Development of an Electrical Probe for Rapid Assessment of Ground Improvement

This project will develop and implement an electrical probe that measures the geometry of ground improvement columns (jet grout, soil mixed, auger cast) during construction or immediately after construction (within 30-60 minutes). Work in Stage 1 involves probe design and construction, as well as field testing on 2-3 construction sites with a new prototype push probe with inclinometer for exact positioning. This phase includes a 4 month period for design and construction of a next generation probe that builds upon prior research and prototyping. Computational modeling will be used to inform the probe design, e.g., to optimize the probe diameter and electrode spacing. Field testing will be performed on active jet grout and soil mixing construction sites throughout the United States (US) in collaboration with at least two prominent geoconstruction companies, Hayward Baker and Moretrench. While the exact plan of column sizes and ground conditions will be determined by available sites, the goal is to perform testing on 8-10 soilcrete columns on 2-3 sites with diameters that vary from 1-4m. Ideally, these columns will be constructed in a variety of soil profiles that include granular and cohesive soil layers, some homogeneous and some stratified. For each jet grout column tested, the actual geometry and quality of soilcrete will be determined using coring and probing (conducted by partner contractors). In other cases, deep soil mixing with known diameters will be used. Stage 2 work involves any necessary re-design of probe elements based on Stage 1 findings, analysis of implementation into Department of Transportation (DOT) practice, and cost/commercialization analysis. Results and feedback from Stage 1 will be assessed and synthesized to identify and improve inadequacies in the probe. The probe will then be re-designed and modified into a new generation prototype to be implemented. Modifications will be based on finalizing the electrode spacing, settling on one sequencing protocol with a limited array of frequencies, and documentation of the implementation approach to be used, e.g., placement procedure, rate of probe penetration, length of test, etc. Stage 2 also involves evaluating the implementation of the probe into DOTs and examining cost and commercialization potential of the probe through involvement of contractors, consultants and DOT personnel. The research team will work with DOT partners to define and initiate the process for DOT adoption, presuming the technical merits are evident from Stage 1. Work will also continue on field implementation, albeit with much more involvement of DOTs, consultants and contractors.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-30,IDEA 1

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Jawed, Inam

  • Performing Organizations:

    Colorado School of Mines

    Office of Research Services
    1500 Illinois Street
    Golden, CO  United States  80401
  • Principal Investigators:

    Mooney, Michael

  • Start Date: 20150715
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 40035

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01569557
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-30,IDEA 1
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jul 16 2015 1:00AM