained depending on the cohesion factor of the soil. 7 FLOW SYSTEM OF BENTONITE SUSPENSION DURING PILE BORING There are two stages of use of bentonite suspension in cast-in-situ vertical bored piles.

after lowering the reinforcement cage and prior to pouring concrete into the pile bore hole. The bentonite solution remaining in the borehole. therefore. Besides the above modification. Minimum the following tests are to be performed at site to ensure the bentonite quality. This suspended muck precipitates after a lapse of time. being pumped into the pile bore. is required to be flushed out and replaced by fresh bentonite solution to avoid any significant sedimentation at the borehole bottom. Swelling Index : 100 % or more in 12 hours. A flow diagram is given in Fig-5.• To clean the dredged loose soil from the bottom of the pile bore. Fresh bentonite solution must be well agitated by recirculation system or by agitator. being pumped into the pile bore. In MoRT&H–2001 clause 1115.12 gm/cm3 the following formulae can be • 8 . separate ‘Fresh Bentonite Tank’ is constructed. Bentonite slurry shall be used only after minimum 12 hours.2.” This clause requires modification as under : On completion of pile bore. The agitation of fresh bentonite solution shall have to be continued while this solution is in use. properties of bentonite are to be verified and proper use of bentonite is also to be ensured to obtain right quality of pile as well as to save time and achieve economy.4 says in the last line “Flushing of bentonite shall be done continuously with fresh bentonite slurry till the consistency of inflowing and out-going slurry is similar. with requisite concentration. This flushing operation can also be ensured by comparing the specific gravity with the fresh bentonite solution. The commencement of pile boring shall be done with this fresh bentonite solution. 5 Flow diagram of bentonite suspension for operation of pile boring 8 CONCLUSION Such flushing / cleaning of muck from pile bottom and muck-mixed bentonite solution from pile bore is operated with fresh bentonite solution of higher specific gravity in view of maintaining stability of the borehole side soil surface by virtue of electric double layer. after completion of boring of the pile. being pumped into the pile bore from fresh bentonite tank. preliminary tests / study of soil are very important. will get formation of jelly due to thixotropic properties. fresh bentonite solution is pumped into the bore hole. Fresh bentonite solution for initial boring & flushing Valves ۞ Pile Contaminated bentonite solution (over flowed from pile through open drain) Re-circulation Valves ۞ ۞ Rejuvenated bentonite Solution for boring Mud pump ۞ ۞ FRESH BENTONITE Re-circulation Mud Pump ۞ TANK R REJUVENATED BENTONITE TANK CONTAMINATED BENTONITE TANK • Pre-matured bentonite tank ۞ Overflow line Agitator Bentonite store Fig. mixed with bentonite solution. probability factors of soil collapse inside the bore hole of pile have to be judged to determine the method of installation of piles as well as the requirement of use of sodium based bentonite suspension. prior to pumping it to the pile borehole for flushing. in to the tank to achieve required specific gravity of the fresh bentonite solution. The jelly turns to fluid in effect of agitation. This bottom loose muck cleaning should be ensured by collecting slurry from the pile bottom using a slurry sampler and comparing the specific gravity with the fresh bentonite solution. As well as agitation in the bentonite solution is required to maintain the homogeneity of the solution. Based on the soil study. indicating the flow of bentonite solution for boring and flushing of the pile. While bentonite suspension is used for stabilisation of soil in a pile bore. contains huge dredged muck in suspended condition. The suspended muck. which is very harmful for the pile. Cleaning of pile bottom shall be ensured by collecting slurry from the pile bottom using a slurry sampler and comparing the specific gravity with the fresh bentonite solution. loose dredged muck from the pile bore bottom shall be cleaned by flushing with fresh bentonite slurry of requisite specific gravity.05 gm/cm3 to 1. Fresh bentonite solution shall be prepared by feeding matured bentonite jelly. For flushing operation. to get the matured bentonite for use at site. • • • Bentonite shall be ‘Sodium based’. as because the bentonite solution. Prior to execution of any cast in situ bored pile.5 To maintain concentration of bentonite suspension between 1. This matured bentonite jelly is poured into the fresh bentonite tank and mixed with potable water to prepare fresh bentonite solution. if not agitated. until sufficient quantity of rejuvenated bentonite is collected or accumulated in the rejuvenated tank for continuing the boring of the pile. The pH value : Between 9 to 11. the following are also suggested for incorporation in IRC:78 and in MoRT&H for convenience to the young engineers at sites. The matured bentonite jelly shall be prepared by thoroughly mixing sodium based bentonite powder with potable water in proper concentration and allowing this mixed solution to be undisturbed for minimum 12 hours to form jelly.

pp. 232-254 . 2. 9 .vii – Foundations and substructures (Second revision) IS : 2911 (Part I / Sec 2) – 1979 : Indian Standard code of practice for design and construction of pile foundations / Part I : Concrete Piles / Sec 2 : Bored Cast in-situ Piles. P. Bureau of Indian Standards. 678-691. 9 1. OZA. REFERENCES MoRT&H – 2001: Specifications for Road and Bridge Works (4th rev. P. 681-711. 8. γs = 1 + 0. A. TERZAGHI. R. JUMIKIS. H.100-126 . 179-226 .). New Delhi. ALAM. 4. B. IRC:78-2000 : Standard specifications and code of practice for road bridges – Sec. L and CASSIE. pp. pp. W. 6. (1948) “Soil Mechanics in Engineering practice”. (1961) “The Mechanics of Engineering Soils”. F.adopted to determine the quantity of bentonite to be mixed in water. pp. R. 33-59 . 5. (1965) “Soil Mechanics”. pp. pp. pp. pp. pp. 137-151 . 7. 525-555. 654-667. 2001. F. 3. I : Fundamentals and General Principles”. 549-592 . (1965) “Principles of Soil Mechanics”. pp. 398-466. pp. SING. R. (1975) “Soil Engineering in Theory and Practice : Vol. 394-479 .006 x Cs Where ‘γs’ is the density of the bentonite suspension & ‘Cs’ is the concentration of bentonite by weight. (1969) “Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering”. Ministry of Road Transport & Highways. SCOTT. K and PECK. pp. 9. CAPPER.

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