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GSI to host webinar on wick drains, GMA members get discounted rates

Products | November 12, 2018 | By:

The Geosynthetic Institute (GSI) will sponsor a webinar entitled “Soil Consolidation Using Wick Drains, aka PVDs” on Nov. 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST. The webinar will be hosted by Dr. Robert M. Koerner. GMA member companies and their employees receive discounted rates on all GSI webinar and short course registrations.

Wick drains, also called prefabricated vertical drains or PVDs, consist of a drainage core encapsulated by a geotextile which serves both as a filter and separator. They are typically 100 mm (4 inches) wide by 10 mm (3/8 inch) thick and are on spools of up to 90 m (300 feet) in length. Their use is to rapidly consolidate saturated fine-grained foundation soils. At this point in time, they have completely replaced sand drains for such purposes. Most ground modification contractors are fully aware of the technology.

The webinar will begin with calculating the installation stresses during various parts of the procedure. The geotechnical design process insofar as calculating the time for 90% consolidation will be presented transitioning from Terzaghi-to-Barron-to Hansbo methods. This is followed by four issues which are somewhat tenuous and remain to be clarified. Lastly, a completely new issue of recognizing that wick drains will reinforce foundation soils by virtue of their intrinsic tensile strength is presented. This is illustrated in the context of a major failure which used sand drains. While the increase in FS value is quite small, there are options presented to enhance the value. The study was first published in 2017 and is extremely revealing.

This webinar will be beneficial for owners of saturated fine-grained foundation soil sites in both the public and private sectors; federal, state and regional geotechnical, transportation, and environmental engineers; engineers from municipal districts and townships; private and municipal land developers; architectural and landscape designers; general civil consulting engineers; testing laboratories servicing these organizations; manufacturers of wick drain materials; ground modification contractors; academic and research groups; and others desiring technically related information on this important aspect of our constructed infrastructure.

The webinar’s instructor, Dr. Koerner, is professor emeritus of civil engineering at Drexel University, and founder and director emeritus of the Geosynthetic Institute.

Webinars cost $200.00 for GSI and Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA) members, and $250.00 for nonmembers. Successful completion of a multiple-choice test after the webinar carries 1.5 professional development hours (PDH).

For more information or to register, visit

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