Renovation and the Home
LECA® LWA can be used in all elements of construction from foundations to chimney fill.
Civils & Infrastructure
Leca® LWA is used extensively as a lightweight aggregate for civil engineering and structural applications, such as Rail, Highways and Bridges.
In railway structures Leca® LWA is commonly used as a light fill material to reduce subgrade settlement and to improve stability of structures and areas of weak and unstable ground. It serves the similar targets when used in pedestrian and bicycle ways, railway yards and different platform and embankment structures.
WITH RESPECT TO THE PROJECT SPECIAL FEATURES, THE LECA® LIGHTWEIGHT EXPANDED CLAY AGGREGATE LAYER CAN BE DESIGNED TO FULFILL SEVERAL OBJECTIVES AT ONE TIME: TO PROVIDE FROST INSULATION, TO BLOCK CAPILLARY WATER RISE AND TO FUNCTION AS A DRAINAGE LAYER.
In the re-construction of railways Leca® Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate can be applied to repair settlement defects, to increase levelling and to improve bearing capacity. In addition, with the help of Leca® Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate road and rail embankments that require widening can be constructed with minimal effect due to increased loading to the existing structure.
Reducing Load Pressure
Construction of embankments over weak and compressible soil deposits, where the loading of the embankment causes soil consolidation and settlement, is common. Depending on the height of the embankment, the depth of the weak soil deposit and the consolidation properties of the soil strata, total settlements can be very deep and problematic in terms of road evenness, function and durability of the road construction. In the most difficult cases, various combinations of soil strengthening techniques are available, for example, preloading, vertical drainage and deep stabilisation with piles all of which are time consuming and costly to install.
By lightening the embankment in rail development with Leca® Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate, subsoil strengthening and lengthy settlement can be reduced or even avoided altogether. Using Leca® Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate on large scale cut and fill operations and construction on soft soils or bad ground can overcome stability problems, reducing the risk of landslide and deformation. Used in rail embankments, Leca® LWA exerts much lower horizontal earth pressures compared with other backfill materials, helps improve stability and reduce the need for counterfill.
When widening existing carriageway or rail embankment, the weight of the newly constructed fills can often result in the new surface settling lower than the original surface and could pull the existing surface out of level.
Leca® Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate has an installed bulk density of approximately 20% of that of general fill materials and will considerably reduce settlement of the road or rail carriageway, both immediately and in the long term. Widening and replacing existing carriageways is also simplified by using Leca® Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate with no specialist techniques necessary.
Loads produced by fill structures may reduce stability of subgrade soil. Insufficient stability may result in the subgrade breaking and collapse of the structure. Greater-than-allowed displacement of the structure or its surroundings is also possible.
Pull Out Resistance
The ‘pull out’ resistance of LECA® Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate makes it an ideal solution for reinforced soil retaining walls and bridge design. Particularly when constructed over weak sub-soils or voids, this method has been proven to cut overall construction costs considerably. LECA® Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate is used extensively to reduce vertical loading.
Leca® Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate provides an excellent solution to stability issues.
As a rule, stability issues are typical for subgrade soil with low strength index. This is of particular importance in areas with crossfall relief or, for example, in a vicinity of a river bed.
Leca® Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate improves the stability of the soft soil subgrade by reducing the load impact.
When Leca® Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate is applied to improve stability; the following design aspects shall be taken into account:
- Properties of underlying subgrade and its loading history
- Pore water pressure
- Groundwater and/or perched water level and possible open water level
- Inclination of ground surface or soil layers and possible river bed located beside the structure
- Required safety factor of structure against collapse
- Highway Embankment Widening
Properties of LECA® LWA in Rail Design
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