Electrochemical stabilization of clayey ground

Open-File Report 47-27-A




Recently developed new methods of stabilization of weak grounds (e.g. the silicate treatment) are based on injection of chemical solutions into the ground. Such methods are applicable accordingly only to the kinds of ground that have the coefficient of filtration higher than 2 meters per 24 hours and permit penetration of the chemical solutions under pressure. This limit, however, as it is shown by our experience in construction, excludes a numerous and an important class of grounds, stabilization of which is indispensable in many instances. For example, digging of trenches and pits in clayey, silty, or sandy ground shows that all these types act like typical "floaters" (sluds? -S) in the presence of the ground water pressure. There were several instances in the canalization of the city of Moskow where the laying of trenches below the ground water level has led to extreme difficulties with clayey and silty ground.

Similar examples could be cited in mining, engineering hydrology, and railroad construction. For these reasons, the development of methods of stabilizing such difficult types of ground has become an urgent problem of our day.

In 1936, the author began his investigations, at the ground Stabilization Laboratory of VODGEO Institute, with direct electrical current as the means of stabilization of grounds. Experiments had shown that a large number of clayey types, following passage of direct electrical current, undergoes a transformation of its physico-chemical properties. It was established that the (apparent -S) density of the ground is substantially increased in consequence of the application of direct electrical current. The ground loses also its capacity to swell and to soften in water. Later, after a more detailed study of the physico-chemical mechanism of the electrical stabilization, it became possible to develop the method so as to make it applicable to sandy and silty as well as to clayey ground. By this time (1941, S.), the method has already been tested in the field, was found satisfactory, and is being introduced into construction practice.

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Electrochemical stabilization of clayey ground
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Open-File Report
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U.S. Geological Survey
8 p.