EFFECT OF PVD AND VACUUM PRESSURE ON SATURATED-UNSATURATED SOFT SOILS
Soft clays are generally sediments deposited by rivers, seas, or lakes. These soils are fine-grained plastic soils with appreciable clay content and are characterized by high compressibility and low shear strength. To deal with soft soil problems there is more than one method that can be used such as soil replacement, preloading, stone column, sand drains, lime stabilization and Prefabricated Vertical Drains, PVDs. A numerical modeling of PVD with vacuum pressure was analyzed to investigate the effect of this technique on the consolidation behavior of fully and different depths of partially saturated soft soils. Laboratory experiments were also conducted by using a specially-designed large consolidmeter cell. Five tests were conducted with a vacuum pressure of about 40 kPa applied for a period of 30 days where the degree of consolidation reached 75% based on pore-water pressure distribution. The results showed that using vacuum pressure with vertical drains reduces the consolidation time by about 68%. Existence of an unsaturated soil layer decreases settlement of soil by about 22%, 32%, 425, 54% as the unsaturated depth increases by 1/8, 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2L respectively and causes a rapid increase in soil pore-water pressure.