Influence of particle gradation and shape on the performance of stone columns in soft clay

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Geotechnical Testing Journal, 2018, 41, (6), pp. 1076-1091
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A stone column typically consists of particles whose influence has largely been overlooked in design practice in terms of stress transfer, pattern of deformation, and intrusion of fines (clogging). This article presents an experimental study on the load-deformation behavior of a model stone column installed in soft clay with a particular emphasis on the influence of particle gradation and shape under undrained loading. The results show that particle gradation and shape have a significant influence on the load-deformation behavior and the extent of fines intrusion into the stone columns. Relatively well-graded particle sizes favor the development of higher peak shear stresses accompanied by lateral bulging, whereas more uniform grading results in the development of distinct shear planes and smaller peak shear stresses. Deformed columns were also examined using computed tomography, and the porosity profiles at the end of the test were determined using micrographs. Maximum porosity typically occurred in the zone of extreme lateral deformation, with the results suggesting that the extent of fines intrusion was influenced by particle morphology.
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