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Geotechnical engineering principles are used in the design of the GeoRam Engineered Aggregate Pier system.

The GeoRam-reinforced zone (referred to as the Upper Zone in settlement analyses) extends to a depth equal to the Engineered Aggregate Pier shaft length plus one pier diameter. The addition of one pier diameter accounts for prestressing that is developed at the base of the pier shaft during bottom stabilization.

Deformation in the GeoRam-reinforced zone occurs as vertical load is applied at the base of the footing, mat, slab, or embankment. Applied stresses concentrate in the Engineered Aggregate Pier in proportion to the relative difference in stiffness between the piers and the intermediate matrix soils. Due to the high stresses transferred into the piers, the upper portion of each pier bulges slightly, which further increases lateral stress in the matrix soil and adds to the stiffness of the GeoRam-reinforced zone.

Ideally when the foundation system is loaded, deformation occurring at the bottoms of the Engineered Aggregate Piers is so small that the load can be assumed to be fully transferred into the GeoRam-stiffened Upper Zone. Foundation settlement attributable to Upper Zone deformation is calculated by detailed, conventional analysis.

Foundation settlement resulting from stresses which might reach the soils beneath the GeoRam-reinforced zone (the Lower Zone) can be estimated by means of various accepted geotechnical analysis theories. Because some analysis theories are more appropriate for plastic soils, and others are more applicable to sands and non-plastic silts, the selection of the most appropriate theory(ies) is very important.

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