Cohesive soils (clayey soils) are generally characterised by having a low permeability. Consolidation of a cohesive soil relies on the ability to evacuate water out of the soil matrix and this process can be very long.
Menard Vacuum™ is an atmospheric consolidation system used to accelerate consolidation of cohesive, highly compressible soils. The process consists in creating a negative pressure under an airtight membrane laid over the soil, which generates atmospheric pressure on the soil, equivalent to the pressure exerted by a 4 meter embankment.
This technique can substantially reduce consolidation time thanks to early pre-loading as soon as the system is in place and without risk of ground failure. The isotropic nature of the Menard Vacuum™ load and the “artificial beam” generated by the vacuum between the horizontal drains and the membrane have a strong stabilising effect on the fill.