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How to Use Blasting for Deep Compaction of Soil?

How to Use Blasting for Deep Compaction of Soil

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Blasting is an economical compaction method that can be applied for various soil types such as granular, silt, clay, loess, etc. Not only is the technique highly effective in loose soil, but also capable of compacting granular soil down to a depth of 40m.

The blasting method involves the determination of the right amount of explosive materials, placement of explosives at a suitable depth below the water table, and finally, the safe explosion of the charge. One can apply either the surface or internal blasting technique; the latter is considered more effective and safer.

The technique is generally employed in construction works such as earth rockfill dams, airfields, roads, and harbors. The limitation of the method may include the risk of explosives, unexpected results of blasting, and receiving permission to store and use explosive materials.

How to Use blasting for Deep Compaction of Soil?

Fig. 1: Blasting Compaction
Fig. 2: Soil Compaction by Blasting Technique

FAQs for soil compaction by blasting

What is explosive compaction?

It is a soil compaction technique in which explosive charge is placed at suitable depth in the soil to be compacted. Then, the charge is exploded to create ripples similar to that of earthquakes; resulting in soil compaction.

How to check the soil that is compacted by blasting?

Engineers can check compaction by blasting by measuring surface settlement. Alternatively, use tests such as cone penetration test, standard penetration test, or weight soundings. 

What is the maximum repetition for blasting compaction?

The maximum blasting repetition ranges from 2 to 3 times because soil compaction after three rounds of the blast is small.  

How to set up spacing and size of charges for blasting compaction in large projects?

For large projects, engineers can use test blasting to determine optimum borehole spacing, charge size, interval, and spacing of basting.

What is the maximum soil surface settlement due to blasting?

Surface settlement ranges from 2-10% of the total depth of the compacted soil layer.

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