Why is it used?
For the rapid consolidation of soft saturated cohesive soils that are essentially impervious.
Vacuum Consolidation can be used in isolation or in conjunction with some surcharge loading.
How does it work?
It involves the application of a partial vacuum to a soil mass of soft to very soft saturated, impervious, cohesive material by delivering a homogeneous and isotropic partial vacuum pressure throughout the soil mass. This effect is doubly beneficial because it simulates but also improves on the concept of surcharge loading, whilst diminishing the stability risk normally associated with that method of consolidation.
Significant time savings over other consolidation methods
Loading and construction can proceed as early as two weeks after process has started
Isotropic consolidation eliminates the risk of failure under additional loading of the permanent construction
No risk of slope instability beyond boundaries
Controlled rate and magnitude of loading and settlement