Publication Abstract

Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, 2014, Atlanta, GA, USA, (DFI)

Using Thermal Integrity Profiling to Evaluate the Structural Integrity of Soil Nails
George Piscsalko, P.E., Pile Dynamics, Inc. Camilo Alvarez, P.E. and Daniel S. Belardo, GRL Engineers, Inc., Marcus Galvan, P.E., TXDOT

Soil nails are often utilized as a temporary or permanent earth retention technique for slope stabilization and for excavation retention for existing or new structures. Soils nails are generally advantageous as installation is relatively rapid and they can be installed beneath existing structures and where site access for equipment is limited. Due to the typically small cross-section of these elements, the inability to inspect the holes prior to grouting/concreting, and the various installation techniques utilized, quality control for assessing the integrity along the entire length is limited. Currently, quality assurance is conducted by load testing to verify the pull out capacity after installation. The load testing is typically done on a small percentage of the total number of soil nails. This paper will provide the results of a demonstration where the new Non-Destructive Test (NDT) method Thermal Integrity Profiling (TIP) was used to access the integrity of several soil nails along their entire lengths. This TIP method has been successfully used for several years to assess the integrity in drilled shafts and ACIP piles. The TIP method assesses the integrity across the entire cross-section and can identify regions where bulges, necks, and insufficient grout/concrete are present. TIP testing can also help assure that the contractor’s installation methods are adequate and consistent for the intended design. For the project presented, instrumented Thermal Wire were affixed to the centered tension bars prior to placement in the excavated shafts. Temperature measurements were recorded from the hydration energy generated after grout/concrete placement, capturing the entire heating cycle. Manufactured defects were installed on the center bar at multiple locations. The results and conclusion will be discussed as well as recommendations for future use.

 article #1999; publication #1011 (AM-2014)