The use of chemical stabilization for engineering and environmental applications has significantly grown as engineers and specifiers have come to realize the important contributions that the stabilization process addresses. These contributions center on in-place engineering enhancements, reduction of up front and lifecycle cost, and the issue of long-term environmental sustainability for California.
From an engineering standpoint, the chemical stabilization process addresses three basic soil concerns that are meaningful to engineers and designers, including; first, it reduces the shrink/swell potential and plasticity of expansive clays required for structural stability, secondly, treatment stabilizes the potential occurrences of settlement or densification from load bearing forces such as those imposed on pavements and other structures, by increasing the soil matrix unconfined compressive strength and thirdly it reduces the influence of moisture on the soil structure and reduces the soil's permeability for use in applications such as water resource liners and abutments.
From an economic standpoint, chemical stabilization reduces a project's initial cost and to a greater extent its lifecycle cost. When comparing other stabilization alternatives, such as off hauling unsuitable materials and importing quarry products, the up-front construction saving may exceed 50 percent. Additional cost saving may be realized in schedule adherence, since the stabilized section develops and maintains a high strength low permeable mat structure that allows for all weather project access during the winter rainy months. In regards to environmental remediation applications, the stabilization process allows for contaminated soil to be encapsulated in-place or stabilized to a criteria that allows for conventional handling or off hauling.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of chemical stabilization is its contribution to environmental sustainability in California's construction industry. As with most states, environmental impact and sustainability have become a main focus to consider during project development and construction. As stone and aggregate products become less available to urban areas, the need to transport these materials over the existing infrastructure is creating an unsustainable environment to California's communities. The use of on site chemical stabilization reduces trucking emissions by 97 percent, while reducing the need to import aggregates at a ratio of 40:1.
As California's development and infrastructure continues to grow, it becomes increasingly difficult to find sites with suitable soil properties that support this growth without additional engineering enhancements. Chemical stabilization offers solutions that maximize the soils engineering performance, while reducing the impact of cost, and providing a sustainable approach to the future.
When the need for a native hardscape surface is required for expanded storage needs or temporary event staging, the process of soil stabilization address the performance needs of heavy loading, extended durability, dust control, and storm water runoff. By stabilizing the existing soils, a temporary or permanent mat structure is developed that can handle repetitive heavy loading, while maintaining a durable low dust exposed wearing surface.
The new synthetic sports fields are popular for their high durability and low maintenance features. One of the major installation needs of synthetic fields is an appropriate drainage system. These turf systems allow water to permeate through the surface to be collected by either a blanket or manifold drainage system. A stabilized mat structure under a blanket drain system or integrated into a manifold system allows for an impervious, high-strength soil structure that is maintained even when saturated over time.
Equestrian facilities, used for a wide variety of horse- training functions, require a stable non-yielding substructure under the loose cutting surface materials. By stabilizing the underlying soils, a great reduction in maintenance is achieved, since the underlying soil can no longer contaminate the loose wearing surface materials. The stabilized section also allows for all weather use, because the stabilized section is impervious to water and will not loose strength or grade over repetitive use.
Tennis, basketball, and other hardcourt surfaces require a high degree of stability, since any grade variations that may develop would be magnified under these applications. If courts are built on clay soils, grades will move as underlying soils shrink and swell with moisture fluctuation. All soils types would benefit from the long-term benefits of an underlying stabilized section, including reduction of water infiltration, reflective shrinkage cracking, and un-controlled grade fluctuation.
When extreme conditions are encountered, it's important to prevent costly overruns from consuming contingent dollars at the onset of project construction. Extreme conditions may be the result of intrusion into the site water table, encountering of bay mud or dredging materials, or a condition that requires added structural support from the existing unsuitable soils. HSI has experienced the most extreme site conditions and presents constructability plans that resolve these issues in the most cost-effective manner.