Phoenix Engineering Ltd is a privately owned family business registered in British Columbia.
The Phoenix portion of this website deals with proprietary hardware which we have designed and built over the years for use by Ground Improvement contractors.
The Hardware section lists the tools and procedures we have and which we believe can provide innovative and practical solutions for the following tasks:
Support for heavy civil engineering structures
Building underground rigid sand columns
Improve tailings dam stability
Tailings slimes volume reduction
The Hodge menu items links to some of the owner and founder's working engineering experiences in the field. Lessons learned out there eventually lead him to a coherent geotechnical understanding of how soils behave under strain.
Apart from gaining some useful insights towards novel design procedures, he happened upon a simple and fundamental error in our basic theorizing. And that is: When considering how soil-structure deformation interrelates with pore water pressure changes we have in the past quite simply confused "cause and effect". Changing pore water pressure is the result of ongoing soil deformation; and it is most definitely not a matter of increasing pore pressures being the cause of soil destabilization. Proofs of this assertion are to be found herein.
An important practical implication of this realization, and something project engineers need to keep in mind, is: Vertical drains certainly have utility in hastening consolidation of fine grained soils, but the fact is that vertical drains, of whatever design, simply cannot provide protection against liquefaction-type failure of loose sand formations, nor of similar tailings materials. Presumably, that errant practice took hold when water was seen venting (quickening) at the top of collapsed loose sands: But this is merely a post-failure boundary condition.
Venting pressurized groundwater by drainage serves no useful purpose; increasing pore pressure is simply indicating that the soil-structure is already in the process of collapsing/movement. The way to prevent excessive soil-structure deformation, such as liquefaction, is to increase its density (reduce its void ratio) beforehand. And this is what our hardware is designed to do.
The following technical essays, written by Hodge, are accessible through the News heading:
Pore Pressure Monitoring of a Novel Foundation
Compacted Earthfill is a 3-phase Material
Stability Analysis using Seepage Forces