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Theoretical and experimental investigations of the ice-wall grow and frost heave in artificial ground freezing (FGU2005/003)

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Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project website
STRIA Roadmaps
Vehicle design and manufacturing (VDM)
Transport mode
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Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

The research project presented here should deliver the fundamentals for a secure project planning of artificial ground freezing in the treshold case, when groundwater flows. With accurate planning, problems could be recognised early and money could be saved. For this purpose, a 3D numerical model should be developed, which can simulate thermic, hydraulic and mechanical coupled processes. With this THM-model the distribution of temperature within the ice-wall, the freezing time, the energy consumption and the heave of the surface can be simulated. A new laboratory test will be developed in order to perform tests under consideration of the relevant parameters. The THM-model will be verified using these laboratory test results. After that, the influence of all relevant design parameters will be investigated in order to elaborate decision guidance for the design of ground freezing measures.


The main aim of this research project is to develop a 3D numerical model for the quantity prediction of the time-dependent distribution of temperature, pore water pressure and underground deformations due to artificial ground freezing. Furthermore, decision guidance for the design of ground freezing measures will be elaborated.


The following activities will take place under the project:

  • Development and implementation of numerical 3D THM model.
  • Preparation of a new test facility for laboratory simulation of the freezing process.
  • Verification of the THM model by comparing the theoretical predictions with the results of laboratory tests.
  • Systematic investigation of the impact parameter and development of decision support for planning icing measures (see Annex I FGU 2005/003).


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Swiss Government: State Secretariat for Education and Research
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


Using the THM model the complex processes during the freezing process were proved to be modeled realistically. This sizing was optimised and problem areas during the planning of freezing measures were identified. Furthermore, decision-making tools for the planning of icing measures were elaborated.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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