Many work sites across the globe have limited accessibility due to vast areas covered with soft soils, meaning that the terrain cannot provide sufficient load support. The main factor when dealing with soft soils, such as soft clay soils, sandy soils and other saturated soils, is attributed to temperature and seasonal changes in the soil’s moisture content. These re-occurring changes cause “shifts” and “movements” that may intensely damage the structures built on top of such terrains, resulting in cracks, collapsed areas and overall road deterioration. A report from Smart Growth America and Taxpayers for Common Sense examined road conditions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and published that the states would need to spend approximately 45.2 billion USD to bring roads in poor condition to a satisfactory state .
So, how is this critical problem solved? The challenge of creating sufficient load support with any type of problematic soil is successfully met – and surpassed – with the use of Tough Cell. The Tough Cell technology can utilize many types of locally available soils to construct durable, strong roads – suitable in any environment.
With this in mind, there are a few focal points that ensure that the Tough Cell technology is the number one choice for construction in soft soils. The first is by using the Tough Cell 3D cellular confinement system, with a large vertical influence zone. Non-cohesive granular material can be reinforced to provide stiffness and strength that cannot be achieved when using a 2D reinforcement method. Secondly, by using a layering method, each layer’s reinforcement factor is multiplied by the improved modulus of the lower layer. Even a layer of Tough Cell geocells improves the bearing capability by creating a beam-effect. In extreme cases (e.g. CBR < 0.5%) another layer can be added as a sacrificial layer to help support the structure. . This effect acts as a semi-rigid mat, ensuring that swelling or seasonal changes, have little influence on the upper layers. In addition, the mechanical structure of the Tough Cell, along with the beam effect, distributes vertical stresses evenly, therefore enabling much greater load support.
To fine-tune and guarantee technology and safe construction scenarios, the MIF (Modulus Improvement Factor) of the Tough Cell structure was studied in the lab. During this time, it was proven to increase infill strength by 2-5 times, making it the best solution for heavy load support applications.
In conclusion, it’s a fact that soft soils with high water content or highly grained materials cause an engineering challenge. Other existing conventional solutions are very costly.
The Tough Cell is a proven, efficient and cost-effective solution for the transport of heavy haul equipment, while guaranteeing sufficient load support for your project – anytime, anywhere.