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Theoretical studies pertaining to the design and application of vertical drainage systems, and recommendations for the selection of design spacing for band-shaped prefabricated (wick) drains, were examined. It was the intent of this study to examine the effects of band-shaped prefabricated drains on the consolidation characteristics of a clay soil, and in addition to evaluate and contrast the efficiency of the prefabricated drains in a laboratory experiment in a way that would guide the engineering application of prefabricated drains in the field. An apparatus referred to as a “wick drain consolidometer” was designed and constructed to fulfill the above-stated intent of study. Five different prefabricated drains were tested: Castleboard, Franki-Kjellman, Mebradrain, Geodrain, and Alidrain. All wick drains with a central core and loosely fitted filter jacket performed better than the Franki-Kjellman wick, which had the filter glued to the core. Based on compression versus time data, the Alidrain wick performed the best, with Castleboard, Mebradrain, and Geodrain all performing approximately the same.
vertical drainage system, comparative laboratory study, geocomposites, band-shaped prefabricated drains, wick drains, efficiency, consolidometer, kaolin, compression, water release
Associate Professor, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, Cooper Square, New York, NY
Geotechnical Engineer, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, One World Trade Center, New York, NY