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FAQ -about URETEK solutions

Frequently asked questions about URETEK technology, our solutions for subsidence problems and about the geopolymer we use.

If you have a question that is not answered here or want more information, please contact us and one of our experts will be in contact with you.

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Call our customer service team on +358 3 45180011 or contact us by filling out the contact form on our website. We will put you in touch with one of our experts.

What are the mechanical properties of the material?

MECHANICAL PROPERTIES TYPICAL VALUE
Applied density 50kg/m3 - 500kg/m3
Compressive strength 0,5 MPa - 15 MPa
Shear strength 0,5 MPa - 15 MPa
Tensile strength 0,5 MPa - 3 MPa
Flexural strength 0,5 MPa - 15 MPa
Expansion force  10 000 kPa
E-modulus  10 MPa - 80 MPa
Permeability coefficient  10 - 8 m/s

3rd party tests have been conducted by:​

  • University of Padova
  • University of Hannover

URETEK materials are specified based on the mechanical property requirements of each individual project

Which soils are suitable for the technology?

All soil types are suitable for the technology. Here are a few examples of common soils where the technology has been used

  • Granular soils
  • Silty soils
  • Clayey soils
  • Soils with some organic material
  • Made Ground/Fill material
  • Weak soils: weak clays, soils with high organic content etc. have individual geotechnical limiting parameters for suitability and will be analyzed through laboratory tests.

How and by how much will the injection improve the soil?

Pre- and post-testing of the treated soil will be completed.
How?

  • Expansion of the geopolymer will compact the soil by minimizing voids and improving the internal friction angle in granular soils. In clay this occurs mainly as soil displacement by replacing the existing loose soil zones with stronger geopolymer. Monitoring is carried out with a laser on the surface/structure to assess movement/lift.

For more information: Stability of Geopolymer in soil

What is the longevity and stability of geopolymer?

  • Design life in excess of 100 years.
  • Material has been tested and is evaluated to be stable for a minimum of 60 years.
  • Proven practical results with over 30 years of project applications.
  • Material stable between -20 to +100 °C.

Is there any impact on the environment?

The final geopolymer is neutral, the URETEK materials have been developed so that once installed they will leave the site in no worse condition than it was before treatment.

Read more about impact on the environment

 

How does the material waste need to be handled if it is excavated in the future?

As normal disposal, classified as normal building material waste.

Can it be applied in situations where there is groundwater?

  • Yes - Uretek materials are hydrophobic.
  • there is no difference between exposing the material to sea water vs. fresh water

How does the groundwater impact our material?

  • Groundwater has no impact on the mechanical properties of the URETEK material.

Does water permeate the material? Does the material absorb water?

The material is a closed cell structure and posses a very low permeability coefficient. 

Expansion force/lifting capacity?

Typically URETEK recommends that existing loads are left in situ to provide counter-force - for example, where possible racking should be left loaded whilst treated to ensure we achieve the best end result

How quickly does the material cure and how soon can it be applied for loading?

  • The material cures within seconds.
  • 90% of the materials’ mechanical properties are reached within the first 15 minutes.
  • The material typically reaches its final properties in 24 hours.

 

Can the material be used to assist vibration reduction?

  • This will depend on the material, the circumstances and the density.
  • The material has some elasticity, which is typically positive -  for example when comparing to concrete which may break down under shock loadings.

Can the solutions be applied in extreme cold?

Outside temperatures have no impact in most cases. The material is always injected below the frozen zones, not in it.

Is it possible to excavate the ground that has been injected and what machinery may it require?

Yes it is possible and can be done with normal excavators and hammer drills.

The most typical soil testing methods?

Dynamic cone penetrometer test, medium weight (DPM) and soil sampling.

Can you treat structures that have been piled?

  • Yes, these projects are assessed on a case by case basis by our Engineering department.
    • In addition, we have treated extensions in residential houses that were missing piles, even if the original building is on piles.

Can you work with weakening wooden piles?

Yes, by supporting the existing foundation with PowerPiles according to its limitations with bearing capacities, and installing them close to existing weakened wooden piles, thereby acting as a replacement.

How does the weight of geopolymer compare to the weight of soil?

  • Typically < 15% of the soil, depending on the geopolymer utilised and the existing soil