Publication Abstract

Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, 2018, Anaheim, CA, USA, (DFI)

Development of a New, Advanced Form of Sodium Silicate for Chemical Grouting
Michael McDonald, Tim Evans, Julie Shang, Bingfeng Xue and Yu Guo

Effective chemical grouting represents a technical and economic solution to many challenges related to soil stabilization and blocking the flow of water. Chemical grouts are facing increasing demands in durability, environmental impact and value. To better meet these challenges, a novel and cost effective process was developed to produce a sodium silicate that increases the ratio (i.e. silica to alkali) beyond what has been used in traditional silicate-based grouts. The move to a lower sodium form of silicate was anticipated to have two desirable performance enhancements; a reduction in leachable sodium and improvement in the durability of the silicate grout. An in-depth study was performed at the University of Western Ontario Geotechnical Research Centre to quantify improvement in durability as well as other performance properties such as compressive strength. The study began by first modelling the gelation time and reaction kinetics of the high ratio sodium silicate over a range of silicate concentrations using two different setting agents as well as with/without a hardener. As expected, reducing the level of sodium produced a much more water resistant grout. These same formulations also showed a four order magnitude reduction in permeability. Somewhat surprising, test results showed the higher ratio silicate having much higher compressive strength. At the time of this abstract, the high ratio silicate was moving to the trial stage for geotechnical applications while the petroleum industry was further along with several successful field trials for water blocking as well as cement remediation. This paper will review the chemistry, testing and features of this next generation form of sodium silicate.

 article #3100; publication #1045 (AM-2018)