The Rapid Impact Compactor is a welcome supplement the current suite of ground improvement tools available to the ground engineering community. Its’ versatility can provide engineers with a more cost effective means of dealing with poorly compacted or loose shallow deposits. The following are some key operational features of the equipment:
- The RIC impacts the soil at a rate of 40-60 blows per minute using a 7.5 ton weight.
- The drop height of the weight can be adjusted using the in-cab computer to between 1.5 and 4 feet, allowing the operator to regulate vibration when in close proximity to other structures.
- The energy is transferred to the soil through a 5-foot diameter steel “foot” that rests on the ground surface.
- Measured noise levels are on the order of 88 dBA at 20 feet.
The Rapid Impact Compactor employs an on-board computer to control impact set termination criteria, and to record critical data. Acquired data at each impact point include: total energy input, total penetration, and penetration of final set.
At 100 feet the peak particle velocities have been measured to vary from 0.05 to 0.2 in/sec. Vibrations will vary with material type, and will increase as the degree of compaction achieved increases. Results to date indicate that without site specific testing, a safe working distance to structures can be on the order of 20 feet.
Having the RIC mounted on a tracked machine gives it the versatility to move about in narrow and limited height spaces, such as within existing warehouses.
The RIC is transported on two trucks, and assembles in less than two hours. "Helper" cranes or other hoisting devices are not needed, as the machine is designed for self-assembly (that is, with the assistance of its skilled crew).