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A S C E S TA N D A R D ASCE/G-I 53-10

American Society of Civil Engineers

Compaction Grouting
Consensus Guide
This document uses both the International System of Units (SI)
and customary units.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
American Society of Civil Engineers. Standards 53-10-Consensus
Guide Committee.
Compaction grouting consensus guide : ASCE standard ASCE/
G-I53-10 / American Society of Civil Engineers, Standards
53-10-Consensus Guide Committee.
p. cm.
ISBN 978-0-7844-1094-3
1. Grouting–Standards–United States. 2. Soil compaction–
Standards–United States. 3. Soil stabilization–Standards–
United States. I. Title.
TA755.A44 2010
Published by American Society of Civil Engineers
1801 Alexander Bell Drive
Reston, Virginia 20191
This standard was developed by a consensus standards development
process which has been accredited by the American National Stan-
dards Institute (ANSI). Accreditation by ANSI, a voluntary accredita-
tion body representing public and private sector standards development
organizations in the U.S. and abroad, signifies that the standards devel-
opment process used by ASCE has met the ANSI requirements for
openness, balance, consensus, and due process.
While ASCE’s process is designed to promote standards that reflect a
fair and reasoned consensus among all interested participants, while
preserving the public health, safety, and welfare that is paramount to
its mission, it has not made an independent assessment of and does
not warrant the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or utility of any
information, apparatus, product, or process discussed herein. ASCE
does not intend, nor should anyone interpret, ASCE’s standards to
replace the sound judgment of a competent professional, having
knowledge and experience in the appropriate field(s) of practice, nor
to substitute for the standard of care required of such professionals in
interpreting and applying the contents of this standard.
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does not undertake to certify products for compliance or to render any
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or consequential damages, resulting from any person’s use of, or reli-
ance on, this standard. Any individual who relies on this standard
assumes full responsibility for such use.
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Copyright © 2010 by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
All Rights Reserved.
ISBN 978-0-7844-1094-3
Manufactured in the United States of America.
18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 1 2 3 4 5

In 2003, the Board of Direction approved the revision ASCE 15-98 Standard Practice for Direct Design of
to the ASCE Rules for Standards Committees to Buried Precast Concrete Pipe Using Standard
govern the writing and maintenance of standards Installations (SIDD)
developed by the Society. All such standards are ASCE 16-95 Standard for Load Resistance Factor
developed by a consensus standards process managed Design (LRFD) of Engineered Wood
by the Society’s Codes and Standards Committee Construction
(CSC). The consensus process includes balloting by ASCE 17-96 Air-Supported Structures
a balanced standards committee made up of ASCE 18-96 Standard Guidelines for In-Process
Society members and nonmembers, balloting by the Oxygen Transfer Testing
membership of the Society as a whole, and balloting ASCE 19-96 Structural Applications of Steel Cables
by the public. All standards are updated or reaffirmed for Buildings
by the same process at intervals not exceeding five ASCE 20-96 Standard Guidelines for the Design and
years. Installation of Pile Foundations
The following standards have been issued: ANSI/ASCE/T&DI 21-05 Automated People Mover
Standards—Part 1
ANSI/ASCE 1-82 N-725 Guideline for Design and ANSI/ASCE/T&DI 21.2-08 Automated People Mover
Analysis of Nuclear Safety Related Earth Standards—Part 2
Structures ANSI/ASCE/T&DI 21.3-08 Automated People Mover
ASCE/EWRI 2-06 Measurement of Oxygen Transfer Standards—Part 3
in Clean Water ANSI/ASCE/T&DI 21.4-08 Automated People Mover
ANSI/ASCE 3-91 Standard for the Structural Design Standards—Part 4
of Composite Slabs SEI/ASCE 23-97 Specification for Structural Steel
ASCE 4-98 Seismic Analysis of Safety-Related Beams with Web Openings
Nuclear Structures ASCE/SEI 24-05 Flood Resistant Design and
Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures Construction
(ACI 530-02/ASCE 5-02/TMS 402-02) and ASCE/SEI 25-06 Earthquake-Actuated Automatic Gas
Specifications for Masonry Structures (ACI Shutoff Devices
530.1-02/ASCE 6-02/TMS 602-02) ASCE 26-97 Standard Practice for Design of Buried
ASCE/SEI 7-05 Minimum Design Loads for Build- Precast Concrete Box Sections
ings and Other Structures ASCE 27-00 Standard Practice for Direct Design of
SEI/ASCE 8-02 Standard Specification for the Design Precast Concrete Pipe for Jacking in Trenchless
of Cold-Formed Stainless Steel Structural Construction
Members ASCE 28-00 Standard Practice for Direct Design of
ANSI/ASCE 9-91 Standard Practice for the Construc- Precast Concrete Box Sections for Jacking in
tion and Inspection of Composite Slabs Trenchless Construction
ASCE 10-97 Design of Latticed Steel Transmission ASCE/SEI/SFPE 29-05 Standard Calculation Methods
Structures for Structural Fire Protection
SEI/ASCE 11-99 Guideline for Structural Condition SEI/ASCE 30-00 Guideline for Condition Assessment
Assessment of Existing Buildings of the Building Envelope
ASCE/EWRI 12-05 Guideline for the Design of SEI/ASCE 31-03 Seismic Evaluation of Existing
Urban Subsurface Drainage Buildings
ASCE/EWRI 13-05 Standard Guidelines for Installa- SEI/ASCE 32-01 Design and Construction of Frost-
tion of Urban Subsurface Drainage Protected Shallow Foundations
ASCE/EWRI 14-05 Standard Guidelines for Opera- EWRI/ASCE 33-01 Comprehensive Transboundary
tion and Maintenance of Urban Subsurface International Water Quality Management
Drainage Agreement


EWRI/ASCE 34-01 Standard Guidelines for Artificial ASCE/EWRI 44-05 Standard Practice for the Design
Recharge of Ground Water and Operation of Supercooled Fog Dispersal
EWRI/ASCE 35-01 Guidelines for Quality Assurance Projects
of Installed Fine-Pore Aeration Equipment ASCE/EWRI 45-05 Standard Guidelines for the
CI/ASCE 36-01 Standard Construction Guidelines for Design of Urban Stormwater Systems
Microtunneling ASCE/EWRI 46-05 Standard Guidelines for the
SEI/ASCE 37-02 Design Loads on Structures during Installation of Urban Stormwater Systems
Construction ASCE/EWRI 47-05 Standard Guidelines for the
CI/ASCE 38-02 Standard Guideline for the Collection Operation and Maintenance of Urban Stormwater
and Depiction of Existing Subsurface Utility Data Systems
EWRI/ASCE 39-03 Standard Practice for the Design ASCE/SEI 48-05 Design of Steel Transmission Pole
and Operation of Hail Suppression Projects Structures
ASCE/EWRI 40-03 Regulated Riparian Model Water ASCE/EWRI 50-08 Standard Guideline for Fitting
Code Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity Using Probabil-
ASCE/SEI 41-06 Seismic Rehabilitation of Existing ity Density Functions
Buildings ASCE/EWRI 51-08 Standard Guideline for Calculat-
ASCE/EWRI 42-04 Standard Practice for the Design ing the Effective Saturated Hydraulic
and Operation of Precipitation Enhancement Conductivity
Projects ASCE/SEI 52-10 Design of Fiberglass-Reinforced
ASCE/SEI 43-05 Seismic Design Criteria for Struc- Plastic (FRP) Stacks
tures, Systems, and Components in Nuclear ASCE/G-I 53-10 Compaction Grouting Consensus
Facilities Guide


The Board of Direction approved revisions to the “black magic” that can only be understood by a
ASCE Rules for Standards Committees to govern the chosen few. And, like all other soil improvement
writing and maintenance of standards developed by techniques, compaction grouting needs to be applied
ASCE. All such standards are developed by a consen- competently.
sus standards process managed by the ASCE Codes This guide provides background for those
and Standards Committee. The consensus process interested in specifying, designing, and/or undertaking
includes balloting by a balanced standards committee compaction grouting. This guide is not a manual and
and reviewing during a public comment period. All is not intended for use as a code of practice; hence
standards are updated or reaffirmed by the same it is not accidental that nonmandatory language is
process at intervals not exceeding five years. used throughout the text. But those involved in the
The provisions of this document are written in development of this guide hope that it will become
permissive language and, as such, offer to the user a a useful reference for all those interested in
series of options or instructions but do not prescribe a compaction grouting.
specific course of action. Significant judgment is left This standard has been prepared in accordance
to the user of this document. with recognized engineering principles and should not
This, the first edition of the Compaction Grouting be used without the user’s competent knowledge for a
Consensus Guide, has been written to promote given application. The publication of this standard by
good practice in compaction grouting. The authors ASCE is not intended to warrant that the information
of this guide believe that compaction grouting is a contained herein is suitable for any general or specific
reliable methodology for improving the density use, and ASCE takes no position respecting the
and strength of the soil. Similar to other grouting validity of patent rights. The user is advised that the
technologies, compaction grouting is a technology determination of patent rights or risk of infringement
based on sound engineering principles, not a is entirely their own responsibility.

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Dawn Shuttle, Chair Lawrence B. Gruner

Samuel Bandimere Michael G. Jefferies
Richard Berry Lawrence F. Johnsen
Michael Byle Scott Kieffer
Allen Cadden Michael J. Miluski
Jerry Di Maggio Silas Nichols
Eric Drooff Cumaraswamy Vipulanandan
Curtis M. Fitzgerald James Warner
Jeffrey Geraci Peter T. Yen

This page intentionally left blank

Compaction grouting is a ground improvement tech- Both practical and theoretical aspects of compac-
nique that improves the strength and/or stiffness of tion grouting are discussed.
the ground by slow and controlled injection of a low- This guide follows the guidelines of the ASCE
mobility grout. The soil is displaced and compacted as and uses the International System of Units (SI) as the
the grout mass expands. Provided the injection primary system of units; imperial units are also
process progresses in a controlled fashion, the grout provided in parentheses. Compaction grouting in
material remains as a growing mass within the ground North America typically uses imperial units in the
and does not permeate or fracture the soil. This field; hence many of the SI units have been calculated
behavior enables consistent densification around the from the original imperial equivalents. In these cases
expanding grout mass, resulting in stiff inclusions of an effort has been made to keep the “rule of thumb”
grout surrounded by soil of increased density. values in their original form, and some loss of
This guide focuses specifically on applications of accuracy in the conversion between units may occur.
compaction grouting where the increased strength This standard may involve hazardous materials,
and/or stiffness of the soil due to compaction is a operations, and equipment. This standard does not
primary element of the ground improvement. Applica- purport to address the safety problems associated with
tions where a ground improvement design requires the its application. It is the responsibility of whoever uses
injected grout to obtain a strength greater than that of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health
the surrounding soil, although potentially a valid practices and to determine the applicability of
application of low-mobility grout, are not considered regulatory and nonregulatory limitations.
to be compaction grouting for the purposes of this
guide and hence are beyond the scope of this

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Standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iii
Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v
Compaction Grouting Committee Roster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii
Scope of the Consensus Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix
1 Introduction to the Compaction Grouting Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.1 What Is Compaction Grouting? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2 Short History of Compaction Grouting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.3 Purpose and Development of This Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2 Mechanics of Compaction Grouting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.1 Basic Mechanics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.2 Soil Conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.3 Field Evidence on Compaction Grout Behavior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
3 Compaction Grouting Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
3.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
3.2 Factors Affecting Grout Mobility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
3.3 Composition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
3.4 Design of the Grout Mix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
4 Grouting in the Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
4.1 Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
4.2 Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
4.2.1 Mixing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
4.2.2 Pumps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
4.2.3 Hoses and Fittings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
4.2.4 Safety on Site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
4.2.5 Casings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
4.2.6 Headers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
4.2.7 Fittings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
4.2.8 Pressure Gauges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
4.3 Drilling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
5 Subsurface Investigation for Compaction Grouting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
5.1 Investigation Planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
5.2 General Investigations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
5.2.1 Data Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
5.2.2 Sampling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
5.2.3 Investigation Limits. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
5.2.4 Laboratory Testing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
5.2.5 Analysis and Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
5.3 Investigations for Grouting Design. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
5.3.1 Defining the Purpose of Grouting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
5.3.2 Defining the Mechanism of Grouting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
5.3.3 Determining the Extent of Grouting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
5.3.4 Selecting Exploration Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
5.3.5 Logging of Field Investigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25


5.3.6 Field Inspectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

5.3.7 Flexibility to Accommodate the Unexpected . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
5.3.8 Record and Report Everything . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

6 Design of Compaction Grouting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

6.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
6.2 Geometric Idealization of the Grout Mass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
6.3 Suitability of In Situ Soil for Compaction Grouting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
6.4 Pressure–Volume Behavior of In Situ Soil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
6.5 Pressure–Volume Behavior of Grout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
6.6 Pressure Losses in the Casing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
6.7 Injection Sequence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
6.8 Injection Spacing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
6.9 Estimating Grout Quantities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
6.9.1 Densification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
6.10 Limitations on Grout Injection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
6.10.1 Soil Confinement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
6.10.2 Influence on Structures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
6.11 Measuring Refusal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
6.12 Grouting Records . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
7 Analysis of Compaction Grouting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
7.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
7.2 Methods of Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
7.2.1 Geometric Idealization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
7.2.2 Alternative Soil Models . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
7.2.3 Importance of Large Strain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
7.2.4 Simple Approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
7.2.5 Numerical Cavity Expansion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
7.2.6 Commercial Finite Element Codes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
7.2.7 Consolidation of the In Situ Soil during and after Grouting . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
7.3 Importance of Monitoring Grout Injection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
7.4 Centrifuge Modeling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
7.5 Field Trials. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

8 Verification of Grouting Effectiveness. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

8.1 Overview of Verification Program Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
8.2 Planning an Effective Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
8.2.1 Goals of Verification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
8.2.2 Verification by Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
8.2.3 Test or Preconstruction Grouting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
8.2.4 Monitoring During Construction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
8.3 Verification Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
8.4 Detecting Movement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
8.4.1 Crack Monitors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
8.4.2 Tiltmeters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
8.4.3 String Lines, Plumb Bobs, and Spirit Levels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
8.4.4 Fluid Levels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
8.4.5 Rotating Laser Levels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
8.5 Evaluating Density Changes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
8.5.1 Penetration Resistance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
8.5.2 Excavation and Coring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
8.6 Geophysical Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
8.7 Summary and Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52


9 Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
9.1 Settlement Correction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
9.1.1 Soil Improvement under Existing Structures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
9.1.2 Deep Foundations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
9.1.3 Improving Collapsible Soils . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
9.1.4 Settlement Mitigation References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
9.2 Preconstruction Soil Densification Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
9.2.1 Liquefaction Mitigation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
9.2.2 Soil Improvement under Proposed Structures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
9.2.3 Soft Ground Tunneling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
9.2.4 Foundations Involving Lateral Loading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
9.2.5 Preconstruction Soil Densification References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
9.3 Sinkhole Remediation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
9.4 Further Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Appendix A Guide Specifications for Compaction Grouting Using the
Bottom-Up System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

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1.1 WHAT IS COMPACTION GROUTING? and positioned vertically in a wooden frame. It had a
two-inch hose attached to the bottom and a ‘piston’
Compaction grouting is a ground improvement tech- consisting of a wood disk fitted with a few layers
nique that improves the strength and/or stiffness of of old carpet cut to the casing diameter to form a
the ground by slow and controlled injection of a low- seal. The piston was attached to a push rod of
mobility grout. The soil is displaced and compacted as 2″ × 4″ lumber.”
the grout mass expands. Provided that the injection Fortunately for the progress of compaction
process progresses in a controlled fashion, the grout grouting, Warner was unaware of the then-well-
material remains as a growing mass within the ground established rule of thumb in grouting: “If you can’t
and does not permeate or fracture the soil. This pour it, you can’t pump it.” So he directed his efforts
behavior enables consistent densification around the to pumping plastic-consistency grouts. He was
expanding grout mass, resulting in stiff inclusions of fortunate to meet others with the similar goal of
grout surrounded by soil of increased density. The pumping another low-mobility mortar, Portland
process can be applied equally well above or below cement plaster, to elevated scaffolds. Success came
the water table. It is usually applied to loose fills and two years later, in 1954, when mainly because of the
loose native soils that have sufficient drainage to efforts of Marvin Bennett, a working pump was
prevent buildup of excess pore pressures. constructed. Marvin Bennett, along with his brother
Richard, also went on to develop the first plaster
pump in 1954, followed by the first concrete pump
1.2 SHORT HISTORY OF in 1961. Warner, however, continued his efforts to
COMPACTION GROUTING develop appropriate equipment and technology
for grouting.
Although grouting as an engineered process is not During the late 1950s, the use of low-mobility
new, with many records of grouting projects dating grouts for void filling had become common. The use
back before the 1800s, compaction grouting is a more of these plastic-consistency grouts was further
recent grouting method, dating back only to the extended to jacking of structures, using the important
middle of the 20th century. Compaction grouting is feature of such grouts: that they move as a globular
also noteworthy as the only major grouting technol- mass whose movement can be controlled. However,
ogy to originate in the United States. Today this tech- compaction grouting for increasing the soil’s strength
nology is widely used worldwide. The development was not yet a primary focus of the technology. The
of compaction grouting is particularly interesting in earliest mention of the use of stiff, mortarlike grout,
that it appears to have come about serendipitously termed compaction grout, was by Graf (1969), who
and seems to have progressed through the efforts described the use of the Koehring Mudjack, a
and innovations of many small, independent machine dating from 1934, to pump a clayey loam
contractors. mixture under pavement for highway maintenance.
The first use of low-mobility grout (i.e., grouts He reported that some of the mudjack operators had
that have a consistency similar to very stiff mortar) found it useful to pump “zero slump” grout through
for ground improvement was in the latter part of pipes driven into the ground for raising structures and
1952, when a small contractor in Los Angeles, that larger than calculated quantities were sometimes
California, named James Warner needed to fill some used, concluding that the surrounding soil was being
small voids under a structure (Warner 2003). Filling compacted. He referred to this as compaction grouting
the void with a cement mortar seemed like the most and stated that “hundreds of jobs have now been
expeditious repair, and “unable to find either estab- successfully completed together with some failures,”
lished technology or equipment to pump the mortar, although no examples were provided. The term
he constructed a ‘pump,’ which consisted of a length compaction grouting was further used by Mitchell
of six-inch-diameter steel casing about five feet long (1970) as a method of foundation soil treatment.


exclaimed, “You have squeezed the water out of the

fill. This is not supposed to be possible to do—it’s
wonderful!” Although at the time the process was
referred to as displacement grouting, the term
compaction grouting was adopted once the earlier
papers were reviewed.
That project led to an extensive research program
to understand better the mechanics and develop
optimal grout compositions and injection procedures.
During this time, interest in the methodology
increased quickly, with several publications related to
compaction grouting published in the Journal of the
Soil Mechanics and Foundation Division of the
ASCE. Graf’s (1969) description of the procedure
FIGURE 1-1 Water ran into the pool as fast as the
and basic concepts of compaction grouting was the
grout was injected (Warner 2003).
first journal article on compaction grouting published.
Shortly thereafter, Mitchell (1970) compared this
The first reported use of compaction grouting to technology to other grouting methods. Brown and
densify soil of which the committee is aware was in Warner (1973) reported results of the research
June 1957 to remediate settlement of a swimming program, along with some case histories of
pool in a new apartment complex, and the densifica- completed projects.
tion was purely accidental (see Warner 2003). The In the 30-plus years since these original papers,
pool was enclosed by a large building, the enclosure the practice of compaction grouting has expanded
preventing the use of large equipment. Additionally, it greatly through the efforts of those working in this
was located in what had previously been a basement area. The technology is now widely used for densify-
boiler room. The bottom slab of this boiler room ing soils, most commonly to remediate settlement
should have been perforated and the entire original damage or reduce the likelihood of soil liquefaction
basement filled with granular fill. However, this result during an earthquake.
apparently had not been achieved. Instead the shallow
end of the pool was founded on fine-grained fill,
resulting in cracking of the new pool, which allowing 1.3 PURPOSE AND DEVELOPMENT
water to leak and saturate the fill. One end of the pool OF THIS GUIDE
had undergone significant settlement.
Paraphrasing Warner (2003), for jacking, grout This guide has been written to promote good practice
holes were placed on a grid of about 4 ft throughout in compaction grouting. The authors of this guide
the bottom of the pool (Fig. 1-1). The geotechnical believe that compaction grouting is a reliable method-
engineer had requested that the grout holes in the ology for improving the density and strength of the
shallow end be extended to the old floor slab. Though soil. Like other grouting technologies, compaction
recognizing that fine-grained soils couldn’t be grouting is a technology based on sound engineering
grouted, he reasoned that a number of small holes principles, not a “black magic” that can only be
filled with grout might provide needed support and understood by a chosen few. But, like all other soil
prevent further settlement. For Warner (the contrac- improvement techniques, compaction grouting needs
tor), the job was a disaster. As soon as injection to be applied competently.
started, water ran from the lower grout holes into the This guide provides background for those interested
pool. It was removed with buckets but continued to in specifying, designing, and/or undertaking compaction
flow in during the injection. The job required an grouting. This guide is not a manual. It is also not
amount of grout equal to more than 10 times the intended for use as a code of practice; hence it is not
calculated volume, before lift occurred. A horrible accidental that nonmandatory language is used through-
mess was made by the removal of the muddy water out the text. But those involved in the development of
that spilled from the pool, through the outside entry, this guide hope that it will become a useful reference for
to a catch basin. all those interested in compaction grouting.
Everyone involved was upset and unhappy, with The Compaction Grouting Consensus Guide was
but one exception, the geotechnical engineer, who commissioned as a Consensus Guide by the


Geo-Institute of the ASCE. To obtain the Consensus associations of these groups, and professional
Guide designation, certain rules have been followed in consultants to these groups.” Consumers include
the guide’s preparation. A Consensus Guide is a “representatives of owners, owners’ organizations,
nonmandatory technical document that is reviewed designers and consultants retained by owners, testing
before publication to achieve a consensus on its laboratories retained by owners, and insurance
content. A committee was formed to oversee the companies serving owners.” The third category,
content of the guide, comprising members of three general interest members, includes “researchers from
interest groups, each group with between 20% and private, state, and federal organizations; representa-
40% of the total membership. The three groups were tives of public interest groups; representatives of
producers, consumers, and general interest. In consumer organizations; and representatives of
compliance with the ASCE Rules for Standards standards and model code organizations.” Addition-
Committees, producers include “representatives of ally, to prevent undue commercial bias, organizations
manufacturers, distributors, developers, contractors are normally allowed only one member on the
and subcontractors, construction labor organizations, committee.

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This chapter describes the basic mechanics of com- Compaction grouting is a strain-controlled
paction grouting, including the types of soil condi- process. The rate and volume of grout injected are
tions in which it is appropriately used. controlled, and pressures are measured to determine
the ground’s resistance to grout injection. Injection
rates are typically on the order of 30 to 60 L/min
2.1 BASIC MECHANICS (≈1.1–2.1 ft3/min), although slower rates are requisite
in sensitive applications. Higher rates may be used in
Compaction grouting is the process of injecting a stiff, certain conditions; however, faster injection rates may
mortarlike grout into the ground to displace and make the grouting harder to control. Excessively high
compact the surrounding soil. During injection, the rates of injection may lead to undrained soil behavior
grout displaces the soil and forces the soil grains into (associated with excess pore pressure generation),
tighter packing, expelling air and/or water out of the when the water near to the grout bulb is unable to
affected area and reducing pore volume. Compaction flow beyond the stressed soil during injection.
grouting is a viable technique for densifying loose Undrained, or near-undrained, soil behavior signifi-
fills and native soils that permit adequate fluid pres- cantly reduces densification and greatly increases the
sure dissipation. The soil is displaced and compacted injection pressure. A rule of thumb for determining
as the grout mass expands. Where the injection the optimal injection rate is to control the rate of
process progresses in a controlled fashion, the grout pressure increase to less than about 55 kPa (8 lb/in.2)
material remains as a growing mass within the ground per minute once grout flow has been established. An
and does not permeate or fracture the soil. This injection rate of 30 to 60 L/min (1–2 ft3/min) has been
behavior enables consistent densification around the found to be optimal for most production work. Slower
expanding grout mass. injection rates are appropriate in finer grained and
As the grout mass expands, the surrounding soil slower draining soils and in instances that require
is subjected to an increase in the total average or improved control, such as in sensitive areas, as
mean stress and is also subjected to shear. The described in Chapter 9.
increase in mean stress compresses the soil. Shearing Injection of the grout mass is a localized pressur-
the soil causes looser soils to contract as particles ization event. When permeability rates are high
reorient themselves and fill void spaces within the enough and injection rates (loading) are slow enough,
mass. Shearing of a dense material results in an the pore pressures can dissipate as water flows out
increase in volume, termed dilation, as the particles of the pore space of the soil near the point of injec-
shear because particles must move over the tightly tion, facilitating successful compaction. Where the
packed adjacent particles to pass. Hence, compaction rate of injection is not balanced with the rate of pore
grouting is typically used to densify loose soils. pressure dissipation and pore pressures elevate
For the particles to achieve a denser packing, air excessively, hydraulic fracturing in lieu of the desired
and/or water must be expelled from the initial pore shearing may occur. Hydraulic fracturing is highly
space. As with any compaction effort, the moisture undesirable. Although a volume of grout is still
content is a factor in the overall success. Where injected into the ground, taking up space, the benefits
materials are excessively dry, additional energy is of controlled granular shearing, and thus densification
required for shearing. As moisture levels increase, in the vicinity of the injection point, do not occur.
they provide lubrication of the particles, allowing Densification is also more effective if there is
shearing to be achieved at lower energies. However, confinement, such as a stiffer zone of soil adjacent to or
in low-permeability saturated soils, it is difficult to above the expanding grout mass. The confinement
move water from the pore space, thereby preventing enables the development of higher local stresses,
effective compaction. Nonsaturated high-moisture forcing the particles closer together during shear, which
content soils can become saturated during grouting as in turn results in better compaction. For this reason,
a result of the reduction in void space. compaction grout holes are usually drilled and grouted


in sequence on a grid pattern. Perimeter holes are and other issues critical to designing and implement-
grouted first to provide the necessary confinement for ing a successful compaction grouting program.
those on the interior. Often, unsuccessful (or inefficient)
grouting programs can be traced to methods where the
work is completed from the inside out. Thus there is less 2.2 SOIL CONDITIONS
reaction or limitation to movement to permit the
development of stresses high enough to produce As with all grouting, the goal of the engineering is
effective compaction during soil shearing. first to understand the scope of the problem and the
Confinement during grouting is optimized by soil conditions. Only once these elements are under-
using a method known as split spacing, whereby the stood can the goals of the grouting be defined. Then
holes are grouted in an alternating pattern. In this the means and methods necessary to complete the
way, grouting is performed at locations between grouting can be established.
previous injections, where confinement is maximized. Site conditions dictate how to proceed. Determin-
The initial holes are termed primary holes, and ing the nature and scope of the problem is often the
subsequent locations between those are termed most difficult issue. Adequate field exploration,
secondary holes. Subsequent additional split spacing including test borings, test pits, in situ testing,
may be used if necessary. laboratory testing, visual reconnaissance, and survey-
Similar logic also applies to injection at various ing all add to the information database of a project.
depths. Where injection occurs at significant depths, Sufficient sampling must be completed to identify the
there is a much greater level of resistance than at nature of each of the subsurface materials that need to
shallower depths. As such, greater pressure can be be treated, as well as the vertical and lateral extent of
used and larger volumes injected to influence larger each material. The investigation should also note the
soil masses without causing heave of the ground presence of obstructions such as boulders or debris
surface. However, as the injection point approaches that could complicate the drilling and grouting. The
the ground surface, lower pressure and smaller investigation must extend to sufficient depth to define
volumes of grout lift the ground surface, negating the bottom of the problem area and any compressible
further densification. This is why bottom-up injection zones that could consolidate under the increased
is much less effective at shallow depth. Although weight of the compaction-grouted soil. Layers of
some contractors provide shallow bottom-up holes looser, denser, or cohesive material may have a strong
with greater injection controls, use of top-down influence on both the efficiency of grouting and the
staging is more effective at shallow depths, as are volumes of grout required. Gradation analysis,
significantly slower pumping rates. This combination water-content tests, and index tests are necessary to
can be critical where the goal of a program is to obtain information on the basic properties needed. In
improve conditions at shallow depth. situ density is usually estimated from the standard
Compaction grouting is less effective near the penetration test (SPT) but should be measured directly
surface than at depth because the overburden pressure where possible. Permeability information is needed to
at shallow depths provides relatively small surface assess the dissipation of pore pressure and should be
restraint. This behavior is a function both of the grout measured for fine-grained soils. Consolidation
volume injected and the resisting pressure. As grout behavior may be important for cohesive soils,
is injected, the projected area of the grout mass particularly if compaction produces conditions
increases. As the soil is compacted, the pressure in near saturation.
the grout mass rises. The limiting depth of grout The grouting engineer should review all available
injection can be calculated based on a force balance data, including borings, test results, historical site
model of a truncated cone, similar to that used for plans, geologic maps, and other pertinent information
computing the limiting capacity of soil anchors. The to define the nature and extent of the problem.
grouting pressure is applied over an area equal to Definition of the problem, based on the data, allows
the projected area of the grout mass to obtain the the engineer to focus on the next step: finding a
uplift force. The mass of the soil in the cone and remediation technique that resolves the problem. This
frictional resistance on the sides of the cone act as definition of the problem is also the key to determin-
resisting forces. ing when the problem is fixed. We may be able to
Chapters 6 and 7 of this guide detail the analysis determine whether the grouting was carried out as
the engineer and contractor can utilize to assess these specified, but without a clear definition of purpose, we


may not know whether the grouting was successful in

achieving the desired outcome.
Although compaction grouting has been applied
in situations involving almost all soil types, compact-
ing soils by grout under pressure is most effective in
soils that can be readily densified by squeezing water
and air from the void spaces. Thus, fine-grained soils,
such as high-plasticity clays, particularly below the
water table, are not well suited to compaction grout-
ing. Mixed granular soils are the most suited to this
method. Sandy soils, silt, and even clayey and
gravelly soil can generally be compacted effectively
with compaction grouting.
The lower the initial density, the more improve-
ment can be achieved through grouting. In fact, dense
soils may be loosened by the shearing induced during
compaction grouting. In practice, a standard penetra-
FIGURE 2-1 Grout masses from two test injec-
tion blow count (N ) is often used to determine the
tions (Brown and Warner 1973).
practical limit for improvement by compaction
grouting methods. However, the value of N corre-
sponding to the practical limit whereby denser soils
are not densified by compaction grouting is soil well as injection rates, were evaluated. They con-
specific. This limiting N value can be slightly higher cluded that top-down staging through casing cemented
if the improvement is being performed at significant into oversize holes, although more expensive, pro-
depths. Hydrocollapsible soils, such as loess or debris vided the best results at the relatively shallow depths
flow deposits, common in some areas of the United of 1.2 to 4.9 m (4–16 ft) considered. Maximum grout
States, yield high standard penetration blow counts take, interpreted as the greatest increase in density,
but collapse upon wetting. It is often of benefit to was experienced at an injection rate of about 30 L/
wet these soils before or during injection. min (1 ft3/min). In this investigation, it was found that
clay included in the grout mixture was found to act
negatively; having clay in the grout reduced the
2.3 FIELD EVIDENCE ON COMPACTION amount of grout that could be injected before hydrau-
GROUT BEHAVIOR lic fracture and/or leakage to the surface. A photo-
graph of successfully injected masses is reproduced as
Full-scale injection, followed by excavation and Fig. 2-1.
visual observation, as well as testing of several Experimental work has been carried out in South
hundred full-scale injections, has occurred since the Korea to form grout columns in bay mud deposits,
mid-1950s. These visual observations have allowed and it shows the typical columnar shape of a success-
greater understanding of the effect of grout mix and ful grout injection. The grout consisted of aggregate
injection rate on the shape of the grout mass. falling within the gradation envelope of Warner and
This section of the guide provides a summary of Brown (1974) with about 10% cement. It is injected
the findings. at a constant rate of 57 L/min (2 ft3/min). Some work
A report by Brown and Warner in 1973 described has been accomplished at low tide within the tidal
a large-scale research program where injection and zone (Fig. 2-2), whereas other injections have been
extrication of more than 100 test injections were made underwater. Figure 2-3 shows a typical grout
performed, as well as several actual case histories column being recovered with a derrick barge. The
where the grout mass was exposed through excava- column actually penetrated deeper into the mud
tion. The test injections were all at the same site, seabed than the piece being removed, which broke off
which consisted of silty sand underlain by clean fine upon extraction. The grout is apparently displacing
to medium sand. Different sizes of holes, as well as the highly plastic but extremely soft mud deposits
many methods of advancement, including drilling and equally in all directions, resulting in the regularly
driving were tried, and a variety of grout mixes, as shaped grout masses shown.


FIGURE 2-2 Injection made in tidal zone

FIGURE 2-3 Grout mass resulting from underwa-
bay mud.
ter injection (Warner 1997).


3.1 INTRODUCTION (ASTM 2009) prevails because it is the most well-

known and is widely used with concrete. However,
Compaction grouts are a type of low-mobility grout, ASTM C143 is not ideal for use with compaction
typically comprising stiff soil–cement and/or cement grout. This test requires the mold to be filled in three
mortar type mixtures. The term mobility is a measure increments, with each rodded 25 times. Such rodding
of how easily a material flows and was defined by of typical cohesive compaction grout leaves voids in
L’Hermite (1949) for concrete to be inversely propor- the specimen. Even when used with concrete, for
tional to the internal resistance. Warner et al. (1992) which the test was developed, ASTM in their Special
used the ratio of maximum radial travel of the grout Technical Publication 169C (ASTM 1994) states that
from the point of injection to the minimum radial dis- it is not appropriate for “very dry” mixtures, which
tance to a grout–soil interface (termed the travel includes most common compaction grouts. Because
index) as a measure of the mobility of the injected appropriate mixes are cohesive and often sticky and
grout. Best and Lane (1982) found that the thixotropic, the level of shear stress required to start
water:cement ratio and fine aggregate content affect movement can exceed the force of gravity, on which
the pumpability of concrete. The mobility of a soil– slump is based. When acted on by the greater force of
cement mortar grout also changes between the con- a grout pump, however, many of these mixtures flow
fined high-pressure conditions within the pump and readily and in some cases actually behave as fluids.
lines and the lower pressure after exiting the delivery Thus, even though a mixture displays low slump in
line; to be effective, the grout mobility must be the test, its actual behavior when pumped can be
limited (i.e., the internal friction of the grout must quite different.
increase) as the grout leaves the injection pipe and, Although acceptable compaction grout mixes
still under pressure, enters the soil. are of relatively low slump, this property alone
The grout flow properties, or rheology, are cannot qualify a mix. The best assurance of adequate
dependent on a great many factors. Some of these performance is prescription of the grout aggregate
factors include grout permeability (Borden and gradation, which is discussed in detail later in
Ivanetich 1997), aggregate gradation (Warner 1992), this chapter.
grout filter criteria (Bandimere 1997), and injection
rate (Byle 1997; Warner 2004). Contractors involved
in compaction grouting through experience know the 3.2 FACTORS AFFECTING GROUT MOBILITY
proper grout consistency by feel. Many grouters
describe the grout “body” and squeezing the grout in Seemingly contrary characteristics are required for
their hands when talking about this consistency. This compaction grout. It must be sufficiently workable to
criterion is far from a scientifically repeatable test, but be pumped yet relatively immobile once it leaves the
to date is the only way of actually evaluating grout end of the injection casing. Making a pumpable grout
rheology in the field. has never been a problem. Adding more fines, water,
The ASCE Grouting Committee of the Geo- cement, or other fluidifying agent can generally
Institute defines compaction grout in their “Glossary produce a grout that can be pumped. However, if the
of Grouting Terminology” (Bruce 2005) as “Grout grout behaves as a fluid, it can cause the undesirable
injected with less than 1 in. (25 mm) slump. Normally effect of hydraulically fracturing the ground, known
a soil–cement with sufficient silt sizes to provide as hydrofracturing.
mobility together with sufficient sand and gravel sizes Grout mobility is affected by the ability of the
to develop sufficient internal friction . . .” (emphasis ground to absorb excess pore water from the grout
added). In the past, many practitioners have noted the and the grout’s ability to lose pore water. This in turn
1-in. slump requirement but failed to appreciate the is affected both by the pressure gradient between the
equally important dictum for development of internal grout and in situ pore pressure and by the permeabil-
friction. Although no particular slump test was ity of the grout and surrounding soil. Hence, one
specified in the ASCE glossary, the ASTM C143 test effective approach to controlling grout mobility is to


use a mix that relies on its own internal permeability

to allow water loss once it enters the ground. In this
case, the grout is pumpable under the conditions of
pressure and flow within the pump and lines, but it
loses pore water to the ground to become less mobile
once it leaves the injection casing. This approach
offers a measure of control not afforded by stiffness
alone, relying on the grout–soil interaction to
work properly.
The grout pump and injection system must be
capable of operating at the required high pressures
and must be durable to withstand the abrasiveness of
the grout material moving under high pressure. An
appropriate material can be difficult to mix and can
have high line friction and a high potential to plug the
lines should water be lost through joints or fittings. FIGURE 3-1 Grout circulating back to pump
The pumping rate determines the injection hopper. Note the granular surface of the breaks,
pressure in any given soil and must be carefully which indicate good grout rheology.
controlled to ensure that the internal pore pressure
of the grout can dissipate once it enters the soil.
Otherwise, the grout remains excessively mobile,
1. Pumpability must be sufficient to enable the grout
resulting in a loss of control and a tendency to
to be injected.
hydrofracture the formation.
2. The grout must remain as a growing mass in
the ground.
3. Any bleed water must be able to dissipate into
the ground (i.e., there should be no water around
the bulb).
The grout usually consists of a mixture of silty sand,
cement, and water to form a mortarlike material with These three considerations are primarily con-
a slump less than 2 in. Cement is usually included trolled by the amount and properties of the fine
but is not a requirement and can be omitted. Depend- particles, which are defined as particles smaller than
ing on material availability, the silty sand may be 0.074 mm (equivalent to a No. 200 sieve). The
obtained by adding appropriate fines to available sand. amount of water in the grout mix and the aggregate
Addition of highly plastic clay, such as bentonite, gradation are also extremely important.
or concrete pumping additives, has generally been Figure 3-1 shows an acceptable grout circulating
found unacceptable and should only be considered back to the pump hopper. The granular surface of the
under rare circumstances because they may cause breaks (i.e., no slickensides) is indicative of good
the grout to behave as a fluid in the ground. High- grout rheology.
plasticity clay, in particular, is not recommended for The particle distribution envelope for the aggre-
use in compaction grouts (even 1.5% by weight of gate presented here (Fig. 3-2) is well graded and
mix of bentonite can cause a loss of control). Where contains particle sizes ranging from silt to gravel.
clay is considered in the grout, full-scale test injec- Aggregate falling within the gradation envelope
tions into the actual soil to be treated should be made provides a satisfactory grout, with the larger, gravel-
to confirm the behavior of such special mix designs. size particles resulting in greater injection control and
These tests should include excavation of three or resistance to hydraulic fracturing of the formation.
more injected masses to confirm acceptable grout Round-grained natural deposits should be used,
behavior. especially for the finer fraction. As an example,
substitution of crusher-run dust for the silt sizes
generally does not produce a satisfactory grout.
3.4 DESIGN OF THE GROUT MIX Where round- or semiround-grained materials are not
available, trial batches should be made to confirm
Design of the grout mix must strive to fulfill three pumpability of the resulting grout mix. The grout
competing objectives: should be stiff enough that it exits the delivery line as


FIGURE 3-2 Updated envelope of preferred aggregate gradation (Warner et al. 1992).

an extrusion, as shown in Fig. 3-1. Pieces that break As stated previously, great care should be
off of the main body should possess a granular exercised when introducing additives, clay-sized
texture, as shown. An indication of inappropriate particles, or high-plasticity clay to the grout mix
rheology would be the grout exiting without breaking because they may cause the grout to behave as a fluid
apart, or with any breaks that occur possessing a in the ground, leading to loss of control, which may
slick surface. result in hydrofracture of the formation. The effect of
Mineralogy of the aggregates used in the mix also concrete additives, although potentially useful to
affects the behavior. It has been found (Bandimere improve pumpability, is not yet well understood for
1997) that limestone aggregates require a much grouting. Most research has focused on their use in
smaller fines content to make them pumpable. Hence, concrete, where control of the grout mix after leaving
limestone aggregate grouts are generally easier to the grout line is not required.
control. They also typically have greater strength, The amount of water added to the mix should
although for most compaction grouting applications always be the minimum required to enable the mix to
the strength of the grout is only required to exceed be pumped.
or meet that of the in situ soil.

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This chapter addresses how compaction grouting is alternate rows containing the primary grout holes
typically conducted in the field. It provides guidance should be grouted first. In Fig. 4-1, grouting begins
on the types of commonly used equipment and grout- around the perimeter and progresses inward to the
ing procedures. For additional information, the reader center. This grouting pattern allows the previously
is directed to books on grouting, including Warner injected grout columns to provide a reaction for
(2004) and the proceedings of ASCE-sponsored spe- subsequent grout injections, improving densification
cialty conferences on grouting and ground improve- as the soil becomes more contained. The sequence of
ment (most published as Geotechnical Special completing the holes can be varied to adapt to specific
Publications). These references include Baker 1982; site conditions, but generally working from outside in
Byle and Borden 1995; Vipulanandan 1997; Johnsen toward the center of the treated area works best.
and Berry 1998; Krizek and Sharp 2000; and Johnsen Grouting may be accomplished by either the
et al. 2003. A guide compaction grouting specification “stage-up” or “stage-down” method (also called
is given in Appendix A. This specification illustrates “bottom-up” and “top-down”). The process of
some of the issues to be considered as part of a com- stage-up grouting is shown in Fig. 4-2. As the name
paction grouting project, but is only an example. The implies, stage-up grouting is accomplished by
exact details of any grouting specification should be installing the casing through the full depth of the zone
project-specific. to be treated and grouting from the lowest stage
upward toward the ground surface. For each stage, the
casing is withdrawn a distance equal to the desired
4.1 METHODOLOGY stage length and grout is injected until the established
refusal criteria are reached. In cases where a larger
The grout material is pumped into an open segment of stage length is being used, it may be desirable to add
borehole termed a stage. Each stage is typically on a short stage length for the initial stage. The casing is
the order of 0.3 to 0.6 m (≈1–2 ft), although up to then raised up, and the next higher stage is grouted.
about 1.8-m (6-ft) stages have been used successfully This process is repeated until the grouting reaches the
at greater depths. A casing is installed tightly in the top of the zone to be improved, or a shallow depth
borehole, with little or no annulus, so that grout is (1.5–4.6 m ≈ 5–15 ft), which provides insufficient
forced to expand radially and is restrained from confinement for further injection.
traveling upward along the pipe. Stage-up grouting has substantial advantages in
Mobility of the grout is dependent on the grout that it is the simplest, fastest, and least costly method.
mix and the rate of injection. The grout must behave However, when grouting is used as a means of lifting
essentially as a growing solid when it enters the soil. foundation elements from relatively shallow (1–3 m)
It must have sufficient internal friction so that it depths, the stage-up process can be difficult to control,
behaves as a continuous mass and does not induce especially when near-surface soils are particularly
hydraulic fracturing of the soil. The rate of injection weak. An alternative grouting method, termed the
is important to allow dissipation of pore pressures. stage-down method, may be used in cases such
The degree of densification produced by compac- as these.
tion grouting is improved by grouting in a predefined The process of stage-down grouting is shown in
pattern to provide resistance and confinement. The Fig. 4-3. The stage-down method is based on casing
most commonly used arrangement for the compaction only to the top of the first stage. The hole is then
grout holes is a rectangular or triangular grid. Injec- extended by drilling through the casing to the bottom
tions are made at alternating holes by a method of the stage, followed by grout injection. The next
known as split spacing. By this method, the holes are (deeper) stage is then established by drilling through
grouted in an alternating pattern using a system of the casing and the previously placed grout. The
primary, secondary, and occasionally tertiary or process is repeated for subsequent deeper stages. The
higher order injections. Secondary holes split the stage-down method has several advantages in that
distance between primary holes and are spaced each stage is verified by drilling through it, and the
midway between them, as depicted in Fig. 4-1. The upper stages provide some additional confinement for


1 4 2 7 3
row A

14 20 15 21
row D

12 18 13 19 9
row C

22 16 23 17
row E

8 11 6 10 5
row B

Primary grout hole location

Secondary grout hole location

FIGURE 4-1 Typical split-spacing hole pattern.

FIGURE 4-2 Stage-up grouting procedure. Notes: Stage-up Process: 1) install casing, 2) retract casing to top
of deepest stage, 3) grout first stage, 4) raise casing to top of next stage, 5) grout next stage, and 6) repeat
steps 4 and 5 to top of improvement zone.

the deeper stages, allowing shallow injection and grout, which might form continuous columns. The
providing a means of limiting surface uplift to a strength of the grout is usually not a factor where
smaller or more focused plan-view radius surrounding compaction is the objective, although the grout
the point of injection. Because it requires more usually provides some additional support because it
drilling, it is slower and hence more costly. typically has a strength greater than the surrounding
The result of compaction grouting is a densified soil. Structural applications of this kind of grouting
mass of improved soil that contains discrete masses of fall into the larger classification of limited-mobility


FIGURE 4-3 Stage-down grouting procedure. Stage-down Process: 1) cement casing into oversized hole that
extends to the top of the first grout stage, 2) drill through casing to extend hole to bottom of intended stage,
3) grout first stage and allow grout to set (usually overnight), 4) drill through first stage and extend hole to
bottom of second stage, 5) grout stage and allow grout to set, 6) repeat steps 4 and 5 until hole bottom is
reached (usually indicated by low grout take or high pressure).

displacement grouting, which is beyond the scope of

this document. For compaction grouting, the grout
strength at the completion of injection need only be as
strong as the improved soil. Strength beyond that of
the surrounding soil is neglected in the evaluation of
compaction grouting effectiveness.


The equipment used in compaction grouting consists

of a mixer, a pump, hoses, pipes, and gauges. Addi-
tional components are the drilling equipment and
casing extraction apparatus. The general arrangement
FIGURE 4-4 Batch mixing setup using pump with
of two typical mixing setups is shown in Figs. 4-4
a horizontal paddle mixer.
and 4-5. It is important for all the piping and fittings
to be tight and all changes in diameter to be gradual.
Leakage in the fittings results in water loss from the
illustrated in Fig. 4-5. Grout is commonly mixed on
grout that can lead to blockages in the lines (dry-
site using batch- or auger-type continuous mixers.
packing). All equipment must be rated for pressures
Obtaining grout from standard batch plants in ready-
in excess of those that are to be used, typically about
mix trucks is sometimes contemplated for large proj-
1,500 lb/in.2 (10.35 MPa).
ects. Concrete plants, however, do not stock the
4.2.1 Mixing special aggregate used for compaction grouting, and
Grout mixing may be accomplished in individual even if they did, because of the fines content, it may
batches (Fig. 4-4) or by use of a continuous mixer, as not batch properly. Off-site mixing requires special


A problem unique to compaction grouting is

swelling of flexible hose lines when under sustained
high pressure. The hose typically used is that manu-
factured and marketed for concrete pumping. In that
use, the outlet end is always at zero pressure, whereas
in compaction grouting a positive head pressure
always exists. Furthermore, compaction grout flows
through the delivery line as a stiff extrusion. A large
pressure loss thus occurs when the expanded extrusion
encounters the more rigid couplings and fittings in the
delivery lines.
4.2.4 Safety on Site
All construction sites are potentially dangerous. Com-
FIGURE 4-5 Auger-type continuous mixer paction grouting has additional challenges because
commonly used in compaction grouting. the process involves high-pressure positive displace-
ment pumps; small, high-torque handheld drills; large
drills with casing-handling equipment; both air and
measures because stiff compaction grout does not mix
liquid hydraulic equipment; high-pressure hoses
or readily flow from the drums of typical mix trucks.
and couplings; high-pressure air compressors, some-
Also, unless multiple pumps are operating, the grout
times rated at 400 lb/in.2 (2.76 MPa) or higher; high-
must be delivered in relatively small quantities and
capacity cement grout mixers (stationary and truck
possibly a retarder added so that it does not set during
mounted); welding equipment; and all manner of large
the relatively slow injection process.
tools and smaller items. As stated previously, this
standard does not purport to address the safety prob-
4.2.2 Pumps
lems associated with compaction grouting. It is the
Positive displacement piston pumps are used for com-
responsibility of whoever uses this standard to estab-
paction grouting. They must be capable of pumping
lish appropriate safety and health practices and to
stiff grout at pressures up to about 10.35 MPa
determine the applicability of regulatory and nonregu-
(≈1,500 lb/in.2) at variable rates from 0 to 57 L/min
latory limitation. However, safety is important, and a
(0–2 ft3/min). Most compaction grouting is accom-
few safety hazards that relate specifically to compac-
plished with conventional small-line concrete pumps
tion grouting are highlighted in this section:
with material cylinders 4 in. in diameter or smaller.
Use of concrete pumps with larger cylinders has been • High-pressure hoses in poor repair
attempted but not found to be suitable because of 䊏 Hoses and fitting should be inspected before
nonuniform output when operating at the very slow every use.
pumping rates required for compaction grouting. 䊏 Worn hoses, defective fittings, and any other
defective equipment should be removed from
4.2.3 Hoses and Fittings service.
Either high-pressure hose or a combination of hose 䊏 Care should be taken to keep hoses as straight as
and rigid steel delivery lines are used. They most possible to minimize wear and back pressures.
often have a 50-mm (2-in.) inside diameter, although • Handling heavy materials
both 40 and 75 mm (1.5 and 3 in.) are sometimes 䊏 Grout crews shall be trained in appropriate
used. Because the grout flows as an extrusion, all cou- lifting techniques.
plings and fittings should be the full inside diameter • Exposure to materials
of the line. Wide-sweep bends should be used rather 䊏 Grout crews should be trained in the use of per-
than standard elbow fittings. Clamp-type couplings, as sonnel protective equipment required for use in
used in concrete pumping, are generally used. To mixing and grouting (including eye protection).
ensure fresh grout at the grout hole, a reasonable 䊏 Grout crews should be trained in the procedures
velocity of grout through the delivery system is to follow in the event of accidental exposure to
required. Use of delivery lines larger than 50 mm dangerous chemicals, etc.
(2 in.) inside diameter should generally be avoided, • Irritation of skin from cement-based materials
especially where long lines are used and/or the envi- 䊏 Gloves should be worn for the mixing and
ronmental temperature is high. grouting operation.


4.2.5 Casings
The grout casing should be of sufficient size to permit
free flow of the grout with minimal head losses. Pipes
smaller than 45-mm (1.75-in.) internal diameter are
generally not used because they are prone to block-
age. The casing must fit snugly into the hole to
prevent grout from flowing up the annulus around it.
Casing with an outside diameter of 65 mm (2.5 in.) or
smaller typically has sufficient friction, or can be
wedged, to retain it in the hole during grouting.
Because of their larger end area, casings larger than
65 mm (2.5 in.) generally require some means of
external restraint to prevent being forced out of the
hole by grout pressure acting on the end of the casing.
Anchorage of larger casing is sometimes accom-
plished by using the weight of a drilling rig or front- FIGURE 4-6 A small drilling rig.
end loader as a reaction.
Individual joints of casing used in upstage
injection should be no longer than about 1.5 m (≈5 ft)
to facilitate removal during injection, except in the
rare instances where withdrawal is accomplished with
a drill rig or similar machine. It must be of sufficient
strength to withstand the high withdrawal forces
required. Additionally, it must also withstand the
forces of driving when so installed. Conventional
casing manufactured for core drilling is thus generally
not suitable for compaction grouting. Experienced
contractors often use proprietary casing that has been
proven to withstand the forces involved, generally
supplied in lengths of about 1 m (≈3 ft).
Where casing is installed by driving, or self-
drilling, a disposable tip is used. The tip may be a
point or cap for driving, but it may have teeth or a
fishtail plate to aid in drilling. The tip may also have
openings to permit fluid circulation where water is
used as a lubricant for circulation in the drilling. The
casing must be withdrawn slightly and the tip knocked
out before grouting. For downstage progression, the
holes are drilled. This process is usually accomplished
with rotary-wash drilling, using either a small drill rig FIGURE 4-7 Drilling with a handheld bore motor
(Fig. 4-6) or a handheld boring motor (Fig. 4-7). (Warner 2004, courtesy of John Wiley & Sons).

4.2.6 Headers
The header is a pipe that connects the grout supply
hose to the casing and provides a place to mount a would interrupt the flow and could cause errors in the
pressure gauge and/or transducer. The header for indicated gauge pressure.
grouting is a pipe of the same diameter as the casing A typical compaction grout header is illustrated
with a 90° large-radius bend and a port for attaching a in Fig. 4-8.
gauge saver and pressure gauge. The radius of the
bend should be at least three times the pipe outer 4.2.7 Fittings
diameter to limit constrictions in the grout flow path. Couplings and connections in the grout line should
There should be no change in diameter between the have constant inside diameter and should not protrude
pressure gauge and the casing because the constriction into the grout flow. They must be watertight under the



FIGURE 4-8 Typical compaction grouting header:

Note duplex jacks for casing extraction. Courtesy
of Moore & Taber, a division of Layne Christensen

full range of grout pressures to be used. Even minor

leakage allows water to be squeezed out of the
passing grout, which can result in plugging of
the line.
4.2.8 Pressure Gauges
FIGURE 4-9 Installing casing by driving with
Pressure gauges should have a dial with a minimum
(a) a handheld hydraulic vibratory hammer
diameter of 75 mm (3 in.) to be plainly visible. They
(courtesy of Moore & Taber, a division of Layne
must be provided with a gauge saver or other means
Christensen Company) and (b) a drop hammer.
to prevent contamination with the grout.
strength to withstand the placing and withdrawal
4.3 DRILLING forces and to form a tight seal with the surrounding
soil such that grout is not allowed to move upward
Grout holes can be established using a variety of tech- from the tip during injection.
niques. Drilling might be by either handheld pneu- Examples of casing being driven are shown in
matic drill motors or any type of compact or standard Fig. 4-9. Placement by this method requires soil that
drill rig. Alternatively, casings can be driven in place is free of rocks, boulders, or debris, and such place-
with pneumatic or hydraulic drivers, small pile ment is thus generally limited to depths of less than
hammers, or other tools. Regardless of the exact about 15 m (≈50 ft). Driving exerts continuous
method used, the casings must be of sufficient dynamic forces that can cause fatigue breakage of the


casing. This situation requires a generally heavier and

more robust casing than is used in drilling.
Drilling is generally accomplished by rotary-wash
procedures, though rotary percussion equipment is
sometimes used, especially in hard or rocky ground.
In such cases, either water or air is used for circula-
tion flush to remove the cuttings, although air circula-
tion tends to ravel the hole surfaces when used in
relatively clean granular soils. Down-the-hole (DTH)
hammers have been used for compaction grouting
holes. These hammers operate on either air or water
and in either case release large amounts of exhaust,
which provides ample circulation flush. Ground
disturbance some distance from the hole has been
experienced when using air-operated DTH drills. FIGURE 4-10 Large drill rig used to drill hole
Although this problem can be of some concern, one and pull casing (Warner 2004, courtesy of John
must consider that the soil surrounding the hole will Wiley & Sons).
be subsequently grouted, likely healing any loosening
that might have occurred.
Most compaction grouting is performed in and withdrawal. A large and powerful rig, such as that
around existing structures. Compact drill rigs, such as shown in Fig. 4-10, is required for such applications.
that illustrated in Fig. 4-6, are thus the most com- Conversely, where the holes are in isolated or difficult
monly used, although there is no limitation to size, to access areas, handheld drills, as illustrated in
and in extreme applications large rigs have proven Fig. 4-7, have been widely used. These drills are,
useful. Whereas the casing is most often pulled with a however, generally limited to use in soils relatively
separate hydraulic withdrawal system, as shown in free of large rocks or debris. In combination with
Fig. 4-8, some work has been accomplished with the special lightweight drill rods, these drills have been
drill rig remaining over the hole and used for casing found effective to depths of about 30 m (≈100 ft).

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The purpose of the subsurface investigation for com- resistance for the same relative density; the difference
paction grouting is to gain sufficient information to can be a factor of 3.
design a successful grouting program. The primary Special problem soils, such as collapsing soils,
geotechnical parameters required include the may require specialized tests to evaluate their behav-
following: ior. These tests may include shrink/swell or consolida-
tion tests. Additionally, for sensitive soils and
• permeability,
situations requiring more care, testing to determine
• relative density (or soil state),
the soil response to shearing is recommended.
• grain size distribution,
Heterogeneity and variability of the subsoil
• compressibility and consolidation,
directly influence the effectiveness of all grouting
• void ratio,
methods. The most significant focus of a geotechnical
• specific gravity,
investigation is determining the extent and variability
• unit weight, and
of the subsurface horizons. A sure road to disappoint-
• shear strength parameters.
ment in a grouting program is to inadequately
Frequently, index properties are used to estimate delineate the extent of a problem soil layer or to
the above parameters and to assess variability and overestimate the extent of a horizon that is amenable
uniformity of fine-grained soils. For many routine to grouting. And because compaction grouting
compaction grouting projects, index properties such increases the weight of the treated soil mass apprecia-
as Atterberg limits, in conjunction with gradation bly, it is essential to confirm the depth to competent
analyses (sieve and hydrometer) and standard penetra- strata, capable of supporting both the original loads
tion tests (SPTs) are often adequate to estimate and the added weight of the grout.
permeability, compressibility, and shear strength. In
situ tests, such as the cone penetration test (CPT)
and the pressuremeter test (PMT), are useful in 5.1 INVESTIGATION PLANNING
refining the engineer’s understanding of strength,
compressibility, density, and void ratio, as well as Geotechnical Baseline Reports of Underground Con-
the variability of the soils in both lateral and struction: Guidelines and Practices (ASCE 1997) pro-
vertical extent. vides useful guidance in the preparation and planning
A preferred test for density determination is the for geotechnical investigations, as does Evaluation of
CPT in its modern variant: the electronic piezocone Soil and Rock Properties (FHWA 2002). One diffi-
with computer data logging; ASTM D5578 (ASTM culty in planning an investigation for grouting is that
2007) is a standard for this equipment. The CPT the geotechnical investigation has often been com-
may be used within most commonly grouted soils, pleted before grouting is determined to be an option
although it is ineffective in rocky soil, gravels, and for the site. Two alternate approaches are described
strongly cemented soils. The test offers measurements below. The first approach outlines some minimum
at typically 3/4-in. (20-mm) intervals with an requirements that can easily be incorporated into any
accuracy and repeatability of better than 1%. geotechnical investigation. The second approach out-
The CPT provides three channels of soil response lines more specific requirements that should be incor-
data: the tip resistance (qc), the sleeve friction ( fs), porated into a geotechnical investigation specifically
and the induced pore water pressure during the for grouting design.
sounding (uc). The in situ relative density can be
estimated from these measurements. In the estimation
of in situ relative density, the soil type must be 5.2 GENERAL INVESTIGATIONS
allowed for because of, simplistically, compressibility.
Sandy silts are more compressible than gravelly sands The first type of exploration would apply to a case
and correspondingly have much less penetration where general site knowledge is limited and the goal


of the program is to develop an overall understanding samples that could have been obtained the first time
of the site and its suitability for the intended use. Byle out. Even if no testing is planned, samples should be
(2000b) provides a good overview. taken and retained so that they can be tested later, if
necessary. Representative samples should be taken
5.2.1 Data Review from test pits, as well as borings. Photographs or
For all geotechnical investigations, some preliminary videotape of test pits should also be taken, as they
evaluation of site conditions is warranted. A review of provide specialty contractors with a much better view
past use(s) of the site, through a client interview or by of the subsurface conditions than do logs alone.
reviewing historical maps or a Phase I environmental
site assessment (ESA) report, can give valuable infor-
5.2.3 Investigation Limits
mation relating to possible locations and the extent of
Establish limits and criteria for the investigation.
earlier facilities and land uses that could produce con-
These criteria could include the following:
ditions where grouting may be required. ESAs are
often required for real estate transactions, and they a. If not using continuous sampling, samples should
usually contain detailed information on the past use be obtained at any change in strata. This change is
of a property. These reports may include aerial photo- evidenced by any alteration in the rate or resistance
graphs and fire insurance maps, which give a good to drilling or a change in the cuttings returned.
picture of earlier site conditions. Geotechnical engi- b. Never terminate a boring in fill or soft soil.
neers should routinely ask for this information Borings must continue to a soil that is capable of
because it may also give an indication of the presence supporting not only the existing or proposed
of contaminants that might be encountered in borings structure and the body loads of the soil itself, but
or other field investigations. also the weight of the grout to be injected.
Geological maps give information on the c. Verify refusal. Do not log auger or spoon refusal
regional, local, and site geology, depending on their as bedrock unless coring, or other means, verifies
scale. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) topographic this condition.
maps can give an idea of areas of fill or regrading d. Where significant differences in subsurface
(depending on the date of the topography) and can be conditions are found between adjacent borings,
useful in evaluating the geomorphology of the area. probes, pits, and so on, consider additional explo-
Maps from the U.S. Department of the Interior ration to define the limits and location of the
Natural Resources Conservation Service, formerly transitions. For larger investigations, this step can
the Soil Conservation Service (http://soildatamart. sometimes be accomplished simply by relocating, provide information on the surface the test borings during the investigation.
soils and often include vintage aerial photographs e. Make sure that the field engineer or field inspector
that can be useful in evaluating changes at the site knows what the expected conditions are and to
over time. check with the engineer in charge if anything
The client should always be asked for any different is encountered.
previous studies and subsurface data available. f. Always obtain water level readings. Obtain
24-hour or longer stabilized readings wherever
5.2.2 Sampling possible.
All investigations should include representative g. Determine a reference elevation for all borings.
sampling of all strata and should obtain and retain Grouting may be completed during construction, at
samples from each soil type encountered. This sam- which time the site may have been regraded.
pling may be achieved using a driven sampler, of Elevations are essential to locate problem zones
which the standard split-spoon sampler is a popular during grouting.
example. h. Determine accurate reference locations for the
Additionally, every investigation should have exploration points. Often accurate survey coordi-
provision for obtaining undisturbed samples (e.g., nates are not obtained. In the absence of this
using a Shelby thin-walled tube sampler or a piston accuracy, repeatable dimensions should be obtained
sampler), in case they are required. Undisturbed and recorded on the location plan. These dimen-
samples should be taken in any strata where they are sions must be measurements from structures that
feasible. The cost of samples is nominal, and it is will be present after the start of construction so
easier to convince a client to pay for additional that the boring logs can be related to a location on
laboratory tests than to fund a remobilization to get the site.


Table 5-1 Site Information for Design

Information Design Purpose

Geometry and characteristics of subsurface layers (in Define limits and quantities of grouting.
three dimensions)
Comprehensive logs of test borings Characterize soil to be grouted and highlight areas of potential
difficulties during both drilling and grouting.
Geometry of subsurface structures (e.g., tunnels, Characterize interference and obstructions to grouting. Define limit
retaining walls, or utilities) to allowable subsurface movements.
Elevation of, or depth to, competent bearing material Establish depth of required treatment.
Vertical and horizontal moduli of subgrade reaction Establish zones of influence and determine pressure limitations.
Prevent unwanted hard zones.
Consolidation parameters Overconsolidation ratio (OCR) and coefficient of consolidation
may be used to estimate strength, permeability, and pore
pressure influences on grout.
Pore pressures Existing excess pore pressures may be present in underconsolidated
sediments that affect grouting. Negative pore pressures may
permit compaction grouting in cohesive soils.
Permeability Assess pore pressure dissipation to select optimal pumping rates.
Unique characteristics of nonsoil materials Determine grout interaction (physical and chemical) and strength of
grouted product.
Organic content Determine potential for future movements due to continuing
organic decomposition.
Determine how organic content affects curing and grout strength.
Soil chemistry Determine grout chemical interactions.
Determine impacts of contaminants if released to surface.
Sensitivity of surrounding structures to movement, Establish influence zones, cutoff criteria, and limits on the grouting.
loadings, or damage by grouting activity Define monitoring requirements.
Liquefaction potential For seismic remediation, define initial and target relative density
for design and quality control.
Critical failure mechanisms that could be precipitated Perform risk assessment.
by grouting Define grouting sequence, volumes, and injection rates.
Moisture–density condition Evaluate current saturation and expected volume change to assess
potential for generation of excess pore pressures during
Soil fabric/secondary structure Soil fabric and cementation effects may define pressure response of
the soil to displacement.
Sinkholes and solution features Establish limits of grouting and quantity estimates.

5.2.4 Laboratory Testing Further descriptions of the applicability of

If grouting is being considered, soil type should be laboratory tests is provided in Table 5-1.
determined (e.g., ASTM D2487 [ASTM 2000]). This
determination is usually achieved by performing 5.2.5 Analysis and Report
moisture content, gradation analysis, and Atterberg Where grouting is anticipated, it is important to
limits for all soil types encountered. Void ratio and provide all information possible in the report. Include
unit weight should be obtained from undisturbed complete soil descriptions that appropriately charac-
samples. Strength, compressibility, and permeability terize each stratum. Simplified descriptions, such as
testing are useful and should be provided where the “brown silty sand,” are not sufficient. Describe fill
soil response (accounting for the effect of pore pres- materials in detail, including all constituents identified
sure changes induced by dilation and contraction) in the field investigation. Identify in the report the
could adversely affect adjacent structures or the effec- known limits of the area to be grouted and the
tiveness of the compaction grouting. Where organic known or estimated properties of the soil, which
soils are encountered, test for organic content. may include


• relative density and consistency, • mitigating ground subsidence caused by under-

• void ratio, ground construction.
• permeability,
• degree of saturation, 5.3.2 Defining the Mechanism of Grouting
• plasticity, Identifying the specific mechanism or mechanisms by
• gradation, including D10, D85, and coefficient of which grouting will achieve the defined purpose is
uniformity, essential to planning a complete investigation. This
• nonsoil materials present, and step requires a knowledge of grouting technology to
• soil structure and geologic origin (e.g., varved/ assess feasible approaches based on the preliminary
lacustrine, glacial till, or rubble–fill). geotechnical information. Most grouting methods,
including compaction grouting, increase soil strength
For each parameter, state whether it was mea-
if they are successful, although they achieve this by
sured or estimated and the source of the information
different mechanisms. Two goals of the geotechnical
(e.g., test type). Where estimated or correlated, the
investigation should be to determine sufficient soil
methods for obtaining the information should be
parameters to define the feasibility of the grouting
identified in the report.
method and to provide sufficient information for
When discussing the composition of a fill layer,
design of the grouting program.
consider not only the information needed to predict
To plan the investigation properly, one must look
grout injection behavior, but also factors that may
more closely to assess the specific mechanisms that
affect the drilling or pipe installation methods. Items
will be at work during and after the grouting. These
such as wood or metal have a great influence on
mechanisms may include generation of residual
the drilling.
stresses; consolidation; elastic deformation; plastic
deformation, displacement, and migration of pore
fluid; chemical reactions within the grout; and
chemical reactions between the grout and the soil.
Defining how these mechanisms work for each
project requires the gathering of site information. The
Where there has been a preliminary investigation,
types of information that may be required, and the
or where it is known that compaction grouting is
design purpose of the information, are summarized in
required, the investigation should be more focused on
Table 5-1.
the needs of the grouting program. This focus should
It is impossible to list all of the parameters that
extend beyond the basic needs of design discussed
would be needed for all projects in Table 5-1 because
above. Factors to consider also include the quality
of the limitless diversity of conditions that grouting
control (QC) methods to be used. Often this stage of
can address. Each project has unique constraints that
investigation can be an opportunity to collect baseline
have to be established and investigated.
data for future verification testing. Byle (2000b) pro-
vides a good overview.
5.3.3 Determining the Extent of Grouting
The investigation should specifically identify the
5.3.1 Defining the Purpose of Grouting
limits within which grouting is needed. It is important
Defining the purpose of the grouting may seem like
to remember that in soils, even grouted soils, the
an obvious step, but neglecting this step is often the
stresses dissipate outward in all directions. The inves-
cause of a failed design. Compaction grouting can
tigation should explore beyond the effects of the
serve many functions, and different information is
grouting. Where the purpose of grouting is to
needed to assess the feasibility of achieving different
strengthen the soils, the investigation should extend
purposes. It is important to define what the grouting
to the limits of the influence of the stresses that
is intended for and to plan the investigation to
exceed the ungrouted soil capacity.
gather the information necessary to achieve the
Often grouting is performed to mitigate an area
desired goal. Some of the reasons for grouting
of loose, soft, or otherwise unacceptable soil. It is
may include
important that the investigation is both sufficiently
• improving soil strength or bearing capacity, broad and sufficiently detailed to define the limits of
• preventing or arresting settlement, the unacceptable area. The grouting designer and
• mitigation of the liquefaction potential of the contractor must know what the conditions will be at
soil, and the periphery of the grouted area. These perimeter


conditions define the amount of effort (and cost) be accurately detected and depicted with the geophys-
required to contain the grout and meet the project ical methods.
objectives within the target area. Conditions at the
perimeter of the grout injection also influence the 5.3.5 Logging of Field Investigation
magnitude of densification, ground heaving, or Comprehensive logs of all test borings should be pro-
high lateral pressures that develop beyond this vided. These logs are not only required for design
perimeter. purposes, but they are also of crucial importance in
estimating the cost and time required to complete the
5.3.4 Selecting Exploration Methods work. All drilling anomalies and obstructions encoun-
Methods of exploration and testing can provide infor- tered should be described in detail. Where rocks or
mation on subsurface conditions specifically related cobbles are encountered, size and hardness should be
to the mechanism and extent of grouting. Methods of stated, and methods used to penetrate or displace
investigation should be selected that will obtain in situ them should be described. The presence of organic
data, including soil samples, necessary to establish the matter or other content foreign to the site should also
following: be included.
In the case of filled ground, depth of contact with
• limits of the zone to be grouted,
the underlying natural material should be provided.
• spatial variability of the materials within the zone
Experience has shown that in the case of apparent
of grouting,
fill failures, the culprit soils are often in the bottom
• boundary conditions for the grouting,
portions of the fill or the underlying natural materials.
• soil permeability,
Special care should be given to this zone, and the
• soil classification,
presence of organic materials, nested boulders, or
• soil state (or relative density),
other anomalies should be noted. Where rotary-wash
• appropriate soil chemistry,
drilling methods are being used, any loss of drill
• details of all pertinent constituents of the soil
fluid circulation should be reported. As stated pre-
(including large particles),
viously, all borings must extend to competent geoma-
• compatibility between the mechanism for compac-
terials capable of supporting the overlying soil,
tion grouting and the soil,
any overlying structures, and the weight of the
• special geologic or other conditions affecting the
injected grout.
grouting, and
Where geophysical methods are used, record the
• appropriateness of proposed drilling methods.
parameters of the tests and the arrangement of
Background data on soil characteristics related to equipment used. Retain raw data for further analysis
the desired outcome of the compaction grouting and interpretation that may be needed. Confirm all
should also be obtained in the investigation. It is geophysical methods with borings or test pits. Report
prudent to use some of the proposed verification confirmation points with geophysical data.
methods during the exploration to establish a baseline
for comparison with the postgrouting verification 5.3.6 Field Inspectors
testing. For example, if CPT testing was proposed to Field inspectors for a grouting investigation, just as
evaluate the soil improvement by compaction grout- for any other geotechnical investigation, must be
ing, it is imperative to have baseline data available for informed about the purpose of the investigation and
comparison. These data aid in establishing realistic the parameters of interest. An agreed and consistent
performance limits and in the setting of reasonable methodology for reporting soil properties should be
target values for performance specifications. Of used to ensure consistency, such as ASTM D5434
particular concern for the QC program is to identify (Standard Guide for Field Logging of Subsurface
the normal site variability given by the verification Explorations of Soil and Rock) and ASTM D2487
tool. (For example, if the SPT is the QC tool, what is (the Unified Soil Classification System).
the existing variation in N60 value, and is the accep- Inspectors should be cognizant of the purpose and
tance criteria to increase this average or median value mechanism of the drilling and grouting so that they
by a certain margin or to meet a target value?) can recognize adverse or limiting conditions when
Geophysical tools should be considered in they encounter them and modify the investigation as
conjunction with conventional intrusive methods required. Inspectors for grouting investigations must
where more continuous profiles of subsurface condi- be diligent to note everything related to the subsurface
tions are desired and where the site conditions can exploration, in addition to logging samples.


5.3.7 Flexibility to Accommodate the Unexpected 5.3.8 Record and Report Everything
Ground conditions are not always as anticipated. The It may seem a routine occurrence, but things like the
exploration program must be flexible to accommodate loss of drill fluid circulation or getting no cuttings
the unexpected. Also, creativity may be necessary to during auger drilling can make a substantial difference
ascertain the characteristics of materials that do not in the interpretation of a boring log. If the driller is
stay in samplers, are too large to sample, or just do wearing out bits rapidly, if the rate of hole advance
not lend themselves to conventional investigation drops or increases, these problems should be noted on
techniques. This creativity may entail using tech- the logs. The conditions affecting the drilling of test
niques such as overdriving spoon samplers, using borings will affect the drilling of grout holes. Drilling
Denison or piston samplers, taking block samples can make up more than 50% of the total cost of a
from test pits, doing field-scale direct shear tests, pre- grouting project. If there is a rock outcrop across the
loading, geophysics, injecting solution grout to solid- street or down the hill; if your borings hit groundwa-
ify the ground and then sampling using a Shelby tube ter at 1 m but the site is 20 ft above a dry creek bed;
to retain loose sand, using dyes, using an air-track if a site worker tells the inspector that there was a
drill, or using a Becker hammer. The goal of the 2-m-diameter sewer abandoned within the site; if you
investigation is to identify the site conditions well notice that the north side of an adjacent building has
enough to develop a grouting program, not to follow a settled; if gas came out of the hole, report it. The
standard investigation plan. grouting designer and contractor need to have as clear
There are times when it is absolutely necessary to an understanding of subsurface conditions as the engi-
think outside of the box. neer who writes the geotechnical report (or clearer).


6.1 INTRODUCTION two questions arise: What can be achieved? And how
can this modification best be done? Section 6.2
The ability to inject grout of predictable quantity and considers how the shape of the compaction grout bulb
quality into the subsurface is affected by the physical is typically idealized for engineering analysis. This
factors of the subsoil into which it is injected, grout bulb idealization is important because the type
including of soil movement, and specifically whether the soil
volume changes are mainly induced by shear or mean
• homogeneity of the soil (which affects the shape of
stress, has a large influence on the predicted grouting
the grout mass injected),
effectiveness. Section 6.3 considers the attributes that
• the presence of a secondary structure providing
make a soil suitable for compaction grouting.
preferential paths for grout,
The different processes occurring during grouting
• cohesive and frictional strength of the soil,
are summarized in Sections 6.4, 6.5, and 6.6. Injection
• compressibility of the soil,
sequencing and spacing are discussed in Sections 6.7
• propensity of the soil to build up and dissipate pore
and 6.8. A simple method for estimating grout
pressures (soil permeability),
quantities is presented in Section 6.9, with the effect
• presence and proximity of subterranean structures
of confinement and adjacent structures given in
or openings,
Section 6.10. The importance of understanding what
• isotropy and anisotropy of soil properties (which
is meant by grout refusal and the importance of
have a minor effect for compaction grouting),
keeping records are discussed in Sections 6.11 and
• existing stress field in the soil, and
6.12, respectively. Additional information on verifica-
• free surfaces.
tion is provided in Chapter 8.
Based on this information, it is possible to
estimate the grouting pressure, grout injection rate,
and injected volumes required to achieve the desired 6.2 GEOMETRIC IDEALIZATION OF
densification. The accuracy of this engineering THE GROUT MASS
estimate is related to how accurately the material
properties of the in situ soil are known and the During compaction grouting, the applied stress at the
appropriateness of the analyses. The precise grouting grout–soil interface exceeds the yield stress of the
parameters will not be known, however, until at soil, and permanent displacements occur. As grout is
least some of the grouting has been performed, and injected, the soil substrate is displaced and plastically
even then they can vary in different areas of a deformed in a limited zone around the injected grout.
particular site. Beyond this zone of plastic deformation, the soil
This section discusses the design of compaction reacts elastically. The relative size of the elastic and
grouting to achieve a controlled injection of grout, plastic zones depends on the amount of grout injected
resulting in the desired densification. Many processes and the characteristics of the soil.
need to be taken into account for a full understanding, It is uncontroversial to assume, for uniform soil
including (and this is not an exhaustive list) the properties, that the expansion of the grout bulb is
following: radial from the injection location. This assumption
reduces a complex 3-D situation to something simple
• the pressure–volume behavior of the in situ soil
with one distance variable: radius. It is usually
that is being grouted,
assumed that for field grouting applications, the
• the effect of the injection rate on the soil’s
applicable radial expansion is cylindrical. This
assumption follows for two reasons. First, typical
• pressure losses in the grout delivery line,
staged grout column construction results in restraint
• the arrangement of the grout holes, and
above and/or below the expanding grout bulb. The
• the injection sequence.
preexisting grout bulb acts to prevent vertical grout
Broadly, when contemplating ground modifica- expansion. Second, for sands and silty sands (com-
tion of any sort, and including compaction grouting, monly grouted soils), the lateral in situ stress is


typically lower than the vertical stress (i.e., K0 < 1.0). So far, the idealizations discussed are only
Therefore, the direction of least resistance for grout applicable to single grout mass expansions. Most
flow is lateral. grouting projects involve multiple grout holes, and the
The cylindrical shape of the grout expansion has soil between these grout holes is affected by multiple
also been observed in practice. Figures 6-1 and 6-2 grout expansions. The existence of multiple grout
show excavated compaction grout columns. holes makes the assumption of symmetric displace-
ments around the grouted hole invalid. Therefore,
grouting analyses ought to be conducted using a 3-D
representation of the grout holes, accounting for the
sequence in which the grout holes are to be grouted.
To date, this level of analysis is not routinely
carried out in general practice, but it should be
considered on sensitive jobs.



The major component of soil improvement from com-

paction grouting is the induced increase in density
of the in situ soil. For a soil to be suitable for com-
paction grouting, the soil must densify during grout
injection and the grout must displace, not permeate or
hydraulically fracture, the in situ soil, as discussed in
Chapter 3.
The first requirement is that soils must densify
during grout injection. During grouting, the in situ
soil is subjected to an increase in the mean stress,
causing a corresponding compression of the soil. At
the same time, the in situ soil is also being sheared,
causing a change in volume because of dilation and
contraction. The shear component of volume change
is generally much larger than that caused by the
FIGURE 6-1 Compaction grouting test column
increasing mean stress; when sheared, sand is com-
extraction using internal reinforcing bar (Benedict
monly three to five times more compressible than the
et al. 2001).
isotropic normal compression response (Jefferies and
Been 2000). Therefore, for compaction grouting to be
effective, the soil must become denser when sheared.
One of the most widely used measures of density
in the geotechnical industry, and hence of the propen-
sity for a soil to dilate or contract during shear, is the
relative density, Dr. Relative density is defined as
⎛ e −e ⎞
Dr = ⎜ max
⎝ emax − emin ⎟⎠
e = void ratio of the in situ soil,
emax = maximum void ratio of the in situ soil, and
emin = minimum void ratio of the in situ soil.
The relation between the value of relative density
FIGURE 6-2 Excavation exposes top of grout and the soil description originally given by Terzaghi
column. Courtesy of BC Hydro. and Peck (1948) is reproduced as Table 6-1.


Table 6-1 Relationship between Relative Density and Soil Description

Relative Density (%) Descriptive Term Approximate ψ

0–15 Very loose +0.1
15–35 Loose 0.0
35–65 Medium dense −0.05
65–85 Dense −0.1
85–100 Very dense −0.3

Relative density may also be directly, although densification to be achieved by compaction grouting.
approximately, related to other field density measure- Sands with densities in the range of dense to very
ments, for example, CPT density interpretations. dense are likely to dilate during compaction
However, although widely used, relative density is not grouting, and the procedure should not be used in
an accurate measure of the propensity of a soil to such soils.
densify when sheared. The results of even a modest The second requirement, that the grout displace
laboratory test program can be used to show that the soil and not permeate into the pores, often
relative density may be misleading. It is well known excludes soils with large grain sizes, such as gravel.
that dilatancy can be suppressed by increasing the Hence, gravels are rarely compaction grouted,
mean stress. In addition, when dealing with sands although with very slow injection rates, densification
with a few percent silt, one mixture at 40 percent may be possible. Furthermore, the soil must at least
relative density can dilate while another mixture at 60 partially drain during grouting.
percent relative density can be contractive (Been and The requirement for at least partial drainage
Jefferies 1985). One alternative that avoids these usually excludes normally consolidated high-plasticity
errors is the state parameter approach. The state clay soils from being densified using compaction
parameter, ψ, is independent of such elements as grouting because for any common and economically
pressure and mineralogy (see Been and Jefferies 1985 justifiable grout injection rate, clays exhibit an
and 1986 for more details). Hence, state parameter, undrained response. Calculations indicate that even
although less common, is used in this section as the though the mean stress is increased around the grout
main measure of the state of the soil. However the bulb, subsequent consolidation as the excess pore
descriptions in Table 6-1 may be used to loosely link pressures dissipate leads to only small density
ψ and Dr. changes during grouting (Kovacevic et al. 2000).
The state parameter, ψ, is defined as For compaction grouting to be effective in such soils,
intermittent injections using very low pumping rates
ψ = e − ecrit are required. The pore pressure must be continuously
monitored during injection, and any pore pressure
where ecrit = void ratio of the soil at the critical state increases must be recovered before further injection.
at the same mean effective stress. On the other hand, modest drainage with mixed soils
The critical state for a soil is reached at very of low plasticity leads to effective grouting despite
large shear strains, where the void ratio of the soil the presence of substantial excess pore water pres-
remains constant with increasing shear. At the critical sures at reasonable injection rates (Jefferies and
state, ψ is equal to 0. At lower strain levels, initially Shuttle 2002).
dense soils (e < ec or ψ < 0) dilate when sheared, In summary, compaction grouting can be effec-
whereas looser soils (e > ec or ψ > 0) compress when tive for sandy gravels to low-plasticity clayey soils
sheared. Soils initially at ψ = 0 show no net change in when these soils are loose to medium dense (i.e.,
volume caused by shearing. Hence, the state param- when the soil undergoes a net contraction when
eter may be used to predict the potential for densifica- sheared from in situ to large strain failure conditions).
tion during shearing. The procedure has been successfully used in high-
At the end of a compaction grout injection stage, plasticity clays; however, intermittent pumping and
strains close to the grout bulb are extremely large, very slow injection rates are both required, which
and the soil is likely to reach the critical state. becomes expensive and limits such work to special
Therefore, the looser the soil, the greater the potential requirements.


medium dense (ψ = -0.05)

loose (ψ = 0.0)

Shear Stress

very loose (ψ = +0.05)

0 5 10 15 20
Axial Strain (%)

very loose (ψ = +0.05)

loose (ψ = 0.0)
Volumetric Strain

0 5 10 15 20

medium dense (ψ = -0.05)


Axial Strain (%)

FIGURE 6-3 Typical soil responses in triaxial compression.


Very loose soils (ψ > 0.05) are contractive and
Change in soil density caused by shearing the soil and amenable to significant densification during grouting.
increasing the mean pressure is the mechanism of Loose soils (ψ ≈ 0) are also somewhat contractive
compaction grouting. Soils considered for grouting because of the change in the critical void ratio as
usually fall within the range of behaviors shown in the mean stress increases. Loose to medium dense
Fig. 6-3; this figure shows the conditions measured in (lightly dilatant ψ ≈ −0.05) soils show initial con-
drained triaxial compression. tractive strains followed by the onset of dilation.
The behaviors shown in Fig. 6-3 are characterized Whether dilation overcomes this initial compression
by the state parameter. Figure 6-3 shows linked plots depends on the mean stress increase and the soil’s
of shear stress (normalized by initial mean stress) compressibility. The soil’s material properties,
plotted against axial strain, and the volumetric strain strength for example, affect the relationship between
against axial strain. the stresses and strains that develop, but the basic


pattern that remains is that shown in Fig. 6-3, and this 1000

is essentially a function of the state parameter (or

relative density).
The behavior the soil exhibits in situ depends on
its relative density or state in exactly the same way as Gravelly

Dimensionless penetration resistance, Q(1- Bq) + 1

it does in the triaxial test; hence assessing the in situ
relative density is the first step to any analysis.
Commonly this involves penetration tests. The SPT 100
(standard penetration test) is widely used and is
Sands to
simple to do. It is also highly variable and imprecise, sand ψ = -0.2
hence not a good test on which to base engineering some silt (Dr ≈ 80%)

design. These problems are exaggerated if the SPT

data are not corrected for the energy of the equipment ψ = -0.1
Silty sands to (Dr ≈ 60%)
used (Skempton 1986). sandy silts
As discussed in Chapter 5, a preferred test is the 10 ψ = 0.0
CPT (cone penetration test) in its modern variant: the (Dr ≈ 30%)
electronic piezocone with computer data logging.
There are sophisticated ways of determining in situ Clayey silts Silty clays to
state and relative density from CPT data, given
knowledge of some other soil properties (e.g., slope of
the critical state line). Been et al. (1987) provided the
first methodology for this determination, and Shuttle 1
and Jefferies (1998) evaluated this framework and 0.1 1 10
presented a systematic method for interpretation of Friction ratio F: %
state and density from the CPT. For most field
FIGURE 6-4 Cone resistance versus friction ratio.
situations, however, the required test data to use
these sophisticated methods are not available, but
finding them can be justified on sensitive or
important projects. Especially on sensitive sites, reasonable analyses
There is a long history of inferring soil type from require measured data, not guessed properties.
the CPT (e.g., Schmertmann 1978; Douglas and Olsen
1981; and Robertson and Campanella 1983). Plewes
et al. (1992) extended the soil type classification 6.5 PRESSURE–VOLUME BEHAVIOR
scheme to include quantitative estimates of the state OF GROUT
parameter. Figure 6-4 shows a proposed relationship
between cone resistance and state or relative density. The grout design is critical to a successful compaction
This chart uses a familiar CPT soil type interpretation grouting project, as discussed in Chapter 3. Despite
chart as its base and lays relative density contours on the practical importance of the grout mixture, no anal-
it, providing a simple interpretation of CPT data. The ysis to date has looked at the grout behavior itself.
limitation of this approach is that the correlations Grouting is assumed to be an essentially inert way of
were originally developed from testing on clean applying pressure to the soil, at least for analysis of
sands, and the chart can be misleading if used with grouting effectiveness.
materials such as calcareous soils or sands containing It is important not to lose sight of the limitations
high proportions of easily crushed grains (feldspars, that this assumption places on any analysis. The lack
for example). In these situations, it is necessary to of understanding of grout behavior limits our under-
obtain the supporting data to allow the use of a better standing as to why hydrofracturing occurs in some
interpretation method. instances and not others, which in turn limits our
In the end, grouting is expensive. If confidence in ability to develop and improve the grouts used. We
the achieved densification is required, there is no are dependent on accumulated experience alone, from
substitute for testing the target horizon to determine which it is dangerous to deviate. On the other hand, it
the shear modulus profile and the compressibility of is clear that grouts are themselves soil mixtures and
the soils involved and to estimate the relative density, that water may move out of them (i.e., bleed) as the
or preferably, the parameters of its critical state. grout exits the injection pipe. This means that


• The volume of the grout reduces after grout fluid

permeates the in situ soil; therefore, the grout bulb
size is overestimated if the pumped grout volume
is used.
• The boundary condition at the grout–soil interface
is usually assumed in analysis to be impermeable.
This assumption is inaccurate if bleeding occurs,
and this permeable grout–soil interface leads to a
pressure loss caused by seepage of pore fluid
beyond the grout bulb. The pressure loss is a
function of the internal permeability of the grout,
the size of the grout mass injected, and the
permeability of the soil. The mechanics and
nature of this grout–soil interaction has not been
addressed in the literature, and no accepted
means of estimating it exist. Therefore in
practice, the grout pore fluid pressure losses are FIGURE 6-5 Pressure drop relation between the
usually ignored. flow logger and the grout injection header
(Geraci 2007).
A better understanding of in situ grout behavior is
crucial to improving the industry’s understanding of
compaction grouting.
caused by seepage of pore fluid beyond the grout
bulb. Injection losses and line losses are primarily
related to equipment and grout properties. An addi-
6.6 PRESSURE LOSSES IN THE CASING tional pressure loss caused by seepage of pore fluid
beyond the grout bulb is discussed in Section 6.5.
Controlled grouting requires that injection pressures Because no accepted means of estimating this loss
and flow rates be measured (and recorded and dis- exist, in practice it is usually ignored.
played) during grouting. Practically, this fact means The usual approach for measuring the injection
that a pressure gauge and preferably transducers must and line losses is to measure the pressure loss in the
be located at the surface. Analyses, on the other hand, pipe by laying a length of pipe out on the surface and
start with the expansion of the grout bulb at the base pumping grout through it. This measurement then
of the injection pipe. There is then a disconnection gives an offset pressure used to relate the grout bulb
between what we can practically measure and what pressure to that measured at the surface (after also
we are analyzing, the disconnect arising from what allowing for a calculated pressure head from the
happens to the grout as it moves down the grout pipe. weight of the grout). Where deep grout holes are
Not all of the pressure applied by the grout pump required, the surface approach to calculating line
is reflected as stress on the soil. Pressure is required losses contains some errors because the pressure in
to push the grout through the grout lines, as can be the grout near the surface differs from that at depth,
observed by the pressure difference measured between resulting in different saturation and void ratio.
an in-line pressure transducer and a transducer at the Despite this lack of detailed information, for
injection header (Fig. 6-5). In this case, the in-line many soils the pressure loss appears to be small
pressure was measured at a grout flow logger, a compared to the injection pressure, and hence, the
device used to record grout pressure and flow during conventional approach of a simple pressure offset
production. The logger was positioned 22.9 m between hole collar and injection point is reasonable.
upstream of the injection header, and 15.25 m
downstream of the grout pump. The losses depend on
the length and configuration of the injection system 6.7 INJECTION SEQUENCE
(e.g., hose or pipe, size, number and radius of bends
and elbows, and the diameter and wall type), the rate Analyses on soil behavior during grout injection have
of injection, grout rheology, injection pressure, and concentrated on the ground response to grout in a
other factors. Three main sources of pressure losses single hole. However, these same analyses also
are injection losses, line losses, and pressure loss show a great dependence on boundary conditions


and particularly the distance to stiff ground. This injected mass is dependent on the starting density,
dependence means that grout hole spacing, and required improvement, and rate of injection. Grout
whether it is a primary or secondary hole, is of prime hole spacing is typically on the order of three to six
importance. The secondary holes already have densi- times the predicted mass diameter.
fied ground around them (caused by primary grout-
ing), and this denser ground provides a reaction that
enhances the effectiveness of the grouting. Although 6.9 ESTIMATING GROUT QUANTITIES
by no means fully explored yet, analyses to date
suggest that a disproportionate amount of grouting Estimating the quantity of grout required is a daunting
effectiveness arises from the secondary holes. Grout prospect for most grouting projects. By far the largest
hole sequencing is therefore an important control. The complaint of owners is that the design consultant
optimum arrangement of grout hole sequencing is not underestimated the grout quantities. The grout quantity
known, but experience shows that isolation of the area can be reliably controlled and predicted only if suffi-
to be improved and the typical primary and secondary cient in situ soil information is available, if the grout
injection sequence are effective. consistency and injection methods are properly speci-
To analyze multiple holes at the same time fied to limit mobility of the grout, and if the engineer
requires a 3-D software package. Hence these analy- takes an active role in quality assurance, control of the
ses are rare. To account for the stiffness of the injection process, and verification of quantities during
preexisting grout holes in a typical 2-D axisymmetric grouting. When the grouting is properly controlled, the
analysis, cylindrical cavity expansion of a single grout quantities of grout required can be estimated with rea-
hole is analyzed with a stiffer soil added at the radius sonable accuracy using simple methods if sufficient
of the primary grout holes to mimic the increased information about the existing soil conditions is
resistance. known. Unfortunately, although good grouting practice
On sloping ground, before general grouting, one improves grout volume estimates, many compaction
or more containment rows of holes should be injected grouting projects involve soils of variable type and/or
on or at the base of the slope to act as a buttress. density, and thus sufficient information on existing soil
Similarly, grout zones may be used to stabilize areas conditions can be difficult to obtain.
of displacement weakness.
6.9.1 Densification
To achieve densification during compaction grouting,
6.8 INJECTION SPACING it is first necessary to ensure that during shear the
volume change of the in situ soil in the zone of influ-
The required spacing of injections is determined based ence is predominantly contractive. Although not
on the zone of influence, degree of control required, appropriately treated by compaction grouting, dense
and purpose of the grouting. The spacing of grout soils dilate during grouting, resulting in a looser soil
injections has been reported to range from 2.4 to 3.6 (see Section 6.3 for more details).
m (8–12 ft) (Warner 1982); 2.5 m (8 ft) (Bandimere If compaction grouting is appropriate, a simple
1997); and 1.8 m (6 ft) (Stilley 1982). However, too approach to roughly estimating the quantity of grout
high a grout injection rate can detrimentally influence needed for densification is to compute the volume
the amount of grout injected at an individual grout reduction required to achieve a target density.
hole, thereby increasing the number of grout holes Consider the example in Fig. 6-6. In this example, it
required (i.e., closer hole spacing). At higher injection is desired to obtain a minimum dry density of
rates, the in situ soil may behave in an undrained 1,600 kg/m3 for the full thickness of the fill in layer
manner. An undrained in situ soil response results in 2 under the building footprint and 3 m beyond the
poorer densification, and the limit pressure is reached building limits. Increasing the dry density from
at lower injection volumes. Hence, as the soil 1,400 kg/m3 to 1,600 kg/m3 would require a 14.3%
becomes more undrained, less densification occurs at increase in density. This increase in density corre-
each grout hole. sponds to a 12.5% reduction in volume of the soil
In general, the selected spacing should be mass. (From assuming that the mass remains constant
determined from site-specific conditions. The sensitiv- and knowing mass = volume × density, if the initial
ity of the site to movement and the soil in situ dilation and final volumes are Voli and Volf, respectively.
and contraction behavior determine the largest Then Voli × 1,400 = Volf × 1,600, giving Volf =
injection that can be safely made. The diameter of the 1,400/1,600 Voli or Volf = 0.875 Voli, a reduction of


FIGURE 6-7 Idealized radial distribution of grout

in a homogeneous soil (Byle 2000).

FIGURE 6-6 Example compaction grouting


12.5%). This volume reduction is achieved by

displacing (and therefore densifying) the soil with
grout. To compute the volume of grout required,
multiply the volume of soil to be improved (16 m ×
16 m × 3 m deep = 768 m3) by 12.5% (the reduction
in volume). This formula gives the total volume of
grout needed to be 96 m3. Typically, this amount FIGURE 6-8 Influence of soil layering on column
would be injected in vertical holes spaced 2 to 4 m shape: (a) stiff layer causes reduced cross section
apart. Assuming a 2.5-m hole spacing, this process and (b) soft layer produces enlargement (Byle
would require approximately 41 grout holes injected 2000a).
at the average rate of 0.78 m3 of grout per linear
meter of injection hole. isotropy conditions affect the shape of the injected
grout mass and thus the control of injection. Nonho-
mogeneous and anisotropic subsurface conditions, by
and large, yield nonhomogeneous and anisotropic
grout masses.
Many factors affect the amount of grout that can be
Where there is little confining stress, very slow
safely and controllably injected. These factors include
pumping rates must be used. Should the rate be
the following:
excessive, the surface of the ground may heave
• confinement, and/or fracturing may occur. The ideal cylindrical
• movement sensitivity of nearby structures, shape resulting from properly staged injection at
• pumping rate, and appropriate pumping rates is shown in Fig. 6-7.
• special placement requirements. Some typical grout column shapes due to soil
layering are illustrated in Fig. 6-8. Other unusual
6.10.1 Soil Confinement shapes may result from various combinations of grout
Grout, even stiff grout, conforms to the stress and properties, stress states, stratigraphy, and subsurface
stiffness conditions in the soil. Homogeneity and obstructions (Fig. 6-9).


FIGURE 6-9 Injected grout shapes (Byle 2000). Notes: (a) Ideal sphere at depth in homogeneous granular
soil. (b) Irregular shape in nonhomogenous stratum or filling a void. (c) Quasiconical shape caused by lack of
overburden confinement. (d) Columnar shape by controlled staged injection.

6.10.2 Influence on Structures Surface heave is a frequent refusal criterion and

Grouting may influence structures by applying loads typically limited to between 1.2 and 2.5 mm (0.05–
and inducing movements. Although not considered 0.1 in.) per stage. It is important to consider the
compaction grouting, it is frequently desired to raise cumulative surface response resulting from grouting at
a settled structure as well as to arrest movement. multiple stages, including the potential influence from
In other circumstances, the aim is to densify the neighboring injection points. When carefully con-
soil without affecting overlying or adjacent trolled, this effect can be used to recover settlement of
structures. supported structures and restore grades. However, it is
Movements induced in the soil by compaction important to limit surface uplift to an elastic or
grouting are controllable, and the magnitude of any “recoverable” range when uplift is not desired or
such movements depends on the grout injection rate. could otherwise damage overlying or adjacent
Slower injection rates result in a greater quantity of structures. Recent use of instrumented monitoring
grout being injected before the initiation of move- techniques has proven to be of value as an indicator
ment. When movement does occur, however, it is in of grouting-induced surface motion while still
general proportional to the volume of material working in the recoverable range.
displaced, i.e., the volume of grout injected or “take” Another technique historically used to limit the
after the movement started. cumulative effect of surface uplift involves the use of
The volume of soil displaced is slightly less than top-down grouting, also referred to as stage-down or
the volume of grout because of the escape of pore descending stage grouting. This process is most
fluid from the grout and volume changes associated effective in soft, near-surface soils because the
with compression of the grout during injection and grout-induced heave tends to settle back between
curing. However, in application, the grout and stages. Top-down grouting is a more costly process
displacement volume are generally assumed to be because of the need to redrill the grout injection holes
equal. The magnitude of the error associated with this after each stage, but it may be the most effective way
assumption is believed to be small; however, that to restore a settled structure to grade where the faulty
theory has not been verified. soil is at a shallow depth. Combinations of bottom-up
Movements in soil may occur in all three dimen- and top-down grouting may be used in certain cases;
sions. It is important to consider the three-dimensional however, top-down grouting is rarely used at depths
nature of movements because they can affect buried greater than 15 to 20 ft (4.6–6.1 m). Once stage-down
utilities, retaining walls, septic tanks, vaults, and other grouting is completed, stage-up grouting may be used
buried structures in addition to structures bearing on to address soils in the deeper treatment profile. The
the grouted area. initial top-down grout mass provides confinement and
Uplift is usually localized and centered about the a firm surface to lift against as the bottom-up grouting
point of injection. is completed.



Refusal criteria, together with grout injection behav- By maintaining good records of both the drilling of
ior, can be used to evaluate the soil conditions and grout holes and grout injections, it is possible to use
improvement produced. To obtain uniform and pre- the grouting data to verify soil improvement. Ideally,
dictable results in compaction grouting, it is important these records should be electronic. The grouting may
to set appropriate refusal criteria. Where these criteria be looked on as a large-scale pressuremeter test that
are not well established, refusal is determined by the measures the soil stiffness based on the volume
grouter and may be established based on whether it is injected and the pressures generated at a given injec-
profitable or convenient to continue injection that tion rate. Split-spaced grouting, where holes are
might not achieve the desired result. Refusal for each injected in an alternating pattern of primary, second-
stage of grouting should be defined as the point where ary, and occasionally tertiary holes, should produce
additional grout injection does not advance the records of increasing rates of pressure gain at a given
purpose of the work. Good grouting should have more injection rate and reduced injection volumes for the
than one criterion to define refusal. Common refusal later phases of grouting.
criteria might include one or more of the following: The grouting records should be evaluated in the
field continually throughout the work to assess the
• a pressure limit at a given injection rate,
effectiveness of the grouting and to adjust the grout-
• a grout volume limit per stage (which can be a
ing program to address subsurface conditions identi-
function of injection pressure),
fied by the work.
• undesired movement, or
• maximum allowable lift.


7.1 INTRODUCTION alternatives have been used to represent grout expan-

sion. The first also involves radial movement relative
This chapter presents methods of analysis, with their to the (presumed vertical) grout hole, but the bound-
limitations, and is intended as a resource for those ary condition above and below the radially expanding
involved in compaction grouting. The analyses are grout bulb is constant normal (presumed vertical)
arranged from simplest to most complex, and the limi- stress; this stress allows free movement of the ground
tations of the analysis are highlighted where appropri- in the axial direction of the hole. This alternative is
ate. As with all engineering, the analyses have referred to as the plane stress idealization and was
assumptions and limitations and the applicability of used by Kovacevic et al. (2000).
any approach is problem dependent: The user must The second alternative is for the ground to move
determine whether a particular analysis idealization is away from the grout bulb equally in all directions.
applicable to the problem at hand. This alternative is referred to as the spherical cavity
Finally, Sections 7.3, 7.4, and 7.5 look at field idealization. However, no field study that supports this
and experimental methods of understanding the grout idealization has been found.
behavior of the soil during compaction grouting.
7.2.2 Alternative Soil Models
Analysis of grouting forces us to consider compatibil-
7.2 METHODS OF ANALYSIS ity because it is the volume of grout injected that does
the work in compacting the soil; the familiar soil
7.2.1 Geometric Idealization mechanics approach of simply considering limiting
Most analyses idealize grouting as expansion of a stress states with no consideration of displacements
cylindrical column of grout in the ground. This ideal- (e.g., slope stability analysis) does not work. Analysis
ization reduces a complex 3-D situation to something needs a representation of the stress–strain behavior of
simple with one space variable: radius. It also allows the ground (commonly called a constitutive model).
access to considerable literature because this idealiza- Although a wide range of constitutive models have
tion has been used in many situations over at least the been published, more than 60, most are unsuitable for
past 50 years (and not just soil—the original studies compaction grouting.
were motivated by battleship gun barrel design). The simplest model for soil is to assume that it is
Radial symmetry is crucial to obtain “closed-form” elastic. Although this model is used in practice, two
solutions even with simple soil models and is conve- fundamental problems are associated with a purely
nient for numerical approaches as well. elastic idealization. First, although soil is elastic at
As discussed in Section 6.2 for a single grout small strains, its behavior during grouting is domi-
hole, the cylindrical simplification seems justified. nated by plasticity. To some extent, using hyperbolic
Excavation of grout bulbs after grouting (see Figs. 6-1 laws for the elastic modulus (reducing the modulus
and 6-2) and observation of inclinometer responses with increasing shear stress) can mimic plasticity.
during grouting have shown behavior consistent with However, hyperbolic laws do not give the freedom
a cylindrical grout expansion. A limited set of 2-D needed to get the correct volumetric strain. Second,
finite element analyses were also carried out for BC and by far the most important point, elastic stress
Hydro in connection with the Bennett Dam remedia- distributions are symmetrical around an expanding
tion (Garner et al. 2000) to examine the effect of grout bulb. There is an equal and opposite decrease
anisotropic stress in the horizontal plane on grout in the circumferential stress to the increase in the
behavior. Surprisingly little anisotropy of the grout radial stress, leaving the mean stress unchanged, see
bulb developed, and work continued with the assump- Fig. 7-1. Because part of the effectiveness of compac-
tion of radial symmetry. tion grouting depends on mean stress increase,
Radial symmetry can also be invoked without representing soil as simply an elastic material misses
the restriction of purely horizontal movement of the an important mechanism. Also, the radial stress
grout (i.e., cylindrical expansion). Two well-known distribution is grossly wrong once enough grout has


Elastic, σr

Plastic, σr
Change in Stress

Plastic, σq

Elastic, σq

Radial Distance from Grout Hole

FIGURE 7-1 Radial stress versus distance from grout hole (elastic and plastic response).

been injected to start the soil yielding, a process that predict how varying density changes soil properties
takes as little as 0.1 ft3/ft of grout. For these reasons, such as the soil strength and compressibility. This
this approach should not be followed. At least one requirement has typically led to the adoption of
further level of sophistication is required. critical-state models because the effect of density on
One approach is to use a simple extension of the soil behavior is the essence of this class of constitu-
familiar Mohr–Coulomb strength criterion and tive model, although any soil model generating
incorporate elasticity for stress states of less than fully realistic stress and volume changes is appropriate.
mobilized strength with dilation once the failure Kovacevic et al. (2000) used modified Cam clay as
(yield) criterion is reached. This model is called a the basis for their simulations, whereas NorSand was
nonassociated Mohr–Coulomb (NAMC) model; the adopted by Shuttle and Jefferies (2000).
term nonassociated is used because the friction and Modified Cam clay, the well-known model put
dilation angles are different. Soil compression during forward by Roscoe and Burland (1968), is a reason-
grouting is modeled using negative dilation angles. able approximation for loose granular soils but
Obviously, such a model cannot handle the densifica- overstates strength increase caused by density change.
tion effect with denser than critical ground, but there The attraction of modified Cam clay is its simplicity
are semianalytical solutions for the NAMC model, and availability in many commercial finite
and it can be a useful first approximation. There are element codes.
four soil parameters in the NAMC model: shear An example of a more complex and realistic
modulus, Poisson’s ratio, dilation angle, and large- critical-state model is NorSand (Jefferies 1993).
strain friction angle. Often the dilation and large- NorSand has two more parameters than Cam clay and
strain (or critical-state) friction angles can be played can be viewed as a generalization of critical-state
off each other to get an approximation of the desired ideas (Cam clay can be recovered as a particular case
stress–strain behavior, but the big limitation remains of NorSand by appropriate choice of parameters). The
the assumption that the dilation angle is a constant. behavior of the NorSand model is compared to the
Figure 7-2 shows an example of the behavior of the NAMC model in Fig. 7-2 using an equivalently loose
NAMC model for a loose soil with contractive parameter set.
behavior. Clearly there is no sense that the model Although not used for analyses of grouting to
approaches the critical state (with associated zero date, variants of the bounding surface models are
plastic volume change with additional shear strains) at being developed that have the required attributes.
large strains as needed. These models tend to be more complex and require
Because compaction grouting changes the density more input parameters, but they do capture a finer
of the ground, proper analysis requires models that level of detail in soil behavior.



Shear Stress
Critical State Model (NorSand)


Axial Strain

Critical State Model (NorSand)

Volumetric Strain




Axial Strain

FIGURE 7-2 Behavior of alternative soil models for triaxial compression of loose sand.

7.2.3 Importance of Large Strain Large-strain analyses are documented widely in

During compaction grouting, the soil is typically the literature, and the procedures are well known.
sheared to many hundreds of percent strain. At these Some commercial finite element codes incorporate
large strain levels, there is a large difference between large-strain capabilities (e.g., FLAC, ABAQUS,
the small-strain and large-strain measures, and the PLAXIS), and the finite element implementation
assumption that higher order terms in the strain of large strain is standard (Zienkiewicz and
definition are negligible is quite wrong. Small-strain Taylor 1991).
analyses are unable to replicate the limit pressure For completeness, we give the Green large-strain
observed in the field and are unsuitable for estimating formulation here. Basically the difference between
limit pressures during grouting for this reason alone. small and large strain is that in the large-strain
However, small-strain solutions also miscalculate formulation the coordinates are updated to account for
the volume changes from displacement of the the movement of the soil.
soil during grouting. This volume change is funda- The total Green strain, εT, is considered to be
mental to the grouting process and cannot be composed of the standard Cauchy small strain, εS, and
neglected. a large displacement component, εL, such that


ε = εS + εL situation and start estimating A0 from the sensible

radius of influence of the stresses but also to keep in
which, for the cylindrical geometry used in compac- mind that underestimating A0 overstates the compac-
tion grouting analyses, may be written as tion. Additionally, this smaller radius of influence
effectively increases A0 for the adjacent grout holes.
∂u 1 ⎛ ∂u ⎞
Therefore, lower densification should be anticipated
εr = − + ⎜− ⎟
∂r 2 ⎝ ∂r ⎠ close to the boundary of the grouted area.
Stress distributions are obtained from the closed-
u 1 ⎛ u⎞ form solutions of the cavity expansion problem along
εθ = − + ⎜− ⎟
r 2⎝ r⎠ with limit pressures. The first cavity expansion
analyses by Bishop et al. (1945) and Hill (1950)
where εr and εθ are the radial and total circumference addressed incompressible materials with associated
strains, respectively, and u is the radial displacement flow rules, corresponding to the familiar and simple
at radius r. idealization of the undrained behavior of clay. The
derivation of expansion for a cylindrical or spherical
7.2.4 Simple Approach cavity in a linear elastic perfectly plastic Tresca
Analytic solutions are available for cylindrical and material is standard (e.g., Gibson and Anderson 1961;
spherical expansion of simple soil models, allowing Carter et al. 1986; and Houlsby and Withers 1988).
the engineer to carry out fast scoping calculations. However, this idealization, although simple, is
These solutions allow estimation of stress distribu- inappropriate for compaction grouting because no
tions and their relationship to cavity displacements, as volume change occurs.
well as calculation of the limit pressures expected Cavity expansion theory for NAMC flow has
during grouting. All of these analytic solutions may been considered by a number of workers, including
be simply implemented in a spreadsheet (and may be Carter et al. (1986) and Yu and Houlsby (1991). The
downloaded from the Grouting Committee Web site, central assumption of these studies has been that both the friction and dilation angles remain constant during
In using analytical solutions, the basic step is to shear. The Carter et al. solution has the required
decouple the estimate of achieved compaction from large-strain features and is straightforward to imple-
the calculations of stresses and limit pressures. ment with numerical integration in a spreadsheet. The
Obviously a user can iterate between the two types of downloadable file carter.xls on the Grouting Commit-
analysis to get a feel for the proposed grouting. tee website provides an implementation of this
Decoupling proceeds as follows: Achieved solution.
compaction from injection of a volume ΔV of grout
into a grouted interval L long gives an average change 7.2.5 Numerical Cavity Expansion
of void ratio in the soil, Δe: Although the assumption of constant friction and dila-
tion angles of the NAMC model leads to straightfor-
(1 + e0 ) ⎛ ΔV ⎞ ward expressions with semianalytical solutions and
Δe = ⎜⎝ ⎟
A0 L ⎠ is hence extremely useful, it has the fundamental
flaw that soil does not behave in such a manner in
where A0 is the affected area of grouting. This equa- general. Reliable solutions require a soil stress–strain
tion assumes that the densification is uniform across model that captures the evolution of dilatancy with
the site and that A0 is known. For an array of grout accumulated strain and stress because this behavior
holes, A0 is simply the total area being grouted distinguishes one sand from another and is magnified
divided by the number of grout holes. If grouting is by the confinement of the cavity expansion. Numeri-
near the surface and has caused surface heave, then it cal models are required for these realistic representa-
is necessary to reduce the ΔV in proportion to the tions of soil behavior because analytical solutions do
heave. The term ΔV/LA0 is sometimes referred to as not exist.
the net grout take ratio. The simplification of grout expansion to a
Where things get more problematic is in the early cylindrical approximation is also convenient for
stages of a grouting project when we are dealing with numerical modeling. Numerical modeling codes that
one hole (or even a few holes) because at that time include realistic soil models and large strains can be
we cannot rely on symmetry to constrain the affected complex. Reducing the problem to a single dimension
area. It helps to look at the stress distribution in this results in savings in the time needed to set up the


model and to the simulation time. However, the Three codes that may be of interest are
high degree of soil confinement in cavity expansion
ABAQUS—large-strain, modified Cam clay
situations makes analyses sensitive to the soil param-
(ModCamClay) provided, user routines
eters. Confinement also has the side effect of causing
slow numerical convergence in some of the more
FLAC—large-strain, ModCamClay provided, user
widely available modeling software.
routines available; and
To date, the implementation of realistic soil
PLAXIS—large-strain, soft-soil Cam clay-type model,
models to the numerical analyses of cavity expansion
user routines available.
is not common in the literature and therefore unlikely
to be contemplated for any but the most sensitive These codes are supported by software organiza-
projects. Two groups have looked at compaction tions, and training courses for their use are available.
grouting with detailed numerical simulations. All these codes have been quite widely used for other
Kovacevic et al. (2000) used modified Cam clay as aspects of geotechnical engineering. However, as with
the basis for their simulations, whereas NorSand was all numerical analyses, the usefulness of the results is
adopted by Shuttle and Jefferies (2000). A limitation related to the adequacy of the inputs and appropriate-
of both approaches is the radial symmetry. As noted ness of the software options used. All results should
earlier, this assumption leads to reasonable simula- be scrutinized for reasonableness, remembering that
tions for primary grouting but is patently poor for because of the high confinement of the soil during
secondary and any higher order holes and adjacent to compaction grouting, any errors in analysis are likely
hard boundaries. Although the effect of these higher to be magnified.
order holes can be “dummied” in a radial scheme by
introducing stiffer and/or denser soil at some radius,
7.2.7 Consolidation of the In Situ Soil during
this approximation actually simulates a hole sur-
and after Grouting
rounded by a ring of stiff, dense ground. Actual
Ideally, the soil should be fully drained during injec-
ground conditions vary in density and stiffness with
tion, and this drainage requirement limits the grout
circumferential position. It is currently unclear how
injection rate for finer soils. Allowable injection rates
to adjust the radial analysis to properly capture
can be evaluated using a consolidation analysis of the
the conditions during secondary and higher
grout injection. Such an analysis allows calculation of
order grouting.
whether the soil response during grouting will be
For completeness, Fig. 7-3 shows the distribution
drained, partially drained, or fully undrained for the
of void ratio calculated by Shuttle and Jefferies (2000)
chosen grout injection rate.
for three initial states: very loose (ψ = +0.05), loose
A full analysis of the drainage of soil during
(ψ = 0.0), and medium dense (ψ = −0.10). These
compaction grouting requires a realistic soil model,
states correspond to the sand behaviors shown in
coupling between the soil stress–strain behavior and
Fig. 6-3. The figure illustrates the expected behavior.
pore pressure response, and 3-D geometry. However,
The loosest soil shows the largest reduction in void
for scoping analyses, a simple soil model, simplified
ratio, but the densification is limited to close to the
geometry, and an uncoupled solution may be used.
grout bulb.
The difference in hydraulic conductivity deduced
The denser soil shows a slight increase in void
between the approximate approach and the full
ratio adjacent to the grout bulb at small injection
analysis is typically on the order of a factor of two.
volumes, but with increasing injection the soil
The equation for radial consolidation in an
densifies, and the densification (although smaller in
infinite medium is given by Soderberg (1962):
magnitude) is apparent deeper into the soil mass.
δu ⎛ δ 2 u 1 δu ⎞
7.2.6 Commercial Finite Element Codes = ch ⎜ 2 +
The numerical analyses discussed in the preceding δt ⎝ δr r δr ⎟⎠
section used research finite element codes. However,
although this method certainly leads to fast codes for
the problem at hand, analysis is possible using stan- u is the excess pore pressure in kPa,
dard commercial codes. Several commercial codes r is the radial distance in m,
offer the required large-strain feature together with t is the time in years, and
some model for sand behavior. Some codes also offer ch is the horizontal coefficient of consolidation in
the possibility of user-defined soil models. m2/year.


ψ = +0.05
Very Loose Silty Sand

Initial Void Ratio
Void Ratio, e 0.35 1 ft3 ( 0.03 m3)
2 ft3 (0.06 m3)
0.30 3 ft3 (0.09 m3)
4 ft3 (0.11 m3)
0.25 5 ft3 (0.14 m3)
7 ft3 (0.20 m3)

0 0.25 0.5 0.75 1 1.25 1.5

Radial Distance from Grouthole (m)

ψ = +0.00
Loose Silty Sand

Initial Void Ratio
0.35 1 ft3 ( 0.03 m3)
Void Ratio, e

2 ft3 (0.06 m3)

0.30 3 ft3 (0.09 m3)
4 ft3 (0.11 m3)
0.25 5 ft3 (0.14 m3)
7 ft3 (0.20 m3)

0 0.25 0.5 0.75 1 1.25 1.5

Radial Distance from Grouthole (m)

ψ = -0.10
Medium Dense Silty Sand

Initial Void Ratio
0.35 1 ft3 ( 0.03 m3)
Void Ratio, e

2 ft3 (0.06 m3)

0.30 3 ft3 (0.09 m3)
4 ft3 (0.11 m3)
0.25 5 ft3 (0.14 m3)
7 ft3 (0.20 m3)

0 0.25 0.5 0.75 1 1.25 1.5

Radial Distance from Grouthole (m)

FIGURE 7-3 Distribution of void ratio for differing initial states: very loose (ψ = +0.05), loose (ψ = +0.0), and
medium dense (ψ = -0.10) (Shuttle and Jefferies 2000).


This equation may be solved using the technique 7.3 IMPORTANCE OF MONITORING
of finite differences if it is, incorrectly but conve- GROUT INJECTION
niently, assumed that the soil–grout interface is
impermeable. The other information required for a Analysis and experiment are not the only means that
solution is the pore pressure distribution at the end of have progressed the understanding of grouting. Much
grouting. In reality, the excess pore pressure distribu- can be learned by use of modern instrumentation and
tion depends on the soil’s change in soil density and data acquisition systems during routine work.
its permeability. However, the interest here is only in Two key grout parameters are the injection
estimating the dissipation time relative to the time of pressure and grout flow rate. Ideally, these parameters
grout injection. Hence, a simple approximation is would be measured at the grout bulb. Practically,
adequate. A possible approximation is that the pore measurements at the hole collar usually have to
pressure at the end of grout injection is equal to the suffice with corrections for the effect of the head loss
grout pressure at the bulb, and the pressure reduces in or gain in the injection pipe below the collar. These
proportion to the inverse of the radial distance from types of measurements are now routine in fractured
1 rock cement grouting, and the ability to monitor and
the injection casing (i.e., u ∝ ).
r display these grout parameters in real time has
For soils that are partially drained during grout- allowed developments such as the grouting intensity
ing, the density of the soil changes during the consoli- number (GIN) method (Lombardi and Deere 1993).
dation process. To analyze this effect, more complex But more important, this type of grout data provides a
analyses, which include a realistic soil model, large direct measure of the ground response to the grouting,
strains, and coupling of the stress–strain and pore and analysis of the grouting records allows much
pressure response (i.e., Biot 1941), are required. No better control of the work.
analytical solutions exist, and numerical solution is
The effect of grouting under fully drained and 7.4 CENTRIFUGE MODELING
fully undrained conditions is illustrated in Fig. 7-4
(Kovacevic et al. 2000). The contractive volumetric Although many full-scale test trials have been under-
strain under drained loading is much greater than taken to explore the compaction grout process, depth
that achieved by undrained loading followed by of confinement has been limited to less than 20 ft
consolidation. Partial drainage would achieve an because of the practical excavation depth to extricate
intermediate amount of densification during compac- the grouted masses. One possibility to explore the
tion grouting. mechanics of compaction grouting within sensible
experimental constraints is the geotechnical centri-
fuge, and this approach has been followed by Nichols
and Goodings (2000a and 2000b).
The geotechnical centrifuge enables small models
(typically about 500 mm) to be constructed in a
laboratory and yet still be tested at prototype stress
levels. The model allows for depth effects to be seen
and the mechanics of grouting to be understood by
stopping experiments at different stages and exhuming
the grout bulb. However, the expense and effort of
centrifuge testing ensure that it will never be a routine
design tool and that the contributions will be focused
on providing insights on a research basis.
Centrifuge studies of compaction grouting to date
FIGURE 7-4 Finite element analysis assuming might be described as preliminary because attention
plane stress and plane strain. Volumetric strains has concentrated on development of bulb geometry,
after drained expansion and after undrained and the range of parameters explored is less than
expansion and consolidation. Expansion from comprehensive. Important aspects, such as grouting
r = 0.1 m to r = 0.6 m (Kovacevic et al. 2000, with pressures and achieved densification, are only begin-
permission). ning to be evaluated.


The limitations of centrifuge work include the full-scale injections, has occurred since the mid-
problems of grain size; production compaction grouts 1950s. These tests have included test injections that
are not used in the tests. The existing full-scale were totally extracted, as well as evaluations of
experience suggests a strong influence of grain size injected masses from more than 50 actual projects.
distribution of the grout on its effectiveness, and there Although not directly related to design, these field
is the possibility that the ratio of grout to ground trials have greatly enhanced our understanding of how
elastic stiffness may be an important parameter compaction grout behaves under real field conditions.
controlling the stability of the grout bulb. Consider- More details on field trials may be found in the
able caution is warranted in the simple scaling up of literature, including Brown and Warner (1973),
centrifuge results. However, notwithstanding these Warner and Brown (1974), Warner (1992), Warner
difficulties, centrifuge testing does allow ready et al. (1992), and the ASCE Special Publications on
exploration of some issues, and the work to date has grouting (Borden et al. 1992, Vipulanandan 1997, and
shown that grouting can be successfully done within Krizek and Sharp 2000).
the centrifuge.


Full-scale injection, followed by excavation and visual

observation, as well as testing of several hundred


8.1 OVERVIEW OF VERIFICATION should be set in the design, they should also be
PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT adjusted during construction, as called for by the
actual injection behavior, for proper control of the
The success or failure of a grouting job is related to work. Because the soil may not be uniform and
human as well as technical factors. It is most impor- variations are not always predictable, there always
tant that before grouting (1) the problem has been remains some risk that the grout may find its way to
defined in detail to the satisfaction of everyone some unintended location. However, this occurrence
involved, (2) agreement has been reached on the crite- should be discernible by careful observation of the
ria that define success or failure, and (3) data that may grout rheology, pumping rate, and pressure behavior
be necessary for before and after comparisons are during injection. The success or failure of a grouting
gathered before grouting starts (ASCE Committee operation can usually be determined as the work
on Grouting 1995). proceeds through careful monitoring combined with
Before the grouting job is started, the existing prompt corrective action when indicated.
conditions should be defined, as well as the desired When the purpose of grouting is to add strength
effect of the grouting, in sufficient detail that condi- (or stability) to a formation, there is generally no way
tions representing a satisfactory solution to the to judge success by simply observing the ground
problem can also be specified. The owner, design surface visually. During the injection and when the
engineer, and grouting contractor should agree on the grouting operation is completed, comprehensive
specific purpose of grouting, the conditions that define records of grout take, grout hole location, injection
success or failure, and the tests, observations, and/or depths, rates, and pressure behavior, along with other
data that can be used to verify the grouting results. construction data, are valuable tools and in many
Grout formulations, injection rates, pumping pres- cases may be sufficient indicators of the proper
sures, and grout takes for each stage of each hole placement of grout. The increase in soil strength or
should be continuously monitored, recorded, and some indirectly related soil parameter is often
evaluated, and appropriate changes should be based measured to confirm the degree of improvement in the
on the data retrieved during the work. soil strength.
The most important task to verify controlled It is often assumed that if the grout sets in the
injection of the intended quantity of grout in the desired location, the job is successful. Under this
required location is vigilant observation of the assumption, success of the grouting operation can be
injection rate and pressure behavior during grouting. measured by field procedures that verify the grout
This observation must be combined with immediate location. Methods that measure the change in electri-
adjustment of the pumping parameters when loss of cal conductivity or acoustic response have been
control of the injection is indicated. A substantial researched with positive results. However, these
advantage of compaction grouting is the ability to methods require specialized equipment and expert
place grout in the intended location. When grout of personnel. On particularly important work, and
proper rheology is injected in an appropriate manner, depending on the site conditions and application,
the grout forms an expanding, generally consistent these methods may be justified.
mass. Should hydraulic fracturing occur, it is clearly Unknown or unanticipated underground condi-
indicated by a sudden drop in pressure, which is a tions may adversely affect grouting performance.
signal to reduce the injection rate and check the Detailed geotechnical investigation is the best method
grout rheology. to avoid unnecessary surprises. However, it is
The soil into which the grout is injected (referred unreasonable to assume that any level of investigation
to as the formation) is opaque to human vision, so the can identify every possible situation. This fact is why
flow of grout into or through the formation cannot be a thorough monitoring program during injection is so
monitored by direct observation. The final location of essential. Careful monitoring and evaluation of
grout is controlled to some degree by the practices grouting parameters during the course of the work can
and procedures used. Although the grout mixture, enable previously unknown conditions to be identified
stage sizes, rates of injection, and other parameters and treated appropriately.


A good overview on how to plan an effective need to protect instrumentation left in place. Include
verification program is given by the ASCE Committee redundant equipment in high hazard areas. Consider
on Grouting (1995). the construction site environment and its effect on the
proposed equipment and tests where necessary. If a
test section is desired, include it in the specification
8.2 PLANNING AN EFFECTIVE PROGRAM and include verification testing for the test section.

8.2.1 Goals of Verification 8.2.3 Test or Preconstruction Grouting

In planning an effective program, the properties to be On large or sensitive projects, preconstruction grout-
measured must be clearly defined. Verification of ing is an efficient way of optimizing the grouting
compaction grouting typically involves indirect procedures and can be cost-effective. On most proj-
methods that are correlated to density. The cost of any ects, a full preconstruction program is not warranted.
method of verification should be balanced against the However, every project benefits from reviewing the
benefit to be gained. information gathered during the first few grout holes
Poorly defined verification goals can lead to to see if grout hole spacing, grout pressures, and
confusion. If verification is provided as an after- grouting rates could be adjusted to improve the
thought without a clear goal, disputes can arise end result.
concerning whether the grouting has been successful. Where used, test grouting should include the
For compaction grouting, these questions should be same verification measures intended for the produc-
answered: tion grouting. Excavated test pits may be used to
calibrate and verify the results of indirect tests. The
• What degree of densification is required?
project schedule should include sufficient time for the
• How will the verification test results be
completion and evaluation of the test grouting before
production grouting. It is of much less value to get the
• What is the acceptance criteria?
verification report indicating unacceptable areas after
• What are the consequences of failure?
the grouting contractor has demobilized from the site
• What is the cost for the verification?
than to get real-time data.
Other questions may arise, such as those about
the timeliness of the results and how the verification 8.2.4 Monitoring During Construction
fits into the construction sequence. Monitoring during grouting is essential to verify
Well-defined verification goals arise from the proper performance. As a minimum, the grout consis-
answers to all of these questions. A good verification tency, injection rate, injection pressure, and injected
program is cost effective, provides an appropriate volume in each stage should be monitored and
level of assurance, provides results in a reasonable recorded. These data should be reviewed to evaluate
time frame, and uses the simplest, most reliable the ground and grouting performance. Injection pres-
technology possible. sures are lower, and injected volumes higher, in softer
or less dense areas. Secondary injections should show
8.2.2 Verification by Design lower volumes and higher pressures because of the
The time to begin the verification program is in the improvement induced by primary injections. A
planning stages of the project. Verification methods uniform pressure buildup at a given pumping rate
should be selected consistent with project goals, and indicates generally uniform soil conditions and con-
engineers should incorporate the verification into the trolled densification. Gradual pressure changes indi-
design and constructability evaluation. Specifications cate nonuniform soil, whereas a sudden pressure drop
should be established for the grouting, monitoring, signals hydraulic fracture of the formation and loss of
and verification testing to provide the required level control of the injection. Should the grout enter an
of quality assurance. It is important to consider inter- underground conduit or structure, a rapid pressure
ruptions to the grouting that may occur and to allow drop is typically followed by a steady increase in
for before and after testing if needed to measure pressure. Additional split-spaced holes may be used to
improvement. verify the success of secondary grouting.
The verification equipment and procedures should The drilling or driving of grout injection pipes
be made integral to the grouting program and other should also be used as a tool to evaluate the grouting.
construction activities on the site. Where before and Drilling or driving encounters greater resistance in
after testing involves instrumentation, consider the improved soils or when encountering grout. Drill


FIGURE 8-1 Time history of measured pressure and flow during compaction grouting (Geraci 2007).

cuttings give evidence of the presence of previously of grouting. These methods include primarily mechan-
placed grout. ical and geophysical methods. The focus of these
More advanced compaction grouting has adopted methods is to determine the improvement in the sub-
electronic monitoring and computer-based data surface density after grouting. Some of these methods
acquisition. The equipment is essentially the same as are nonintrusive and/or nondestructive and can be
that used for cement grouting: a flowmeter, electronic used without disturbing or damaging the grouted area.
pressure transducers, and a PC-based data acquisition The nondestructive methods generally are indirect and
system. Electromagnetic flowmeters, which are often require interpretation of the desired information from
used with suspension grouts, however, require the some other measured property.
grout to be saturated for accurate measurement, so The remainder of the chapter includes a selection
ultrasonic flowmeters are required. The data acquisi- of currently available methods for determining the
tion usually involves an external analog-to-digital performance of grouting.
converter providing a signal through the RS232 port
to a PC running a Microsoft Windows-hosted data
acquisition program.
The compaction grouting data can be analyzed to 8.4 DETECTING MOVEMENT
understand the progress of compaction to understand
the effect of changes to grout flow rates and injection Selection of a method for detecting movement is
pressures, and to control the introduction of additional related to the type of movement to be measured.
holes. Garner et al. (2000) and Warner et al. (2003) Movement types consist of differential shear, exten-
describe the use of near-real-time analysis in this way sion and contraction, and elevational and angular dis-
for the remediation of the Bennett Dam. Additionally, tortion. The selection of measurement method is
monitored injection pressures and grout flow rates based on an evaluation of accessibility, required accu-
could provide early warning of surface heave (see racy and response time, and cost. Dunnicliff (1993)
reduction in pressure with constant grout flow rate presents a comprehensive discussion of the various
between e and f in Fig. 8-1). movement monitoring devices and the basis for their
use. Because there is such a wide variety of instru-
ments, only a brief discussion of instruments common
8.3 VERIFICATION METHODS to grouting applications is included herein. The reader
is directed to the literature for further information on
A wide variety of testing methods can be used to movement monitoring (e.g., Neff et al. 1982; Patel
measure either directly or indirectly the performance et al. 1982; and Warner 1982).


FIGURE 8-2 Simple crack width monitoring devices (Warner 2004, courtesy of John Wiley & Sons).

8.4.1 Crack Monitors calipers, or grid crack monitors, can be used. All of
Grouting is often used to control or mitigate damage these devices are generally inexpensive. The choice of
to structures or to prevent movement between adja- method is made on the basis of required accuracy and
cent structures. Monitoring movement on flat struc- span. Where measurement is required across a gap of
tural surfaces is generally far less expensive than more than a few millimeters, pins and either tape or
subsurface monitoring. Where the location of the an extensometer are appropriate. The pins should be
movement is controlled by structural joints, cracks, placed in pairs diagonally to the crack or joint to
or other zones of weakness, measurement can be measure shear. The installation of the pins may
made by simple means, such as placing a pencil tick damage architectural surfaces, and this problem
on either side of the defect, of which the distance should be considered when selecting the mounting
between can be periodically measured. Even better method. For most grouting operations, measurements
is attaching a card or stick on one side that extends are needed only for a short time. Thus, use of pencil
across the joint. Any movement can be observed or paint marks is every bit as effective, plus these can
by offset of a pencil mark on the device, which indi- be removed without marring the surface. Electronic
cates the original opening. Alternately, rulers can extensometers or convergence gauges can be used for
be placed across the joint in a similar manner, special applications where continuous monitoring is
usually with one side of the defect at a major required via a recorder or telemetry for remote
distance graduation. The beginning measurement of monitoring.
the free side is recorded, and any movement can be
observed by the change in measurement. Although it 8.4.2 Tiltmeters
does not give an exact value of the movement, simply Tiltmeters measure angular movement or rotation of
placing a piece of duct tape across a crack or joint can surfaces. A simple tilt measurement is to measure
give a signal that movement has occurred. Should the horizontal deviation over the length of a plumb line or
defect open, one side of the tape will be torn free. spirit level. More sophisticated devices, such as the
Should the defect close, a belly in the tape will be portable inclinometer and electronic tiltmeters using
formed. Figure 8-2 illustrates these simple crack accelerometers or vibrating wire technology, are also
monitors. available. Both accelerometers and vibrating wire
Although they are not common in grouting, instruments can be set up to be permanently mounted
where precise measurement is required, mechanical and read remotely. Tiltmeters are used primarily for
crack gauges, including pins and tape, pins and detection and control of structure movements induced


FIGURE 8-3 Gauge block to check for surface

movement under string line.

during grouting, but they may also be used to assess FIGURE 8-4 Plumb line suspended from top of
structural movements after grouting. structure. Note mark on bracket.

8.4.3 String Lines, Plumb Bobs, and Spirit Levels

A simple string line drawn tightly across the area of
interest is unquestionably simple yet is an effective
method to detect differential movement. The line must
be firmly anchored on both ends, which must be
beyond the zone of influence of the grouting. This
restriction is not much of a problem because nylon
line, such as that used for masonry, can be easily
stretched for 30 ft or more without any sagging. The
line is preferentially positioned about 25 mm (1 in.)
off of the surface, and changes in the gap are mea-
sured with a gauge block equal in height to the origi-
nal gap, as illustrated in Fig. 8-3.
Common plumb bobs and carpenter’s levels are
useful for monitoring structures. Vertical tilt can be
observed from a changing position at the bottom of a
plumb line suspended from the top of a structure. The
line is best held out from the surface a few inches at
the top and a bracket fixed to the surface at the base.
A mark indicating the starting position should be
placed on the bracket, as illustrated in Fig. 8-4. A FIGURE 8-5 Carpenter’s level wedged to a level
carpenter’s level can be placed on virtually any near position across pavement joint.
horizontal surface or across a joint, as shown in Fig.
8-5. A wedge is conveniently placed under the low
end so that the instrument is absolutely level, with the used. Fluid levels consist of a reservoir and one or
bubble perfectly centered. Any change in level can more measurement tubes. The system operates on the
thus be easily observed. The value of any movement principal that a fluid seeks the same level as the reser-
can be ascertained by measuring the distance required voir in the tube. With a scale attached, they can be
to relevel the instrument by lifting the low end. used to measure relative elevation between the tube
location and the reservoir. These levels are commonly
8.4.4 Fluid Levels used in compaction grouting and slab jacking to
For active short-term monitoring of structural or monitor lift and contour floors, as well as to monitor
ground surface level changes, a fluid level can be for ground heave. Figure 8-6 illustrates examples of


FIGURE 8-6 Examples of manometer tube terminals.

such use. On the left, a terminal tube has simply been

fixed to the wall of a structure with masking tape,
with an adjacent ruler to measure any changes in
water level. The water is colored red, enhancing its
visibility. This color is easily accomplished with food
colors. In the center, a worker observes the water
level in a tube attached to a post supported by a
stand on the ground surface, and on the right, a
worker is placing a mark on the tube, indicating the
starting water level against which any changes will
be based.
Fluid levels are generally quite accurate but can
be affected by air bubbles in the lines, so it is best to FIGURE 8-7 Rotating laser level for heave
keep them filled at all times. That is the purpose of monitoring. Courtesy of Moore & Taber, a division
the golf tee in Fig. 8-6, shown hanging from a string of Layne Christensen Company.
attached to the top of the tube shown on the left. It is
used as a plug to retain the water when the system is
not in use. Care should be taken when using fluid
levels for long-term applications because evaporation, during construction to establish planar surfaces of
fluid degradation, freezing, and other factors can structures, slabs, or the ground surface. Although laser
affect their accuracy. instruments indicate a change of position, they do not
provide a direct measure of the magnitude of such
8.4.5 Rotating Laser Levels movement, so where rotating laser levels are used
Rotating laser levels (Fig. 8-7) consist of a rotating they should be backed up with other devices, such as
laser beam that impinges on one or more target a surveyor’s level. The degree of accuracy of these
prisms. The prisms are placed on stands or attached to instruments varies greatly, and those commonly used
structures and set to the level of the rotating beam. An in construction are usually not of sufficient accuracy
audible sound emanates from any target that moves for compaction grouting, where the detection of even
out of the laser plane. This method is typically used minute heave is required.


8.5 EVALUATING DENSITY CHANGES (8–18 in.) of the soil. Downhole versions of the
nuclear density probes can be used at any depth in a
Compaction grouting, as defined in this guide, borehole to measure density below grade within 100
increases the density of the soil. Density changes can to 200 mm (4–8 in.) of the borehole. However,
be measured by comparing the in situ density before because of the requirement for borings and the high
and after grouting. The density testing method and total cost, nuclear testing is reserved for special
density standard should be consistent with the applications and not frequently used with compaction
expected range of improvement of the grouting. Com- grouting.
paction grouting increases the density of the soil sur-
rounding the mass of grout injected. The soil density 8.5.1 Penetration Resistance
between grout bulbs is not uniform. The consistency of a soil is commonly evaluated by
Direct methods of density determination include pushing or pounding a probe into the soil and measur-
the sand cone test, the rubber-balloon test, the drive ing the force needed to advance the probe. There are
cylinder test, and for coarse soils, the sleeve method two basic approaches: static and dynamic. The static
test. Other direct methods, such as weighing cut block methods advance a probe by applying a static force to
samples and the like may also be feasible depending the probe to advance it. The dynamic methods apply
on the nature and cohesive strength of the grouted an impact of known energy and count the number of
soil. All of these methods, except possibly the drive impacts needed to advance the probe.
cylinder test, can only be performed on the ground
surface or in a test pit so that they are seldom used in Cone Penetrometer Test
connection with compaction grouting. The most The most common static method is the cone penetra-
difficult aspect of density testing below the ground tion test (CPT). The CPT is often termed quasistatic
surface is obtaining an undisturbed volume of soil. because the force is measured while the probe (cone)
Direct methods for density testing at depth are only is being advanced at 10 to 20 mm/s (0.4–0.8 in./s).
appropriate for soils that possess sufficient cohesion to There are many variations of the CPT, but most tests
hold together during sampling. differ in the method of measuring the applied force
Indirect methods for evaluating soil density and differentiating between the side friction and end
include the standard penetration test (SPT), cone bearing of the probe. Historically, the two main types
penetration test (CPT), dilatometer test (DMT), of CPT devices were the mechanical cones and the
pressuremeter test (PMT), nuclear density test, and electronic cones. Although the mechanical cone is still
seismic methods. Seismic methods have been shown in use, nowadays the electronic cone is more
to be effective in measuring changes in soil density common. Both cones typically have conical points
where inclusions make up a relatively small propor- with a 60° angle and a projected area of 10 cm2
tion of the soil volume, but they should be correlated (1.55 in.2). Modern CPT friction cones have a friction
with physical tests (Byle et al. 1991). sleeve that is the same diameter as the conical tip.
Both CPT and SPT (Tokoro et al. 1982; Welsh The force needed to slide this sleeve through the hole
1986; and Salley et al. 1987) have been used to created by the tip is measured. The mechanical cones
evaluate densification by compaction grouting. use push rods to first push a tip section and then the
Density is commonly related to penetration resistance friction sleeve into the ground. Electronic cones use
for natural soils. Welsh (1986) indicates that typically strain gauges and/or load cells to measure the force
a three- to five-fold improvement in the SPT N value in lieu of the hydraulic pressure acting on the rods.
can be obtained up to N = 25, and CPT penetration The electronic cone can typically measure friction
resistance increases from 8 to 15 MPa are reported. and tip resistance simultaneously. Most of the
Downhole nuclear density testing has been used modern cones now also include inclinometers and
but is not commonly available, nor is it required for piezometers for additional data on alignment and pore
most applications. However, when properly calibrated, pressures. Many cones also include options such as
the nuclear density test generally gives reliable geophones for seismic testing (e.g., to obtain the
measurements of soil density. Partos et al. (1982) elastic shear modulus of the ground), electrodes for
found the downhole nuclear density probe to provide resistivity testing, or infrared equipment for identify-
repeatable testing at the same locations during the ing organic compounds and other contaminants
grouting that could not be achieved with the SPT. (Bratton et al. 1995).
The conventional nuclear testing gauge can be CPT data consist of force measurements for tip
used to measure density of the upper 200 to 450 mm resistance versus depth. Friction cones provide


additional friction resistance data. The results of the probe. Also, probe test results become increasingly
cone resistance, friction resistance, and the ratio difficult to interpret with increasing depth because the
between friction and cone resistance are plotted side lateral resistance of the soil increases and becomes the
by side at the same scale versus depth. These data can major factor in probe resistance.
be interpreted to derive soil parameters. By comparing
the test results before and after grouting, the improve- 8.5.2 Excavation and Coring
ment can be calculated. Excavation of pits or shafts to directly observe the
The CPT has advantages of being relatively location and shape of the grout masses is a useful tool
quick, low cost, and providing almost continuous data for research and establishing that proper injection
over the full depth of the probe. Disadvantages are the parameters have been used. Because of its expense
CPT cannot penetrate very hard or dense materials, and the fact that inappropriate injection can be deter-
such as rubble, large gravel, and hardened grouts, and mined from observation of the injection rate and pres-
the CPT evaluates only a relatively small plan area. sure behavior during grouting (as discussed in Section
8.1), they are seldom used for production grouting. Dynamic Penetration Test Methods
Dynamic methods are among the oldest and simplest
methods in use. Dynamic penetration tests using 8.6 GEOPHYSICAL METHODS
cones or other types of probes enjoy wide use, but the
standard penetration test (SPT) is probably the single Geophysical test methods measure physical properties
most widely used method of evaluating soil. The SPT of the ground. Commonly, these properties include the
(see ASTM Standard D1586) uses a 63.5-kg (140-lb) shear wave velocity, electrical resistance or conductiv-
hammer falling through 0.76 m (30 in.) to drive a ity, gravitational properties, and radar reflectivity. The
35-mm inside diameter split-barrel sampler. The most common geophysical methods are seismic, elec-
number of hammer blows is recorded to advance the trical, electromagnetic, acoustic emissions, and micro-
sampler 0.15 to 0.3 m (6–12 in.). The resistance gravimetric methods.
values are indicative of the soil stiffness or relative At the present time, geophysical methods are not
density and are locally correlated with a variety of widely used on compaction grouting projects. Bore-
soil properties. The method is typically used in bore- holes are generally required for subsurface condition
holes. A disturbed sample of the soil is obtained evaluation, and evaluation of geophysical results
and can be visually examined or submitted to labora- usually requires expert interpretation. Typically the
tory testing. To obtain reliable and repeatable soil particular geophysical method must also be calibrated
properties, it is strongly recommended that the SPT to other, more direct tests. It is thus expensive, and
results be corrected for stress level and the energy the results are subject to question. Hence its use is
of the equipment (see ASTM Standard D4633 limited to important projects, and generally only in
for details). combination with other methods.
Many other dynamic penetration tests are
available, including smaller handheld penetrometers,
some of which provide samples. Correlations for these 8.7 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
other penetrometers are not so widely available and
may need to be developed for each application. For There is no substitute for good engineering and a
some large projects, it may be feasible to consider qualified contractor. Even so, conditions present under
developing correlations for use of lighter penetrom- the ground surface may not be as expected. Verifica-
eters where only shallow testing is needed. tion testing is an essential part of achieving the
Penetrometers evaluate only the material in the desired performance of grouting. Because we cannot
immediate vicinity of the point of the probe or see through the ground, we must use various tech-
sampler, and therefore the boring method can influ- niques to derive the information we desire using non-
ence the results of penetration tests. Methods such as visual means. No single method can guarantee a
jetting, or wash borings, can disturb the soils to a successful grouting project. A combination of thor-
significant depth below the sampling point, which ough exploration before design, sound engineering,
may cause spurious penetration values. continuous quality monitoring, and evaluation of the
Probe tests give acceptable results in fine-grained grout injection rate and pressure behavior (including
soils. They cannot be used in soil formations contain- maintenance of good records during construction) is
ing rock particles large enough to deflect or halt the needed to provide an effective product.


The most common verification testing for strength review of grouting parameters recorded during
is the simplest. The standard penetration test (SPT) secondary and subsequent split-spaced holes. Noting
is used extensively despite its limitations. Cone increases in the pressure achieved or reduction in the
penetration tests (CPTs) are also used frequently volume injected to reach refusal is a positive indica-
and are gaining popular acceptance. And of course, tion of success. As a project progresses, these types of
continuous monitoring and evaluation of the injection indicators can often be correlated with postgrouting
parameters during grouting is essential. One of the SPT and CPT run for verification.
most effective tools for evaluating success is often the

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Compaction grouting is a type of limited-mobility and highly skilled performance and can be beyond the
grouting in which densification of soils is the major abilities of normal crews. An ancillary benefit of such
objective. This section summarizes a range of engi- lifting can be the reduction of structural stresses,
neering situations in which compaction grouting has which can be accumulated during initial deformation.
commonly been used. Compaction grouting is equally
effective in dry or saturated conditions and has even 9.1.1 Soil Improvement under Existing Structures
been applied under water. In addition to densification Compaction or densification can be applied for reme-
of loose soils, the concept can also be applied to col- diation of soils beneath an existing structure to
lapsible soils. improve its load-carrying capacity. A requirement
Typically, compaction grouting is applied in for higher bearing loads is often associated with reno-
connection with one of two objectives: to fix soil that vations or additions to structures. A renovation,
has failed under a structure or to improve soil before although not necessarily increasing the bearing loads,
construction. However, the applications can also be may require higher bearing capacities to comply with
categorized by the project to which compaction today’s more stringent building codes. Additions to
grouting is applied. In this application definition, the existing buildings often increase the loads carried by
use of compaction grouting for settlement correction the already loaded soil, and if the ground is not densi-
and liquefaction mitigation comprise about 90% of fied to increase its stiffness, settlement of the existing
current total usage. structure may result.
In this chapter, the applications have been
broadly organized into those applications for which 9.1.2 Deep Foundations
preventing additional settlement is usually the main The benefits of densification associated with compac-
objective and those for which soil improvement tion grouting are not limited to shallow foundation
before construction is of primary importance. systems. Injection of grout at the base of a pile may
The list of possible applications given is not enhance the end bearing of the element by densifica-
exhaustive, and the reader is encouraged to review the tion of the soil beneath the pile, as well as by increas-
case history literature for other successful compaction ing the bearing area. Furthermore, densification of the
grouting applications. soils surrounding piles along their length can increase
the lateral stresses and the side friction capacity. This
same process can be, and has been, applied to large-
9.1 SETTLEMENT CORRECTION diameter drilled shafts to enhance their capacity.

By far the widest use of compaction grouting is for 9.1.3 Improving Collapsible Soils
improving soil in place to mitigate settlement damage. In this application, the breakdown of the soil structure
The procedure is particularly suited for such work results in a significant reduction in strength until the
because the grout pump can be located some distance density is improved. Therefore, compaction grouting
away and only small equipment is needed at the injec- should only be considered in collapsible soils where
tion site, which allows application in even the most the reduction in strength can have no detrimental
restricted spaces (Fig. 9-1). effect on any adjacent structures nor adversely affect
Controlled lifting is typically accomplished by the stability of the site.
connecting a single pump to a successive series of Damaging surface settlements in areas of collaps-
injection points and sequencing for maximum desired ible soils can often result from inadvertent or acciden-
effect. Although rarer, multiple injections can also tal introduction of water to the subsurface through
be made using several pumps to provide more pipe leaks or localized surface absorption, especially
uniform jacking. in traditionally arid climates. Compaction grouting has
By continuing to inject grout after observing been successfully applied in such cases as a settle-
initial surface movement, controlled grout lift can be ment mitigation measure, although practical grouting
used to jack structures to level or improved elevation treatment may be limited to the “wetted” subsurface
gradients. Such jacking requires careful monitoring plume where weakly cemented soil structure has


FIGURE 9-1 Compaction grouting can be performed in even the most restricted spaces. Source for right
photo: Warner 2004, courtesy of John Wiley & Sons.

already been compromised by moisture intrusion. An 9.2.2 Soil Improvement under

important consideration in these situations may Proposed Structures
involve assessing the risk for continued or additional Where site conditions for new construction dictate,
subsurface water intrusion and recommendations for ground treatment with compaction grouting beneath
mitigation measures as warranted. the entire structure or in the area of specific founda-
tion elements can be performed to improve soil condi-
9.1.4 Settlement Mitigation References tions and allow smaller foundation elements. In many
Examples of settlement correction for buildings docu- cases, compaction grouting treatment can represent a
mented in the literature include Engineering News significant measure of economy by eliminating the
Record 1977; Stilley 1982; Byle 1992; Lamb and need for deep foundations or structurally supported
Hourihan 1995; Akiyama et al. 1996; Wong et al. floor systems. Examples of this application include
1996; and Kling et al. 2003. Foundations for other densification of loose materials beneath foundations to
structures are discussed in Reed et al. 1998; Ali and limit settlement, improving loose soils to resist lique-
Geraci 2003; and Wehling and Rennie 2003. Deep faction potential, and densification of materials to
foundation repair is described in detail in Warner and improve strength properties.
Brown 1974 and Warner 1978. The repair of tunnels
is documented in Boghart et al. 2003. 9.2.3 Soft Ground Tunneling
Tunneling has also found uses for compaction grout-
ing. By increasing the density of the soil, and hence
9.2 PRECONSTRUCTION SOIL its stiffness, tunnel advancement may be facilitated
DENSIFICATION APPLICATIONS while associated surface settlement troughs are
reduced. Soil lost and/or disturbed by the tunneling
9.2.1 Liquefaction Mitigation operation can be replaced or densified as the heading
The recent wave of seismic code revisions and lifeline advances, precluding damaging settlement.
reliability improvements has resulted in a need for
methods to reduce liquefaction potential both under 9.2.4 Foundations Involving Lateral Loading
existing structures and for new construction. The Compaction grouting can improve the lateral resis-
densification associated with compaction grouting tance of piles and other foundations by increasing the
has proven to be an ideal tool to meet these needs density of the resisting soil. This increase in density
in many situations, especially where it is near or improves the soil’s shearing resistance. The increase
beneath existing structures or other sensitive infra- in density (or unit weight) of the soil also increases
structure elements. the mass of the passive wedge, increasing the lateral


load resistance. Increased soil stiffness associated 9.3 SINKHOLE REMEDIATION

with soil densification also reduces the deflection of
laterally loaded piles. Compaction grouting may also The low mobility of compaction grout makes it an
be used to improve soil around earth anchors to ideal material for remediation of sinkholes. The
increase their capacity when used as tiebacks for control of grout movement during injection allows
retaining walls. compaction grouting to be used on sensitive structures
Vertical compaction grout columns that are such as embankment dams (e.g., Garner et al. 2000).
restrained at the top and bottom and contain a piece Loose soil in sinkholes can be densified, and in Karst
of structural reinforcement have been used to compact formations the movement of the grout as a contiguous
the soil while resisting small lateral loads. Termed mass makes it efficient for filling voids.
compaction grout piles, these lightly reinforced piles Examples of sinkhole remediation using compac-
are most efficient if loaded axially in compression to tion grouting are given in Garner et al. (2000) and
maximize the compressive area of the pile and avoid Warner et al. (2003).
tensile cracking, for example, if they are constructed
as battered piles. To ensure adequate grout cover
around the reinforcement, these piles are usually of at 9.4 FURTHER INFORMATION
least 0.46-m (1.5-ft) diameter.
Compaction grouting should be used with care Compaction grouting has potential application where
around existing structures where grout injection may loose soils exist and an increase in soil density, with
induce increased lateral loadings. an associated increase in soil strength and stiffness, is
desirable. Many successful case histories have been
9.2.5 Preconstruction Soil documented in the literature, covering an extremely
Densification References wide range of engineering applications. A selection of
Examples of liquefaction mitigation using compaction these case histories can be found in the proceedings of
grouting are given in Warner 1981; Donovan et al. ASCE-sponsored specialty conferences on grouting
1984; and Mitchell and Wentz 1991. Two examples and ground improvement, most published as Geotech-
of soil improvement for soft ground tunneling using nical Special Publications. These references include
compaction grouting are given in Baker et al. 1983 Baker (1982); Byle and Borden (1995); Vipulanandan
and Borden et al. 1992. Soil improvement for soil (1997); Johnsen and Berry (1998); Krizek and Sharp
modification before structure construction is discussed (2000); and Johnsen et al. (2003).
for a die-forging operation in Partos et al. 1982.

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Appendix A

A.1.0 Scope of Work

Compaction grouting shall be performed generally as Define the scope of the project. If grout jacking of
depicted on the plans, outlined in these specifications, settled improvements is to be included, so state and
and as directed by the engineer. Changes may be provide final elevations and required tolerances. The
called for in both the exact layout and number of work can be done on a prescriptive or performance
grout holes as conditions encountered during the work basis. Prescriptive specifications should provide the
are evaluated. The purpose of the work is to densify pumping rate and the maximum pumping pressure
compressible soil within the specified work area. required. Performance requirements usually require
the soil to be improved to a given density, usually
based on either final SPT or CPT resistance values.
A.2.0 Access and Site Conditions
The contractor shall visit the site and independently Provide any restrictions of working time or area of
verify any access- or work-related restrictions. The work. Compaction grouting can be performed with
type and condition of the soil to be improved is delin- little interference to a facility’s normal operation, but
eated in the geotechnical report any restrictions should be clearly defined. Refer to
of_______________________ dated___________. plans if applicable. Available geotechnical data
should be provided to prospective contractors with the
plans and specifications. Because compaction grout-
ing adds considerable weight to the treated soil, it is
imperative to extend the grouting to a competent soil
or formational material. The anticipated depths
should be stated, and provisions for additional depth
to reach such a competent layer should be provided.
A.3.0 Treatment Area and Depth
The soils shall be grouted at the locations and to the Generally, a plan showing the anticipated grout hole
depths outlined in the plans and specifications. The locations is provided. Prospective contractors should
grout hole locations and depths are based on the avail- also be furnished with the available geotechnical
able geotechnical and structural exploration data; information. Information relative to the existence of
however, all grouting locations have not been buried rocks, boulders, abandoned foundations, or
explored in detail. The precise limits of the area to be other substructure should be included.
grouted and the exact location and required depth of
the individual grout holes are not positively known
but will be revealed as the work progresses. The engi-
neer at their discretion may move the location of the
proposed holes, change the proposed depths to be
grouted, add new holes, or eliminate some of the pro-
posed holes shown on the plans.

A.4.0 Subsurface Pipes and Utilities

The location of existing underground utilities is indi- In some jurisdictions, the responsibility for damage to
cated on the plans or will be marked on the surface utilities is governed by state or local law. The text in
before the work. Where available, the contractor shall Section 4.0 should be checked for consistency with the
verify utility locations before drilling by contacting presiding laws. Equity should be strived for in assign-
Utility Locate Service One-Call (811). For utilities not ing responsibility, and contractors should not be held
covered by this service, the owner shall be responsible responsible for substructure for which the location is
for identifying utility locations. The contractor shall unknown. Although specifications sometimes assign


protect identified utilities and repair at no cost to the all risk for such damage to the contractor, such risk
owner any utilities that are damaged if they are assignment comes at a high cost and is seldom in the
located within 2 ft of the identified location. The con- best interests of the owner. The use of a pipe-locating
tractor is not responsible for damage to utilities that specialist service should be considered where sub-
are not identified or that are located more than 2 ft structure exists.
distant from the identified location.
The contractor shall access existing sewer or drain The flow in wastewater pipes can usually be observed
lines both upstream and downstream of the area to be by accessing downstream manholes, cleanouts, or
grouted. Clear water shall be run into the upstream excavated inspection holes. Grout color shows in the
access and observed downstream so that any leakage fluid waste when grout enters the line and before
of grout into the line may be observed. Grout injec- complete blockage, allowing flushing from the pipe.
tion shall immediately stop on the appearance of
leakage into the line, and it shall be thoroughly
flushed out and cleared of any grout.

A.5.0 Materials
A.5.1 Grout Mixture
The grout mixture shall consist of cement, water, and Although using ASTM C143 as a guide, do not specify
aggregate. The slump shall not exceed 1.5 in. when slump determination as per the C143 test because it
measured using the ASTM C143 slump test cone. requires rodding of the grout as the mold is filled.
Such rodding results in holes in the somewhat cohe-
sive compaction grout mix.
A minimum of ___________% cement by weight of Most compaction grout includes from 6% to 12%
the aggregate shall be used. cement; however, cement is not required subject to
provision of enough fines in the aggregate to develop
the required pumpability.
The grout shall obtain a minimum unconfined com- The strength of the grout is of relatively little impor-
pressive strength of ______ lb/in.2 when tested in tance because the purpose of the injection is to com-
accordance with the requirements of ASTM C39. press and densify the adjacent soils. A common
requirement for compressive strength is 100 lb/in.2.
Specification of excessively high compressive
strengths provides little benefit and can add appre-
ciable cost. In many cases, no strength requirements
Additives such as concrete pumping aids, gums, for the grout might be preferable.
gelling agents, high-plasticity clay (e.g., bentonite), Regardless of slump, such additives can cause the
organic matter, or similar materials shall not be used. grout to behave in the ground as a fluid, resulting in
hydraulic fracturing and loss of control.
A.5.2 Cement
Cement shall be Type I or Type II as per the require- It is important to keep in mind the purpose of the
ments of ASTM C150. Other types of cement may be grout, which is to expand in a homogeneous mass to
used subject to the engineer’s approval. displace and compact the adjacent soils. High
strength is seldom required, so the properties of the
The cement can be delivered to the job site in bags or cement if used are of relatively little importance.
by bulk delivery. Bulk-delivered cement shall be
stored in appropriate silos or other containers spe-
cially designed for cement storage. Cement storage
facilities shall be subject to the engineer’s approval.
A.5.3 Aggregates
The grout aggregate shall consist of naturally occur- Proper grout aggregate gradation is fundamental to
ring, round-grained materials conforming to the grain satisfactory performance of compaction grouting. Use
size distribution shown in the envelope on Plate 1. of crushed or angular aggregates does not adversely
affect the properties of the hardened grout, but it can
result in pumpability problems. Such aggregates
should not be prohibited, but grout pumpability


should be the responsibility of the contractor and will

not be a problem with natural, round-grained
The inclusion of clay-size particles in the aggregate The presence of high-plasticity clay or excessive
shall be limited to 5% by mass (see Plate 1). The amounts of other clays in the grout may result in the
portion of the aggregate passing a No. 40 sieve shall loss of injection control and hydraulic fracturing of
not possess a plasticity index (PI) greater than 15 the soil. This problem is a common cause of compac-
when tested in accordance with ASTM D4318. tion grouting failures that must be avoided.
A.5.4 Water
Water shall be free of excessive amounts of salts and It is good to keep in mind that strength of the grout is
other impurities that adversely affect the set or hydra- usually of relatively little importance.
tion of the cement in the grout mixture, as specified
by ASTM C1602 Standard Specification for Mixing
Water Used in the Production of Hydraulic Cement

A.6.0 Drilling and Grouting Equipment

A.6.1 Drilling Equipment
Drilling equipment shall be capable of advancing the Some contractors prefer to drive a casing using a dis-
grout holes to the required depth through the existing posable plug on the bottom end that is knocked out
soil and rock materials, as well as any natural or man- before grout injection.
made obstructions. The term drilling herein used
shall include driving methods for casing placement.
Either rotary or rotary percussive drilling equipment
can be used.
Circulation flush shall be accomplished with water or Remnants of many drilling fluids and especially mud
air–water foam. The use of other drilling fluids or can result in hydraulic fracturing of the soil and loss of
mud shall be subject to the engineer’s approval. control of the grout injection when pressurized by the
grout. Compressed air is not efficient in damp or wet
conditions and can cause damage to the formation.
A.6.2 Grout Casing
The casing shall be a minimum of 1 3/4 in., maximum A larger casing has no adverse effect on the work but
of 3 in. internal diameter and possess sufficient is obviously heavier and more difficult to handle.
strength to withstand the drilling and driving, grout Grout may free-fall in casing greater than 3 in. inside
injection, and withdrawal forces required for the diameter, which can place undesirable static head
work. It shall have flush joints on both the interior pressure in the hole. Casing is normally withdrawn by
and exterior surfaces. The joints may be threaded or portable withdrawal jacks and manhandled. On deep
welded. The maximum casing joint length shall be or specialized applications, it might be handled by the
5 ft unless withdrawal is by the drill rig or similar drill rig or similar equipment.
equipment and real-time computer monitoring is being
used. In such a case, an additional pressure transducer
shall be provided at the header.
Any casing or holes lost because of broken or bent Casings occasionally bend, break, or become stuck,
casing, insufficient casing strength, or the contractor’s especially in deep holes and/or rocky conditions. Con-
inability to pull the casing shall be abandoned, and tractors are more likely to use adequate equipment
new replacement holes shall be drilled and grouted at and casing systems if they must bear the cost of such
the contractor’s expense. problems.
A.6.3 Casing Withdrawal System
The casing withdrawal system shall be capable of
withdrawing the casing in the required stages under
both normal and extraordinary conditions. Any hole
lost because of the contractor’s inability to pull the
casing shall be replaced with a new hole at the con-
tractor’s expense.


A.6.4 Grout Batcher/Mixer

The grout mixing system shall be capable of precisely Continuous production of a grout of uniform consis-
proportioning the mix constituents and blending them tency (slump) requires both high-quality and reliable
into a homogeneous grout of uniform consistency. It equipment and a competent operator.
shall be capable of continuously proportioning and
mixing the grout in sufficient quantity, without inter-
ruption caused by inadequate proportioning or
mechanical limitations.
Automatic volumetric proportioning and mixing Many manufacturers supply equipment complying
systems complying with the requirements of ASTM with these standards. Many grouting contractors use
C885 and/or ACI 304 shall be acceptable. Where homemade or in some cases obsolete batching units
used, automatic metering systems shall be calibrated that are not in compliance. The specifier is cautioned
in the presence of the engineer before the beginning to review both the standard and the equipment pro-
of grout injection and at any additional times required posed for use to ensure compliance.
by the engineer. Properly calibrated volumetric con-
tainers and scales required for proper calibration shall
be provided by the contractor.
Batch-type mixers may be used subject to provision Some contractors prefer to use batch-type mixers,
of an accurate means of proportioning the individual often in combination with a preblended grout material
grout constituents. furnished in bags.
A.6.5 Grout Pump
The pump shall be of the piston type and shall have a Larger cylinders result in inadequate velocity of the
grout pumping piston no greater than 4 in. in diam- grout through the system and allow for excessive
eter. It shall provide positive displacement of the leakage at the seals caused by their greater
grout and be capable of pumping at variable rates of circumference.
0.2 to 2 ft3/minute at continuous pressures of as much
as 1,000 lb/in.2
The pump shall be operated within specification and In some applications, greater pressure capability and/
capable of complete filling of the grout cylinders on or a greater or lesser pumping rate will be required.
each stroke. It shall be equipped with a force feed or Specify accordingly. Keep in mind that line friction
other mechanism as required to ensure such complete will result in a pressure loss within the delivery line.
filling. Short-stroking of the pump shall not be Line loss will typically be less than 2 lb/in.2 per foot
allowed, and any grout pumped during such malfunc- of flexible hose and 1 lb/in.2 per foot of rigid steel
tions shall be at the contractor’s expense. tube. It will be significantly higher for flexible hose
A remote off–on control for the pump shall be pro- when pumping pressure is above about 500 lb/in.2
vided at the grout injection point. An accurate system Small-line concrete pumps are most often used for
to measure the quantity of grout pumped at any time compaction grouting. These pumps usually are
interval shall be provided. The grout volume measur- equipped with long material cylinders. Although they
ing system shall be calibrated by the contractor each are quite adequate for plastic concrete, complete
day of pumping at the beginning of work and at any filling with the relatively sticky grout mix is often
other time that short-stroking or a change of the grout difficult.
pumping rate is suspected.
A.6.6 Grout Delivery Line
The grout delivery line shall consist of high-pressure Water tightness of the delivery line is essential. Even
flexible hose or a combination of hose and rigid pipe- a slow drip from a coupling can result in excessive
line and shall be watertight under pressure. It shall be water loss from the grout, resulting in downstream
a maximum of 2 in. in diameter. All components of plugs. Most compaction grouting uses 2-in. delivery
the delivery line, including coupling clamps, shall be line, but 1 1/2-in. lines have been successfully used.
in good condition and capable of handling the Larger lines result in insufficient grout velocity, which
pumping pressures to be used with a minimum safety delays the arrival of fresh grout to the header and
factor of 2. A pressure test of the delivery line to can contribute to line blockages. Flexible hose is
confirm its conformance herewith shall be performed subject to internal expansion at higher pressures,
as required by the engineer. wherein the grout extrusion increases in diameter,


resulting in high line loss as the expanded extrusion

encounters couplings or fittings that do not expand.
Premium steel braid hose should be used when
pumping pressures are greater than about 500 lb/in.2
A.6.7 Pressure Gauges
Pressure gauges shall be installed at the grout pump A 3-in. dial is about the smallest that can be readily
and at the grout header (top of hole casing). All read from a reasonable distance.
gauges shall be accurate and in good working order. Gauge readings are not accurate in the upper and
They shall be protected from grout intrusion by suit- lower 25% of the dial range.
able gauge protectors. Gauges shall have a minimum The primary purpose of the pressure gauges is to
dial diameter of 3 in., and the maximum pressure monitor for safe pressures and to observe pressure
range shall be not greater than 150% of the antici- trends. Extreme accuracy is not required.
pated maximum grout pressure. A sufficient number
of spare pressure gauges shall be maintained on the
job site, and any gauge of questionable accuracy shall
be promptly replaced.

A.7.0 Data Acquisition and Reporting

A.7.1 Logged Information
The contractor shall maintain and provide the engi- Pressure and rate of injection are directly related.
neer a continuous log delineating the drilling and The pressure increases with an increase of the injec-
grout injection parameters for each hole. Minimum tion rate and reduces as the injection rate is reduced.
data provided on the log shall include the following: Both values are of equal importance, and one without
the other is of limited usefulness.
Date(s) and time the hole was drilled.
The drilled depth.
Any obstructions encountered or unusual events
occurring during drilling.
Depth drilled and/or elevation of both the top and
bottom of the hole.
Date(s) and time grouting of the hole was started and
Injection pressure at the pump and at the hole collar
in 3-minute intervals from the time grouting starts.
The injected volume at each 3-minute interval.
Grout termination criteria.
Location and amount of any uplift or displacement of
any structure or the ground surface during grout-
ing, if any.
Notation of any other observations relating to the Knowing the time that events occur allows calculation
grouting. of the pumping rates, which are fundamental to
understanding the effectiveness of the work. Further-
The name of the person preparing the logs and the current
more, knowledge of the times of various events allows
date shall occur on all pages of the log, and the pages
analysis of the project execution and production
shall be numbered chronologically from the start of work.
should this be required after completion of the work.
The current time shall be noted at each log entry.
A.7.2 Real-Time Computer Monitoring
Where used, the primary pressure transducer shall be Some contractors tout proprietary software that only
located at the grout header immediately above the top they can open. Such software generally prevents the
of the casing. As a minimum, continuous plots of both engineer from opening, enlarging, or otherwise
pressure and injection rate shall be recorded in a time manipulating the data for optimal analysis. Off-the-
domain. Data shall be recorded in a format compatible shelf computer monitoring equipment is available on
with contemporary spreadsheet software, such as the open market.
Microsoft Excel, and shall be supplied to the engineer


in digital, and when requested printed, form. The con-

tractor should have a suitable printer on site for this
A.7.3 Daily Report
The contractor shall provide a daily report delineating
the activities for each day that their people are on the
job site. The log shall provide at minimum the
Hole numbers of holes drilled
Hole numbers of holes grouted
Materials received and time of delivery.
Names of any visitors and time on the job site. Knowing the quantities of material delivered to the
Details of any accidents, injuries, or other unusual job site allows a check of the payment quantities
events, including time. billed, as well as confirmation of the quantity of grout
actually injected. Product yield on the order of
Copies of receipts or delivery tickets for all materials
22–23 ft3 of grout per moist-delivered ton of silty sand
delivered to the job site shall be provided to the
aggregate is common.
A.7.4 Movement Monitoring System
The contractor shall provide instrumentation to
detect any movement of the ground surface or any
structure within a radius of 30 ft from any hole being
grouted. The monitoring devices shall be capable of
detecting movements of 1/16 in. or more in any
The instrumentation may include but is not limited to Resolution of measuring devices varies with required
string lines, telltales, manometers, lasers, and optical movement tolerance.
devices. Backup surveyor’s instruments shall be pro-
vided in such quantity as to allow evaluation of the
movement of all structures without the necessity of
moving the instrument during injection. The original
position of all structures shall be established before
grout injection by the placement of suitable markings
or targets thereon.
The contractor shall dedicate experienced and fully Appropriate monitoring is often lacking and is the
qualified personnel to monitor the instrumentation to frequent cause of damage during grouting.
prevent any damage to the site or structures. Any
damage that does occur because of insufficient instru-
mentation or monitoring effort shall be repaired or
replaced by the contractor at no cost to the owner.

A.8.0 Communication System

The contractor shall provide a communication system Lack of communication is another frequent cause of
that allows immediate voice contact between the damage during grouting.
people at the grout hole, pump operator, and monitor-
ing personnel. Any damage that occurs as a result of
lack of immediate communication shall be repaired or
replaced by the contractor at no cost to the owner.

A.9.0 Order of Work

In general, alternate primary holes shall be grouted
first, followed by the intermediate secondary holes.


A.10.0 Drilling
A.10.1 Establishing Grout Holes
The grout holes can be produced either by drilling or The exact method of effecting the holes is not signifi-
driving a temporarily plugged casing. The method cant in most work. On some projects, however, speci-
used shall be capable of penetrating rocks and other fication of the exact drilling method is in order. As an
obstructions. Regardless of the method used, the example, hydrocollapsible and other dry soils require
casing shall be in tight, intimate contact with the sur- moisture for compaction to occur. The requirement of
rounding soil of the resulting hole so that it is firmly a drilling method using water for the circulation flush
held in place and resistant to ejection from the can provide the necessary moisture.
grout pressure and/or leakage of grout around the
A.10.2 Hole Location
Hole locations shall be indicated on the plans. The Hole locations should be provided before drilling by
exact location, depth, and spacing of the grout holes is the contractor, owner, or engineer, depending on the
subject to change, as directed by the engineer during contractual arrangements.
the performance of the grouting program.
A.10.3 Control of Drilling Circulation Flush
Water or other circulation media shall be captured and Ponding of water and mud in the working area is a
directed to an approved disposal location. Ponding of big problem with some contractors. Excessive water
uncontrolled drilling flush or wastewater in the work ponding on the surface can penetrate and weaken the
area shall not be permitted. Settling tanks or other upper soils so as to compromise their ability to
devices to separate drill cuttings and other solids from restrain the grout forces. It also adversely affects the
the water shall be used when required. orderliness of the work and worker safety.
A.10.4 Water Injection
The injection of water into the drilled holes in addi- Dry soils may require additional water for adequate
tion to any remnant water from the drill circulation compaction. Contractors typically inject water to
may be required or prohibited by the engineer, loosen stuck drill steel or casing, and this usage must
depending on the exact soil conditions encountered. be reasonably controlled. The injection of excess
water can weaken large volumes of soil at depth,
resulting in unacceptable surface settlement.
A.10.5 Drilling Log
The contractor shall prepare a log of each grout hole, It is good practice to consider every hole an explor-
which delineates the nature of the geomaterial pen- atory hole. Although the acquiring of detailed infor-
etrated. The log shall include the depths of hard or mation is not practical during drilling of grout holes,
soft soil zones, any existing voids, reduction or loss of a cursory description of the materials and conditions
circulation flush, and encountering of rocks, boulders, encountered can add valuable information to the
or any other significant conditions. Copies of the logs known data.
shall be provided to the engineer on completion of
drilling of each hole.

A.11.0 Grout Injection

A.11.1 Depth Confirmation
The actual depth of the open grout hole shall be con- Occasionally, a driller’s depth records are incorrect.
firmed by measuring with a proper weighted measur- Additionally, caving or squeezing in of the holes can
ing tape immediately before connection of the grout occur before grout injection.
delivery line. The measured depth shall be noted. If it
is less than the planned depth, the hole shall be
redrilled to proper depth before grouting.
A.11.2 Sequence
The sequence in which the holes are drilled and The sequence in which the holes are injected has a
grouted is subject to the approval of, and may be profound influence on the success of the work and the
modified by, the engineer. Grout injection shall not be avoidance of further damage. Generally, perimeter
initiated into any hole within 12 ft of a hole grouted holes should be grouted before those on the interior.
within the previous 12 hours. Holes located on or near Zones that provide lesser lateral restraint, such as


a downslope of the treatment area, or near a retaining those near downslopes or retaining walls, should
wall or structure foundation element, shall be injected always be grouted first.
before holes that are located more distant from the
outer edge of the treatment area.
A.11.3 Grout Staging
Holes shall be injected in ascending stages, starting at Most contractors pull the casing in 1-ft increments,
the bottom and working upward. No stage shall be which is valid for many jobs. Upward heave of over-
injected until the immediately underlying stage has lying structures is a common refusal criterion.
been completed. Individual stage lengths shall be a Whereas the heave resulting from one grout stage is
minimum of 1 ft and a maximum of 4 ft high. insignificant, the cumulative heave of many stages can
be considerable. Where this heave might be undesir-
able, specification of larger grout stages is recom-
mended. The density improvement from the grouting
is not diminished as a result of stage lengths up to
about 4 ft. The stage length should consider the con-
tractor’s casing system, however. Stages of 1, 1.5, or
3 ft are appropriate where 3-ft lengths of casing are
being used, wheras 1 or 2.5 ft would be more reason-
able where 5-ft joints are used.
A.11.4 Access Requirements
Access to the mixing, pumping, and injection loca-
tions shall be provided to the engineer or their desig-
nated representatives at all times.
A.11.5 Injection Rate
The grout injection rate shall be as directed by the Contractors usually want to pump at the fastest rate
engineer. It is expected to be within a range of 0.5 possible to minimize the cost of the work. However,
and 2.0 ft3/minute and average 1.5 ft3/minute for the an excessively high pumping rate can promote early
entire work. An adjustment shall be made in the surface heave, negate effective densification, and lead
contract price if the average injection rate varies to hydraulic fracturing. Fine-grained soils require a
more than 25% up or down from the expected slower pumping rate than do coarse-grained deposits.
1.5 ft3/minute.
A.11.6 Grout Refusal Criteria
Grout injection into any stage of any grout hole shall
be discontinued if so directed by the engineer. Refusal
pressures shall be measured when injecting grout at
the approved injection rates. General refusal criteria
shall be any one of the following:

Pumping at a header pressure of 1,000 lb/in.2 or more Some grout holes develop high pressure at the start of
for a period of 3 minutes. injection but take grout freely at significantly lower
pressure after a few minutes of pumping. However,
such high pressures accompanied by no appreciable
grout flow may occur in tight formations or bedrock,
and injection pressure rapidly approaches the limit
of the delivery system, often well beyond 1,000 lb/in.2
A blockage in the casing would behave in a similar
manner, although the distinction can be made by
slightly withdrawing the casing (with the pump
stopped) and observing pressure response. A
slight drop in pressure on pulling the casing
corroborates the finding of a tight formation, and
the casing may then be withdrawn slowly until grout
begins to flow.


Sustained pumping at a header pressure of 500 lb/in.2 Most soils are effectively compacted at sustained
or greater. pressure within a range of 350 to 500 lb/in.2 at a rea-
sonable injection rate on the order of 1.5 ft3/minute.
However, pressure limitation criteria should generally
not be made until the work has started and injection
behavior in the actual job-site soils has been
observed. Higher pressures should be considered for
important or deep holes.
Unwanted displacement of an adjacent structure of Movement tolerance is very structure- and situation-
greater than 1/8 in. occurs. specific, and may also be constrained for contractual
(legal) as well as technical reasons. It is crucial that
the allowable movement tolerance be defined before
the grouting—and this is the owner’s responsibility
(usually determined by the structural engineer). As a
general guide, for brittle structures (those with little
tensile strength), tolerable vertical movements may be
as little as 1/32 in. and/or a differential movement as
little as 1 Vertical in 1,000 Horizontal. Grouting work
to this level of precision requires careful use of elec-
tronic monitoring systems, electrolevels in particular,
likely supplemented by electronic precision leveling
using an invar staff. Grouting near machinery (e.g.,
rolling mills) may require this level of precision or
more. Conversely, steel-framed buildings, as found in
light industrial use, are more movement tolerant, with
an allowable differential movement of 1 Vertical in
200 Horizontal, or about 1/4- to 1/8-in. vertical
deflection, and require less onerous movement control
during grouting.
Unwanted displacement of the ground surface of more Grout injection should cease at each stage as soon as
than 1/16 in. occurs during a grout stage. heave is detected at the ground surface to reduce the
likelihood of damage to adjacent structures and/or
dilation of the overlying soil. Surface heave from each
grout stage is cumulative, so that substantial total
heave can occur, even with close control of individual
stages. Initiation of 1/16 in. of surface heave can be
easily observed by a competent technician using
simple and relatively inexpensive instrumentation.
Holes with a large number of stages or in particularly
sensitive applications may require lower values,
although 1/32 in. is about the minimum that can be
visually detected with readily available equipment.
Conceivably greater surface heave may be tolerable,
or even desired, for some applications.
A grout volume of ________ ft3 has been injected. In reasonably uniform soil where the grout volume
required to obtain the required density can be rationally
determined, specification of an appropriate volume limi-
tation for the injection is advisable. In those situations
where the existing soil density is variable or where actual
voids might exist (such as nested boulders), widely
varying grout quantities can be injected and a volume
refusal criteria is usually not in order. In such cases, the
use of pressure criteria is usually more prudent.


A.11.7 Improperly Grouted Holes

Any grout hole that is lost or damaged, does not
reach the design depth, or is not continuously grouted
as a result of equipment deficiencies or mechanical
failure, inadequate control of the grout pipe (including
allowing the grout pipe to be expelled from the hole
because of insufficient restraint), inadequacy of the
grout mix, improper drilling, mixing, or injection
procedures shall be backfilled and replaced by
another, properly installed, hole at no cost to the
A.11.8 Grout Jacking
The existing ____________ structure(s) shall be Jacking of settled surface improvements is often per-
raised to the grades shown on the plans, further delin- formed during the compaction grouting work. Not all
eated in these specifications, or as directed by the contractors are suitably skilled at such lifting,
engineer. All lifting efforts shall be performed uni- however. Where lifting is to be accomplished, appro-
formly around the structure and in small increments priate specification provisions are requisite, as is
so as to limit further damage to the structure. selection of a contractor of proven ability. It is often
not necessary to return a structure to an absolutely
level position but rather simply to adjust the differen-
tial elevations such that they are not readily
A.11.9 Hole Completion
Completed grout holes shall be filled to the ground
surface with grout placed under a minimum pressure
of 5 lb/in.2

A.12.0 Site Maintenance and Restoration

A.12.1 Housekeeping
The contractor shall keep the site clean and tidy at all
times. Site improvements shall be protected from
damage or becoming soiled through suitable tempo-
rary covering. Spilled grout shall be promptly picked
up and moved to an appropriate waste storage area.
Hoses, delivery lines, and other items that are not in
immediate use shall be neatly stored in a manner that
will not impede the ongoing work. All trash shall be
collected and neatly stored for disposal. As soon as a
reasonable quantity of such waste material has gath-
ered, it shall be promptly removed from the site.
Water and waste grout resulting from cleaning of the
mixer and/or pump shall be promptly collected and
disposed of. Water shall not be allowed to pond in the
work area.
A.12.2 Site Cleanup
Upon completion of the work, all waste shall be Various levels of responsibility for site cleanup or
removed from the site and the site shall be left in a restoration may be assigned to the grouting contrac-
“broom-clean” condition. Any remnants of drilling tor, depending on its contractual role. At a minimum,
fluid or grout that have splattered on improvements the grouting contractor should remove excess mate-
shall be completely removed. Where suitable removal rial and waste and leave the site in a “broom-clean”
is not practicable, the affected areas shall be recoated condition.
or replaced to the satisfaction of the engineer.


A.13.0 Submittals
Before the start of work, the contractor shall submit to
the engineer the following information. No work shall
be commenced until the engineer’s approval of the
various submittals.
A.13.1 Grouting Plan
Description of all grouting equipment proposed for
use, including but not limited to mixers, grout
pumps, delivery lines, and appurtenances. Informa-
tion shall include the make, model, year manufac-
tured, and general condition for each item. If items
are to be rented, written verification shall be sub-
mitted that the unit will be available from the
renter. Inspection of the listed equipment may be
made before award of a contract.
A description of all equipment and instruments to be
used for surveys and monitoring of the ground
surface and adjacent structures during the work.
Names and qualification statements for all personnel
who will be working in the drilling, grouting, and
monitoring operations. This listing shall include all
drillers, mixer and pump operators, grout header
technicians, and all monitoring personnel. All listed
personnel must have a minimum of three years
continuous experience in similar grouting work.
A description of the drilling methods and equipment
to be used.
A description of the casing and casing withdrawal
system to be used, including a review of previous
experience in the use of such casing in similar soils
and to similar depths as the contemplated project.
Grout material sources, including grain size distribu-
tion and PI or hydrometer test results of the aggre-
gate to be used and the proposed mix design.
Methods and equipment for calibration of the propor-
tioning of the grout constituents.
Methods and equipment for calibration of the grout
quantity pumped and pumping rate.
Statement of proposed sequence of operations.
Description of grout injection operations.
Method of structural lifting and description of pro-
posed grout-jacking operations.
Copies of proposed drilling and grouting record forms.
A.13.2 Monitoring Procedures
General plan and description of proposed monitoring
Description and specifications of monitoring equip-
ment and instruments.
Proposed methods to obtain and record monitoring data.
Copies of proposed monitoring data forms.




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Wong, L., Shau, M., and Chen, H. (1996). York.
“Compaction grouting for correcting building

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ABAQUS code, 41 commercial finite element codes and, 41;

additions, to existing buildings, 55 consolidation of the in situ soil during and aftr
ASCE Grouting Committee of Geo-Institute, 99 grouting and, 41, 43; field trials and, 44; geometric
ASTM C143, 99 idealization and, 37; grout injection monitoring
ASTM D5578, 21 and, 43; large strain and, 39–40; numerical cavity
auger-type continuous mixers, 15, 16 expansion and, 40–42; simple approach to, 40
automatic metering systems, 62 compaction grouting applications: for preconstruction
soil densification, 56–57; for settlement correction,
batch-type mixers, 15, 62 55–56; sinkhole remediation, 57
Bennett, Marvin, 1 compaction grouting design: estimating grout
Bennett, Richard, 1 quantities and, 33–34; geometric idealization of
boreholes, 52 grout mass and, 27–28; grouting record and, 36;
injection sequence and, 32–33; injection spacing
carter.xls, 40 and, 33; investigations for, 24–26; limitations on
casing: pressure losses in, 32; requirements for, 61; grout injection and, 34–35; overview of, 27;
use of, 17–19 pressure losses in casing and, 32; pressure-volume
casing withdrawal system, 61 behavior of grout and, 31–32; pressure-volume
cavity expansion analysis, 40 behavior of in situ soil and, 30–31; refusal criteria
cavity expansion theory, 40 and, 36; site information for, 23; suitability of in
cement, 60 situ soil and, 28–30
centrifuge modeling, 43–44 compaction grouting guide specifications: access and
circulation flush, 61 site conditions, 59; communication system, 64;
clamp-type couplings, 16 data acquisition and reporting, 63–64; drilling and
collapsible soils, 55–56 grouting equipment, 61–63; drilling procedures, 65;
commercial finite element codes, 41 grout injection, 65–68; materials, 60–61; order of
communication system, 64 work, 64; scope of work, 59; site maintenance and
compact drill rigs, 17, 19 restoration, 68; submittals, 68–69; subsurface pipes
compaction grout: composition of, 10; equipment for and utilities, 59–60; treatment area and depth, 59
mixing, 15–16; estimating required quantity of, compaction grout piles, 56
33–34; flow properties of, 9; limestone aggregate, computer monitoring, real-time, 63–64
11; low-mobility, 9; mobility of, 1, 9–10, 13; concrete additives, 11
pressure-volume behavior of, 31–32 concrete pumps, 16
compaction grouting: confinement during, 6; cone penetration test (CPT): advantages and
consolidation of in situ soil during and after, 41, disadvantages of, 52; explanation of, 21, 25, 29,
43; densification during, 33–34; depth and, 6; 51–52; interpretation of, 31; use of, 53
details of specifications for, 13; drilling procedures confinement, 2, 5
for, 18–19; equipment for, 15–18; explanation of, constitutive model, 37
1, 5, 9; extent of, 24–25; field evidence on, 7, 8; controlled lifting, 55
historical background of, 1–2; influence on crack monitors, 48
structures and, 35; limited-mobility displacement,
14–15; mechanics of, 5–7; mechanism of, 24; daily reports, 64
methodology for, 13–15; monitoring during, 46–47, data acquisition/reporting, 63–64
69; preconstruction, 45; purpose of, 24; safety deep foundations, 55, 56
issues related to, 16–17; soil conditions and, 6–7; densification: during compaction grouting, 33–34;
stage-up and stage-down, 13–14, 35; subsurface degree of, 13; explanation of, 5; for soil
investigation for, 21–26 remediation, 55
compaction grouting analysis: alternative soil models density: evaluation of changes in, 51–52; relative,
and, 37–38; centrifuge modeling and, 43–44; 28–30; test for, 21


descending stage grouting. See stage-down grouting movement detection and, 47–50; program
design. See grouting design development and, 45–46; program planning and,
dilation, 5 46–47
dilatometer test (DMT), 51 grouting records, 36
displacement grouting, 2. See also compaction grout mix, 10–11
grouting grout mixing system, 62
distribution of void ratio, 41, 42 grout mixture, 60
downhole nuclear density testing, 51 grout pump, 62
down-the-hole (DTH) hammers, 19
drilling: equipment for, 17–19, 61; guide hammers, down-the-hole, 19
specifications for, 65; with handheld bore motor, handheld pneumatic drill motors, 18
17; procedures for, 18–19 headers, 17, 18
dynamic penetration tests, 52 high-pressure displacement pumps, 16
high-pressure hoses, 16
elbow fittings, 16 hoses: explanation of, 16; high-pressure, 16
electrical resistance/conductivity, 52 hydraulic fracturing, 5
electromagnetic flowmeters, 47 hydrofracturing, 9
environmental site assessment (ESA) reports, 22
equipment: casings, 17, 18; headers, 17; hoses and index tests, 6
fittings, 16–18; mixing, 15–16; pressure gauges, injection: depth and, 6; guide specifications for,
18; proposals for, 69; pumps, 16; requirements for, 65–68; limitations on, 34–35; measurement of loss
15; safety issues related to, 16 in, 32; monitoring of, 43; optimal rate of, 5;
Evaluation of Soil and Rock Properties (FHWA process of, 5, 6; pumping rate and, 10; soil
2002), 21 behavior during, 32–33; spacing of, 33; upstage,
excavation, 52 17; verification of controlled, 45

field inspectors, 25–26 Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundation

field investigation logs, 25 Division (American Society of Civil Engineers),
field trials, 44 2
finite element codes, 41
fittings, 16–17 Koehring Mudjack, 1
FLAC code, 41
fluid levels, 49–50 large drill rigs, 19
formation, 45 large-strain analysis, 39
foundations, 55–56 lateral loading, 56
limestone aggregate grouts, 11
gauge blocks, 49 limited-mobility displacement grouting, 14–15
geological maps, 22 liquefaction mitigation, 56, 57
geometric idealization, 37 low-mobility grouts, 1
geophysical test methods, 52
Geotechnical Baseline Reports of Underground manometer tube terminals, 50
Construction: Guidelines and Practices (ASCE maximum grout take, 7
1997), 21 mechanics: field evidence and, 7, 8; overview of, 5–6;
geotechnical Special Publications, 57 soil conditions and, 6–7
gradation analysis, 6 mobility: explanation of, 9; factors affecting, 9–10,
gravitational properties, 52 13
Green large-strain formulation, 39–40 modified Cam clay, 38, 41
grout aggregate, 60–61 Mohr-Coulomb strength criterion, 38
grout delivery line, 62 movement detection: crack monitors and, 48; fluid
Grouting Committee Web site, 40 levels and, 49–50; monitoring instrumentation for,
grouting effectiveness verification: density change 64; overview of, 47; rotating laser levels and, 50;
evaluation and, 51–52; geophysical methods and, string lines, plumb bobs, and spirit levels and, 49;
52; importance of, 52–53; methods for, 47; tiltmeters and, 48–49


net grout take ratio, 40 slump test, 9

nonassociated Mohr-Coulomb (NAMC) model, 38, 40 small-strain analysis, 39
NorSand, 38, 41 soft ground tunneling, 56
nuclear density test, 51 soil: analysis and reports of, 23–24; critical state for,
nuclear testing gauge, 51 30–31; grout expansion and, 27–28; improving
numerical cavity expansion, 40–41 collapsible, 55–56; laboratory tests for, 23, 25;
numerical modeling, 40 refusal criteria to evaluate conditions of, 36; strain
levels and, 39–40; suitability of in situ, 28–30;
penetration resistance, 51–52 variations in properties of, 27
penetrometers, 52 soil confinement, 34
plane stress idealization, 37 soil models, alternative, 37–39
PLAXIS code, 41 Special Technical Publication 169C (ASTM), 9
plumb bobs, 49 spherical cavity idealization, 37
positive displacement piston pumps, 16 spirit levels, 49
preconstruction grouting, 45 split spacing, 2, 9–10, 13
preconstruction soil densification, 56–57 spreadsheet software, 63–64
pressure gauges, 18, 32, 63 stage-down grouting, 13–14, 35
pressuremeter test (PMT), 51 stage-up grouting, 13, 14
primary holes, 6 staging, 13, 66
probe tests, 52–53 standard penetration test (SPT), 6, 31, 51–53
pumpability, 10 state parameter, 29
pumps, 16 string lines, 49
submittals, 68–69
quality control (QC) program, 24, 25 subsurface investigation: function of, 21; for grouting
design, 23–26; planning for, 21; procedure for
radar reflectivity, 52 general, 21–24
radial consolidation equation, 41, 43 surface heave, 35
refusal criteria, 36, 66–67
relative density, soil, 28–30 tiltmeters, 48–49
renovations, 55 top-down grouting. See stage-down grouting
rheology, 9 travel index, 9
rotary drilling equipment, 61
rotary-wash procedures, 19 underground utilities, 59–60
rotating laser levels, 50 upstage injection, 17
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) topographic maps,
safety issues, equipment, 16–17 22
sampling procedure, 22 utility locations, 59–60
secondary holes, 6
settlement correction, 55–56 verification. See grouting effectiveness verification
shearing, 5
shear wave velocity, 52 Warner, James, 1
sinkhole remediation, 57 water, 61
site cleanup, 68 water-content tests, 6
site maintenance, 68 wide-sweep bends, 16