International Journal of Civil Engineering

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 421–433 | Cite as

Performance Evaluation of PVD-Reinforced Soft Soil with Surcharge and Vacuum Preloading

  • Guan-Bao Ye
  • Yan Xu
  • Zhen Zhang
Research Paper


Preloading method has been a widely used alternative to improve soft soil in coastal areas in China. In this paper, a field test of PVD-reinforced soft soil with surcharge preloading and vacuum preloading was introduced. Based on the field test, three-dimensional finite-element analyses were conducted to evaluate the performance of reinforced soft soil. The subsoils were simulated as linearly elastic–perfectly plastic materials with Mohr–Coulomb failure criteria. The PVDs were modeled individually as solid elements with the cross section of real PVD. The computed settlements, layered settlements, lateral displacements and excess pore water pressure were compared with the field data. The results show that the differential settlement on the ground can be minimized in the vacuum preloading. However, the environmental influence area of vacuum preloading was greater than that of surcharge preloading outside the reinforced area. The influence depth of vacuum preloading under PVD base was time dependent. And the cut-off wall had a significant effect on mitigating vacuum loss at the boundary.


Soft soil Vacuum preloading Surcharge preloading Pore water pressure Finite element analysis 



The authors appreciate the financial support provided by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC; Nos. 41272294 and 51508408) for this work. And the corresponding author is obliged to the Pujiang Talents Scheme (No. 15PJ1408800) for the continuous support for his research.


  1. 1.
    Chung SG, Kweon HJ, Jang WY (2014) Observational method for field performance of prefabricated vertical drains. Geotext Geomembr42(4):405–416. doi: 10.1016/j.geotexmem.2014.06.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Liu JC, Lei GH, Zheng MX (2014) General solutions for consolidation of multilayered soil with a vertical drain system. Geotext Geomembr42(3):267–276. doi: 10.1016/j.geotexmem.2014.04.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kim TH, You SH (2015) Settlement analysis considering sand mat induced initial settlement in soft ground improved by PBD. Int J Civ Eng13(2B):146–152Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kjellmann W (1952) Consolidation of clay soil by means of atmospheric pressure. In: Proceedings on soil stabilization conference, Boston, USA, pp 258–263Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Indraratna B (2010) Recent advances in the application of vertical drains and vacuum preloading in soft soil stabilization. Austr Geomech J45(2):1–44Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Yan SW, Chu J (2003) Soil improvement for a road using a vacuum preloading method. Ground Improv7(4):165–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Saowapakpiboon J, Bergado DT, Voottipruex P, Lam LG, Nakakuma K (2011) PVD improvement combined with surcharge and vacuum preloading including simulations. Geotext Geomembr29(1):74–82. doi: 10.1016/j.geotexmem.2010.06.008 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Indraratna B, Rujikiatkamjorn C, Balasubramaniam AS, McIntosh G (2012) Soft ground improvement via vertical drains and vacuum assisted preloading. Geotext Geomembr30(2012):16–23. doi: 10.1016/j.geotexmem.2011.01.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lam LG, Bergado DT, Hino T (2015) PVD improvement of soft Bangkok clay with and without vacuum preloading using analytical and numerical analyses. Geotext Geomembr43(6):547–557. doi: 10.1016/j.geotexmem.2015.07.013 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Chai JC, Rondonuwu SG (2015) Surcharge loading rate for minimizing lateral displacement of PVD improved deposit with vacuum pressure. Geotext Geomembr43(6):558–566. doi: 10.1016/j.geotexmem.2015.07.012 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ya JW, Fang X, Mei Y, Dean S (2016) Ground deformation induced by vacuum loading-unloading. Environ Earth Sci75(3):218. doi: 10.1007/s12665-015-4915-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hibbitt D, Karlsson B, Sorensen P (2006) ABAQUS/standard user’s manual. HKS Inc., DallasGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Holtz RD, Lancellotta R, Jamiolkowski M, Pedroni S (1991) Laboratory testing of prefabricated ‘wick’ drains. In: Proceedings of Geo-Coast’91, Yokohama, Japan, pp 311–316Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Miura N, Chai JC (2000) Discharge capacity of prefabricated vertical drains confined in clay. Geosynthet Int7(2):119–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Rujikiatkamjorn C, Indraratna B, Chu J (2008) 2D and 3D numerical modeling of combined surcharge and vacuum preloading with vertical drains. Int J Geomech8(2):144–156. doi: 10.1061/ASCE1532-364120088:2144 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Indraratna B, Rujikiatkamjorn C, Sathananthan L (2005) Analytical and numerical solutions for a single vertical drain including the effects of vacuum preloading. Can Geotech J42(4):994–1014. doi: 10.1139/t05-029 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Chen PS, Fang YG, Mo HH, Zhang GX, Dong ZL (2009) Analysis of 3D FEM for soft foundation improved by vacuum preloading. Chin J Geotech Eng 31(4):564–570(Chinese) Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Dong ZL, Chen PS, Mo HH, Zhang GX (2008) Comparison of numerical simulation with finite element method for vacuum preloading. Chin J Rock Mech Eng27(11):2347–2353(Chinese) Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Asaoka A (1978) Observational procedure of settlement prediction. Soils Found18(4):87–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kabbaj M, Tavenas F, Leroueil S (1988) In situ and laboratory stress-strain relationships. Geotechnique38(1):83–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Li JS, Sun J (1999) One dimension consolidate-creep problem of Shanghai silt clay. J Tongji Univ27(4):389–392(Chinese) Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Chu J, Yan SW (2005) Estimation of degree of consolidation for vacuum preloading projects. Int J Geomech5(2):158–165. doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)1532-3641(2005)5:2(158)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Iran University of Science and Technology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geotechnical EngineeringTongji UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Land Subsidence Monitoring and Prevention, Ministry of Land and Resources of ChinaShanghai Institute of Geological SurveyShanghaiChina

Personalised recommendations