The Benefits of Electrokinetic Stabilisation

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When the properties of soil beneath an existing structure change, it has an adverse effect on the entire structure. Such soil changes are typically attributed to environmental factors, such as extended periods of dry or wet weather. Electrokinetic stabilisation is a soil enhancement system that provides a way of improving soil stability through the use of electrical current, which alters the qualities of the soil, making it less prone to unwanted expansion or contraction. This technique is most commonly used to strengthen soils that possess a high clay content.

Electrokinetic Stabilisation explained

Electrokinetic stabilisation involves the placement of special electrodes into a soil material which then discharge an electrical current that penetrates the entire soil. This procedure helps to eliminate any unwanted large fragments and any other obstructive materials that hinder the soil’s absorption ability.

Things that determine the effectiveness of Electrokinetic Stabilisation

There are several things that determine the effectiveness of Electrokinetic Stabilisation.

1) The variety of soil and its properties

The procedure is most suited to soils that contain a high clay content. If a soil testing report reveals that the soil is predominantly clay, then it should be suitable.

2) The prevalence of water in the soil

The more water a soil possesses, the more conductive it is and the more efficiently it can shift the charged particles delivered from the electrodes that are injected into the soil. Generally, soils with a pH value of nine or more are most conducive for Electrokinetic Stabilisation.

3) The strength of the electric current

The more powerful the electric current passing through the soil is, the greater its effect will be. A steady flow of electric current provides the best results.

4) The electrode material

The type of materials used in the composition of the electrodes affects the quality of the current distributed throughout the soil. Minerals such as graphite deliver optimal results.

5) The composition of the system

In addition to all of the factors listed above, the effectiveness is determined by the overall efficiency of the entire setup as a whole, including the speed at which the charged particles make contact with the soil and the placement of the electrodes into the soil (specifically, the distance between each rod).

6) Expense

The cost of Electrokinetic Stabilisation depends on the degree to which the soil has been damaged and the size of the area that is required to be repaired.

Benefits of Electrokinetic Stabilisation

  • More cost-efficient than other forms of soil repair
  • The entire setup can be quickly and easily installed, allowing repair to begin without delay
  • Can be performed on onsite or the soil can be extracted and repaired elsewhere, before being placed back into its original location
  • Despite its name – Electrokinetic Stabilisation, which naturally conjures up thoughts of an overly complicated scientific process, it isn’t the case at all
  • Doesn’t require any loud machinery at all – the process is whisper quiet
  • Can be done without disturbing others onsite
  • The entire soil repair process is very efficient, only requiring a short amount of time to complete

Drawbacks of Electrokinetic Stabilisation

  • The transfer of electric current throughout the soil via the electrodes generates a significant amount of heat
  • The electrodes are prone to breakage, due to the high temperatures during their operation
  • The process results in the emission of chlorine gas, which is toxic
  • Soils that contain a wide variety of different pH values can cause deterioration of the electrodes

Improving the effectiveness of Electrokinetic Stabilisation

  • The implementation of a stabiliser improves the speed of pollutant removal from the soil
  • Avoid the use of cheap electrode materials in favour of more expensive but far more effective ones
  • The use of electrodes that are empty on the inside, improve the transfer of electric current

For more information about Electrokinetic Stabilisation and other soil repair services, get in touch with a trade qualified soil testing company specialist today.

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