The Micropile Network: Practice Precedes Theory

Weinstein, Gary M.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 16
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2003
Micropiles have seen increasing use for foundation support and slope stabilization applications over the past half century. Most often designed and installed in groups of vertical or battered elements or combinations thereof, continued applied research conducted through partnerships established between academia, government and industry has led to the recent development of practical engineering and design guidelines for such micropile systems. In contrast to a group of directly loaded micropiles, the micropile network relies on a three-dimensional array of reticulated elements to encompass and internally reinforce the soil, resulting in a network or "knot" effect. The potential for enhanced engineering behaviour of reticulated micropile network systems compared to that of a group of micropiles has been continually revealed by numerous researchers in the past. The concept is elementary - the roots of a tree interact with the soil to form a composite foundation capable of performance superior to that of the individual parts. However, given the large number of parameters which must be modelled and studied, experimental assessment and rational analysis of the soil-structure system has been difficult and therefore, in contrast to above, reliable design methods have not yet been forthcoming.
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