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Construction design and analysis for the 100ft soldier pile excavation for the 2nd and Broadway Station in Los Angeles by Pirooz Barar, P.E. of PB&A Inc.

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Soil Mix Walls FOR DEEP EXCAVATIONS

Soil mix walls are constructed by mixing and partly replacing the insitu soils with a stronger cement material. Various methods of soil mixing such as mechanical, hydraulic, with and without air, and combinations of both types have been used widely in Japan for about 20 years. Soil mixing has been used for many temporary and permanent deep excavation projects including the Central Artery project in Boston. Known methods include as Jet Grouting, Soil Mixing, Cement Deep Mixing (CDM), Soil Mixed Wall (SMW), Geo-Jet, Deep Soil Mixing, (DSM), Hydra-Mech, Dry Jet Mixing (DJM), and Lime Columns. Each of these methods aims at finding the most efficient and economical method to mix cement (or in some cases fly ash or lime) with soil and transform soil to become more like a soft rock.

Mechanical soil mixing is performed using single or multiple shafts of augers and mixing paddles. The auger is slowly rotated into the ground, typically at 10-20 rpm, and advanced at 2 to 5 ft (0.5 to 1.5 m) per minute.

Unreinforced soil mix walls are typically used as hyrdaulic barriers. In some cases they are also used as retaining walls, especially if constructed as massive blocks or other element types. In such a case, the tensile strength of the soil mix is typically the one controlling the structural soil mix wall capacity. If a soil mix wall is reinforced with a steel beam, then it is typical to calculate the wall capacity using only the steel beam strength and in essence consider the soil mix as lagging.

Soil mix wall construction in florida

Soil Mix Wall TEST STRENGTHS

The soil mix wall mass strength depends on the applied construction techniques, the insitu soils being mixed, and the cement replacement ratio. The cement replacement ratio refers to the percentage of insitu soil being replaced with cement. Higher replacement ratios typically end up in greater soil mass strengths.

When soil mix mass strengh is tested, the core sampling size plays an important role. Because the soil mix will never be uniform throughout the wall length, smaller samples tend to produce a greater variability on insitu strengths whereas increasing the sample size (within reason) will produce more consistent test strengths.

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