Subgrade Stabilization Under an Existing Runway

by S. Chas. Dearstyne,
Gener J. Newman,

Serial Information: Journal of the Aero-Space Transport Division, 1963, Vol. 89, Issue 1, Pg. 1-8

Document Type: Journal Paper


In order to mitigate the progressive failure of runway pavement at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the Port of Seattle made a study of subsoil stabilization by means of electrically introduced chemicals. A Fatty Quarternary Ammonium Chloride dispersed in water was introduced 4 ft below the surface at one side of the 150-ft wide runway through aluminum pipe, which was used as a positive electrode, and a wire buried 4 ft deep on the opposite side of the runway, which was used as a negative electrode, and a 270 v electric current was maintained. During and after 18 days of continuous operation 755 gal of 2% solution were injected, and observations indicated that the soil resistivity decreased from 29,000 ohms per cu cm to 27,000 ohms per cu cm, and water soluble material decreased from 16,000 ppm to 7,750 ppm. The soil became stable and samples indicated that soil which consisted of individual particles previous to treatment appeared as a weakly cemented mass after treatment. Conclusions show the process as an effective means of stabilizing the subgrade under an existing runway without affecting runway use.

Subject Headings: Airport and airfield pavements | Soil treatment | Subgrades | Soil analysis | Soil cement | Power outage | Progressive collapse | Failure analysis | Seattle | Washington | United States

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