Experimental investigation of grouted helical piers for use in foundation rehabilitation

Yueying Bian, Tara C. Hutchinson, Dan Wilson, Debra Laefer, Scott Brandenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Building rehabilitation is critical for numerous older urban areas, many of which have inadequate foundations to support new demands. Consequently, development of practical methods to strengthen existing foundations is crucial. In engineering practice, both subsurface grouting and helical piers have been widely used to address these issues by strengthening the foundation. If the solid shaft of a typical helical pier is replaced by a hollow shaft, then helical piers provide the ability to deliver grout. It is hypothesized that these grouted helical pier systems could address foundation strengthening needs. This paper presents findings from an exploratory research program where grouting and pier placement tools were developed and tested on the large geotechnical centrifuge at the University of California, Davis. Experimental methods and procedures developed are presented, and observations regarding the formation of grout bulbs under different conditions are analyzed. Physical observation of the test specimens indicates that average grout bulb diameters of 0.6-1.9 times the helix diameter (Dh) are attainable. For similar grout mixes, 20-50% larger grout bulbs can be attained by adding just a modest amount of injection pressure. Future research may use these results to develop load performance data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1280-1289
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Centrifuge models
  • Deep foundations
  • Grouting
  • Piers
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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