Publication Abstract




Proceedings of the 37th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, 2012, Houston, TX, USA, (DFI)

Observational and Numerical Evaluation of Defects in Deep Mixing Method Columns Used For LNG Process Train Structural Foundation Support
Paul J. Sabatini, Paul Summers, Willem (Billy) Villet, Edward C. Clukey, Kevin Richardson

Between 2008 and 2009, more than 6,000, 23-m long deep mixing method (DMM) elements were constructed to support 124 concrete mats comprising the foundations for the process trains for an LNG facility. The Owner requested first-of-its-kind analyses and assessments to confirm the quality and reliability of the DMM foundation. This paper provides information on these assessments and the procedures used to ultimately conclude that a fit-for-purpose foundation system was constructed. During early phases of construction, several DMM test cores revealed nodules of unmixed clay in upper core samples. A comprehensive review of available DMM core information was undertaken. It was concluded that the amount of coring being conducted as part of the contractor’s QA/QC program should be increased to achieve a foundation system with the required level of reliability. Three-dimensional finite element analyses were completed considering various distributions of defects in the DMM elements and the effects of potential downdrag on DMM elements. Calculated mat settlements and mat stresses were compared to cases without defects in the DMM elements. Various distributions of loaded and unloaded mat areas and number and position (both in the subsurface and laterally) of defects were considered. Four (of the 124) mats were identified as potentially “at-risk”. The settlement performance of these mats is currently being monitored and, to date, performance has been acceptable.


 article #1865; publication #99 (AM-2012)