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Technical Information

GeoRam® Engineered Aggregate Piers

For a technical discussion of the engineering analysis approaches to the design of Engineered Aggregate Piers, please refer to Geotechnical Engineering Soil and Foundation Principles and Practice Fifth Edition by Richard L. Handy.

Conventional geotechnical engineering principles are used by our engineers in designing our pier systems. Those principles, coupled with our over 15 years of experience in designing, constructing and testing aggregate piers enables us to design and construct practical, economical aggregate pier projects.

Engineered aggregate piers designed by our GeoRam engineers and constructed with GTFC-W equipment rely solely on vertical, low frequency, high energy ramming force applied to each lift of aggregate. Each lift receives 50-80 strokes from the rammer, until the deflection per stroke reduces to an amount determined beforehand by the GeoRam engineer as appropriate for the project design.

The rammer delivers a ramming energy that is on the order of 20,000 pounds force for each stroke, and can be measured in the field as needed. When a beveled rammer foot is used, and the lift is rammed with an appropriate number of strokes so that terminal deflection per stroke meets the design criterion, then the soil surrounding the pre-drilled pier cavity can receive over 4000 pounds per square foot of lateral pre-stress. This results in a significant increase in horizontal confining pressure in the soil surrounding the pier, which in turn results in essentially elastic behavior of the pier-reinforced mass below the footing.

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