Comparison on Ground Enhancement Materials Powdered vs. Granulated Powdered
Ground enhancement materials have been used in the telecommunications industry for many decades with varying level of success. These material are used in the ground electrode installation, where the soil resistivity is high and it is difficult to achieve a target resistance within the constraints of the area available.
Traditional ground enhancement materials like bentonite gypsum mixture, ERICO GEM and various others are normally applied in powder form, either as dry powder or as in a slurry mixed with water. Depending on the material used they may sit inside pre-drilled holes in a set form and sometimes in cementitious form. As there has been a cry from parts of the industry to get rid of the powder form and slurry form of these compounds, there is search and development in the industry on granulated or palletized form of ground enhancement materials.
This paper will look at advantages and disadvantages of granulated or palletized form of ground enhancement materials in comparison to the well proven powdered or slurry type.
We will further examine the key performance criteria of ground enhancement compounds stipulated in the only standard for ground enhancement materials, IEC 62561-7. These include leaching, sulfur content, resistivity, corrosion, marking & indications and test report. The performance of bentonite, powder form ground enhancement materials and granulated ground enhancement will be compared against this IEC standard. It should be noted that all of these types of compounds have their benefits and the realization of these benefits is subject to where and how these are applied.