Groups of encased stone columns: Influence of column length and arrangement
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AuthorCastro Gonzalez, Jorge
This paper presents a set of systematic 2D and 3D finite element analyses that study the performance of groups of encased stone columns beneath a rigid footing. Those numerical analyses show that, if the area replacement ratio, i.e. area of the columns over area of the footing, and the ratio of encasement stiffness to column diameter are kept constant, the column arrangement (both number of columns and column position) has a small influence on the settlement reduction achieved with the treatment. For high encasement stiffnesses, placing the column near the footing edges may be slightly more beneficial reducing the settlement; on the contrary, the maximum hoop force at the encasement is notably higher. Based on the minor influence of column arrangement, this paper proposes a new simplified approach to study groups of encased stone columns, which involves converting all the columns of the group beneath the footing in just one central column with an equivalent area and encasement stiffness. This simplified model is used to conclude that, for settlement reduction and fully encased columns in a homogeneous soil, there is a column critical length of around two or three times the footing width. The critical length of the encasement for partially encased columns is slightly lower than that of the fully encased columns.
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