Application of polymer support fluids in the construction of bored piles and diaphragm walls

Contact: Dr.-Ing. Henning Lesemann
  Dipl.-Ing. Stefan Vogt


  • Polymer support fluids as an alternative to bentonite suspensions are becoming increasingly popular abroad (especially in the USA and Asia).
  • Advantages: Reduction of the critical space requirement for site equipment, especially in inner-city areas, easier mixing and regeneration of the support liquid
  • By simplifying the construction process, polymer support fluids are also economically interesting despite high material costs
  • Problem: Neither the exact functioning nor the environmental compatibility have been sufficiently clarified at present



Research goals

  • Description of the flow behaviour and the support properties of polymer support fluids derived from it
  • Consideration of complex rheological properties differing from bentonite suspensions
  • Consideration of the ability of some polymer products to form a pressure-transferring membrane and/or to give the polymer-saturated soil a higher cohesion
  • Summary of the findings from theory, laboratory and large-scale tests in a practical design concept and application recommendations Documentation of environmental compatibility in order to create a clear basis for the approval of corresponding construction projects


Flow chart

  • Laboratory tests on a model slot one-dimensional inflow tests
  • Supplementary soil mechanical and chemical investigations
  • numerical modelling for the investigation of partial aspects and for the coupling of flow and borehole stability
  • Construction of 6 bored piles in the field, test loads and partial uncovering of the concreted piles Environmental impact studies