After the record depth of 34.5m set in the early 2010s, Soletanche Bachy Fondations Spéciales set a new record last week by the construction of a Starsol® pile, with full-height reinforcement, at a depth of 50m using its Fundex F-5000 rig known as “Barbara” – a fantastic achievement!
It all began 35 years ago with an initial load test in Strasbourg. Several dozen more followed, creating, within a few decades, the most solid database in the profession. The Starsol® process has continuously evolved and improved ever since, with its specifications – which have now been approved by IFSTTAR and CEREMA organisations – passing through a whole series of versions to reflect successive tests and innovations.
Soletanche Bachy Fondations Spéciales has 13 Starsol® rigs, including the Fundex F-5000 acquired three years ago and believed to be the largest continuous flight auger in the world. Soletanche Bachy Fondations Spéciales was quick to combine this recent acquisition with the advanced experience of the company and its teams, in order to take on new challenges and expand its range of solutions.
This was accomplished on 23 September with the construction of a 50m-deep Starsol® pile, with full-height reinforcement, under real conditions, all without any break in drilling or concreting. Thanks to a bespoke formula combining the addition of Starsolithe-R®, the 50m cage was then lowered to its final height through the centre of the fresh concrete under the simple effect of gravity.
This has therefore now proved that the significant savings in concrete – and therefore carbon emissions – enabled by the Starsol® specifications are possible to depths unimaginable just a few years ago.
Well done to the site team for this fantastic achievement.