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Publicações Técnicas

An Innovative Self-Regulating Membrane Foundation System for Embankment Construction on Very Soft Soils


The paper describes a new, self-regulating, interactive membrane foundation
system for the construction of embankments on very soft soils. The system could be used in
tailing dams, where filter-pressed tailings could be stored on top of hydraulically placed tailings.
Due to the low shear strength, high compressibility and water content, the already placed
tailings may not be strong enough to bear the load from the new placed filter-pressed tailings
pile. As a result bearing failures or excessive deformation may occur. In the paper the system
itself as well as the analysis of its load bearing and deformation behavior and its possible application
to the mine tailings are described and discussed. Beside its easy installation, a further
economic advantage of the system in its application in tailings is the possibility to reuse parts of
the system in the progress of placing the filter-pressed tailings.


The paper presents a new foundation system for embankment construction or stockpiling on
very soft sub grounds. The self-regulating membrane foundation system is described and results
from comprehensive centrifuge model tests and numerical analyses of the load bearing behavior
and dominating system parameters are presented.
A possible application within tailings ponds is presented and discussed. The easy installation
and the possibility of reusing system elements makes the self-regulating interactive membrane
solution an interesting option to increase the storage capacity of existing ponds filled with very
weak tailings.
Modification of the system is briefly discussed and the connection detail between tension
membrane and sheet pile wall has been shown.