Menard Vacuum Consolidation designed and developed by Menard in the late 1980s enabled effective use of vacuum pumps to accelerate weak soil compression. This technology is an alternative solution used for improvement of weak subsoil compared to the conventional consolidation by the embankment along with overload and vertical drains.
Important point in the installation of measuring devices – piezometers, inclinometers, barometers and disc benchmarks. It enables up to date monitoring of the consolidation progress. The pumping process terminates when the planned settlements or assumed parameters are achieved (porosity ratio, shear strength). Menard Vacuum Consolidation takes time – usually the process takes about 6 months. This time, however, is not dependent on such a high degree on the soil parameters, as in the case of the classical method, but rather on the technological system efficiency. Practice shows that with proper construction planning, the use of vacuum consolidation technology does not prolong the investment duration.
Areas of application of the vacuum consolidation is very wide, ranging from roads, highways and areas used for various types of tanks (fuel, bulk materials) for the large-scale constructions, such as airport terminals or container ports terminals.
This method is often the only alternative to the realisation of deep pile foundation, especially when in the substrate are present organic soils with high moisture content and thickness in excess of 25.0 m and over large areas. The MVC technology – apart from organic soils (peats, silts, gyttjas) – can be successfully applied to soft cohesive soils (clay) with a thickness of non-bearing soils reaching up to 30 m. Maximum loads transferred to the consolidated soil (after its draining) depend directly on the type, the degree of the consolidation and the nature of the work of the structure. Considering the technical and economic aspects, the use of vacuum for the compressible soil consolidation leads to affordable and safe solutions.
- Cost–efficiency – the main idea of vacuum consolidation technology, that is the maximum possible use of the soil load-bearing capacity makes MVC technology one of the most cost-effective technologies for soil strengthening. Another advantage is the elimination of horizontal displacements, thereby recording a much lower soil material consumption needed to fill the resulting settlement. This has obvious importance in reducing the cost of the road embankment construction;
- Effectiveness in the macro scale – the use of vacuum consolidation technology allows for the implementation of the soil strengthening in an efficient and safe manner in the area of 50 000 msq or more;
- Performance: one of few ground improvement technologies that can be applied for soft soils with a non–bearing layers of thickness up to 50m;
- Timely effective – MVC is an efficient time-saving consolidation method compared to other methods. It enables moving forward with next phases of construction as early as two weeks after vacuum pumping;
- Environmentally friendly: vacuum consolidation technology does not require concrete additions or cement injections;
- No need for construction of the overloaded embankment: reduction of the time compared to the classical consolidation (drains with overloaded embankment).