Geotechnical and Geological Engineering

, Volume 28, Issue 5, pp 695–706 | Cite as

Stone Columns with Vertical Circumferential Nails: Laboratory Model Study

  • R. Shivashankar
  • M. R. Dheerendra Babu
  • Sitaram Nayak
  • R. Manjunath
Original paper


This paper presents results from a series of laboratory plate load tests carried out in unit cell tanks to investigate the improvement in stiffness, load carrying capacity and resistance to bulging of stone columns installed in soft soils. A new method of reinforcing the stone columns with vertical nails installed along the circumference of the stone column is suggested for improving the performance of these columns. Tests were carried out with two types of loading (1) the entire area in the unit cell tank loaded, to estimate the stiffness of improved ground and (2) only the stone column loaded, to estimate the limiting axial capacity. It is found that stone columns reinforced with vertical nails along the circumference have much higher load carrying capacity and undergo lesser compression and lesser lateral bulging as compared to conventional stone columns. The benefit of vertical circumferential nails increases with increase in the diameter, number and depth of embedment of the nails. The improvement in the performance of stone column was found to be more significant, even with lower area ratio. It is found that reinforcing stone column with vertical circumferential nails at the top portion to a depth equal to three times the diameter of stone columns, will be adequate to prevent the column from excessive bulging and to improve its load carrying capacity substantially.


Stone columns Vertical circumferential nails Unit cell Composite ground Bulging Ground improvement 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Shivashankar
    • 1
  • M. R. Dheerendra Babu
    • 1
  • Sitaram Nayak
    • 1
  • R. Manjunath
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringNational Institute of Technology KarnatakaSurathkal, MangaloreIndia

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