Melbourne has always had a rich and varied history, as well as a diverse architectural style. It is renowned for its innovation. The city is growing and adapting, so there are more problems that need modern solutions. The gradual settling or sinking of buildings is one of these problems. What is the solution? Underpinning. Underpinning is not just about any type of underpinning. It’s also chemical underpinning. What’s behind this innovative technique in terms of science? Our blog.
When most people imagine underpinning they may think about heavy machinery, concrete, or excavations. Chemical underpinning, on the other hand, is a much more “chemical” method. Imagine small injections directly in the soil that expand, reinforce, and stabilise. It sounds like the secret weapon of a super hero, doesn’t?
A resin and hardener are mixed together to begin the process. The chemical reaction that occurs when these compounds are mixed leads to the mixture hardening and expanding. The expansion of the mixture fills in voids, stabilizing and compacting the soil to ensure that structures above remain level.
Here’s the part that is even more interesting. It’s like something out of a science fiction novel. You could have an unstable base if you use too much resin. If you use too little resin, the foundation may not work. This is a delicate balance that involves a deep understanding of soil composition, structure weight, and desired result.
What are the advantages? There are many! Chemical underpinnings are less intrusive than the traditional methods. There’s no need to dig up your yard or use heavy equipment. Secondly, it’s quicker. With the use of chemicals, what could have taken weeks using traditional methods can be done in a matter of days. It’s also more environmentally friendly. It produces less waste and noise.
Next time you are walking through Melbourne’s streets and see a crew of construction workers without heavy equipment, pay attention. The construction crews could be using chemistry as a way to make sure that Melbourne’s tall buildings will stand proudly for future generations.