Evaluation of Wick Drain Performance in Virginia Soils

Report No: 03-CR21

Published in 2003

About the report:

Prefabricated vertical drains (PVD), also known as wick drains, are commonly used to accelerate the consolidation of fine-grained soils in order to reduce future settlements and increase shear strength. Various drain designs are currently on the market, with significant variations in price. This variability of designs makes the performance highly product specific. Tests were carried out to assess the behavior of several wick drains in Virginia soils. Drains were subjected to crimping, lateral pressure, and consolidation, with the resulting impact on the flow rate. All tests were performed in the laboratory to ensure controlled boundary and initial conditions. Significant differences in the performance of wick drains were evaluated. The performance was quantified based on the percentage reduction in flow capacity during flow in a crimped position, percentage reduction in flow capacity under lateral stress, and percentage reduction in the consolidation time. Test results identified the Ameridrain AD607 and Mebra-Drain MD-88 as themost effective drains among those studied.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Other Authors

Susan E. Burns, Matthew J. Cline

Last updated: December 3, 2023

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