RIC (Rapid Impact Compaction)

Rapid Impact Compaction

Since the BSP rapid impact compactor (RIC) attachment was first developed for military use almost 25 years ago the concept has become a commercial success and the preferred method for an increasing number of shallow ground improvement projects around the world.

It was recognised early on that the RIC technique, due to its faster blow-rate than Dynamic Compaction (DC), was able to efficiently compact ground to deeper levels than would be expected by just comparing the relative energies of the two methods. In some ideal ground conditions good improvement has been achieved as deep as 10m.

The latest generation Mk3 models in the RIC range are available with drop weights of 7t, 9t, 12t and, more recently, a 16t version has been introduced. Treatment is effective in top layers typically down to 6m depth. The latest MK3 model, complete with a 9t drop weight, is fitted with a new sound attenuation pack which has been designed by BSP to significantly reduce the noise level produced by the compactor when in operation.

The RIC attachment currently being manufactured by BSP is mountable on a regular hydraulic crawler excavator in the 30t to 65t operating weight category. During controlled impact the RIC’s 1.5m diameter foot stays in contact with the ground, ensuring efficient impact energy transfer to the ground at all times. Energy is imparted by dropping the weight through a relatively small height of up to 1.2m at a rate of between 40 to 60 blows per minute.

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  • SPEED - The unit is mounted on standard excavators, typically in the 40-90 tonne class and can be mobilised in minutes from arrival on site.
  • CONTROL - The machine is accurately controlled from the excavator cab and the degree of compaction electronically monitored.
  • SAFETY - The impact foot is in contact with the ground at all times and eliminates the risk of flying debris. Unlike conventional DC, other activities can take place in close proximity.
  • QUALITY - The impact energy and soil deflection are recorded by the on-board computer for presentation of compaction data to site managers. The data can highlight weak zones where extra fill is required or zones where underground obstructions were present (i.e. previously hidden old foundations).
The method for efficiently covering the ground varies from country to country. A common pattern used to cover uses a track in three passes (see diagram below). The outer (black) points being compacted first, followed by the intermediate (orange) lastly the infilling (blue) positions. This has the effect of achieving the best depth of influence. The first pass effecting the ground to a deeper level than the latter.   RIC-results
Most granular fills and some silts are compactable, The best results being achieved where the fill is well-graded particle size. An area of 800m² -16000m² can be covered in an average day (depending on the ‘blow-perposition’ setting.) This also allows time for routine maintenance and rotation of the special dolley pads located in the foot assembly which transfers the force of the blow through to the ground.
The in-cab display can be loaded with site plans from a CAD program and a pre-determined pattern displayed to guide the operator and minimise setting out requirements. The finished RIC results can then be uploaded back onto the original plans to provide pictorial representation of work done to clients.
Position monitoring of the RIC performance is an essential part of the process both to present proof of work done to clients and identify problem areas that may need extra fill. The monitoring has been enhanced by the addition of GPS using the PCX-RIC system.
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Performance DataImpact EnergyOperating PressureHydraulic FlowTypical Excavator Models
ModelkNmBarL/minList is not exclusive; other models in the same weight class have been used and are also suitable.
RIC 700083240220-250CAT330/336, Komatsu PC360, Kobelco SK330/350
RIC 9000106270220-250CAT345/349, Komatsu PC490, Kobelco SK480/500, Hyundai R520
RIC 12000180250280-420CAT365/374, Komatsu PC700
RIC 16000240280380-420CAT385/390, Hyundai R800, Komatsu PC800