Artificial ground freezing – is the most universal and safest way to increase ground strength.
Artificial freezing of thawed and frozen ground by seasonal cooling devices has become widely spread in permafrost zone in the Far North. Thermal stabilization of ground helps to solve the problem of permafrost thawing under buildings and structures to prevent settlement and destruction of foundations.
Artificial ground freezing technology is also successfully applied in the construction of buildings on weak and unstable water-bearing grounds:
- in the construction of tunnels of various purposes, including escalator tunnels in subways;
- in the engineering of mines and pits for the construction of dams, power plants, docks and other buildings;
- in the construction of foundations for industrial buildings and machines on unstable grounds;
- in the construction of storage facilities and underground tanks with regular maintenance of their walls in a frozen state.
At present, when designing basements and foundations of buildings erected in complex geotechnical conditions using artificial ground freezing technology, it is required to apply computer simulation for predicting temperature fields and mechanical properties of the ground. These predictions should take into account ground freezing and thawing with the computation of convective heat transfer, moisture migration to the freezing front, and also the work of cooling devices.