The Geotextile Encased Column (GEC) system was specially developed as a foundation solution for earthwork structures built on weak subsoils. The pile-like load-carrying system is a quick, cost-effective method of providing a foundation for embankments on ground with low bearing capacity.
The key component in the innovative foundation system is the Ringtrac geotextile sleeve. This casing is used to enclose non-cohesive material placed in a uniform arrangement of columns, which systematically transmit the structural loads to the bearing stratum.
The particularity of the GEC system is that the outwardly directed radial horizontal stresses in the columns are counteracted not only by the inwardly acting pressure of the soft soil, but also by the radial resistance of the geotextile casing.
The circumferential tensile forces generated in the casing provide radial support to the columns and safeguard the equilibrium of the system, thereby allowing its use even in very soft soils.
Ringtrac columns also act as filtration-stable megadrains, which speed up the settlement and consolidation process. Potential later settlement is thus either prevented or can be offset by means of temporary cover fill, as required by the particular project.
Moreover, Ringtrac reinforcement sleeves are finding increasing use as temporary formwork units for bored cast-in-situ piles in soft soils or karst areas.
- Suitable for soft soils with cu < 15 kN/m²
- Almost all settlement takes place within construction period
- Adjacent buildings are unaffected by settlement
- System is fully loadable immediately after completion
- High embankments can be built in short time with no danger of bearing failure
- System is highly adaptable to local conditions and loads
- No need to dispose of waste or contaminated spoil (where displacement method is used)
- No adverse impact on groundwater flow
- Circumferential strengths of up to 500 kN/m
- Reinforcement sleeve diameters between 0.4 m and 1.0 m
- Underlying aquifers protected by base seal
- Economical use of site space and lower excavation, disposal and imported material costs
- Reduction in construction time and cost
- Non-rigid system, dynamic loads (e.g. from passing trains) can be accommodated without damage
- Accelerated consolidation
- 15-plus-year track record in a wide range of successful projects
The use of circular-loom technology eliminates weak points and loss of strength caused by joints, e.g. seams, or discontinuities in the design-relevant stiffnesses. Ringtrac reinforcement sleeves are supplied in rolls and can be readily adapted on-site to the project-specific subsoil conditions.
Ringtrac is a registered trademark of HUESKER Synthetic GmbH.