Numerical Back Analysis of Smear Zone Properties for Vertical Drain Assisted Preloading in Soft Soils

Curtin University
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
ICAGE 2011 - Proceedings of the International Conference on Advances in Geotechnical Engineering, 2011, pp. 561 - 566
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Installation of prefabricated vertical drains (PVDs) using a mandrel causes disturbance of the clay surrounding the drain, resulting in a smear zone of reduced permeability, which adversely affects consolidation process. There are two important parameters to characterize the smear effects, namely, the smear zone diameter and the permeability ratio. In this study, FLAC finites difference software has been employed to investigate the effects of smear zone characteristics on required time for preloading. The results of a fully instrumented trial embankment in Sunshine Motorway, Queensland, have been used to verify the model, and parametric studies have been conducted on the predicted ground settlement and pore water pressure. According to the results, changes in smear zone parameters can significantly affect the consolidation period. It is observed that the characteristics of smear zone namely size and permeability have a substantial impact on the preloading design to achieve a certain soil strength and stiffness satisfying both bearing capacity and settlement design criteria.
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