Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
ANCHORING SYSTEM AND METHOD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2012/088395
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An anchoring system and method according to which a tubular member is positioned in a subterranean substrate and a conglomerate is formed within the subterranean substrate, the conglomerate including respective portions of the subterranean substrate and a chemical fastener in a cured state. The conglomerate is adhered to the tubular member. To form the conglomerate, the chemical fastener in a liquid state is injected into an internal passage defined by the tubular member so that the chemical fastener flows from the internal passage and into the subterranean substrate via at least a first radial opening formed in the first tubular member.

Inventors:
PERKINS, Larry L. (1613 Carruth Lane, Southlake, Texas, 76092, US)
SHENG, Jack (1536 Spring Lake Drive, Keller, Texas, 76248, US)
Application Number:
US2011/066785
Publication Date:
June 28, 2012
Filing Date:
December 22, 2011
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
FALCON TECHNOLOGIES AND SERVICES, INC. (575 N. Dairy Ashford Rd, Suite 300Houston, Texas, 77079, US)
PERKINS, Larry L. (1613 Carruth Lane, Southlake, Texas, 76092, US)
SHENG, Jack (1536 Spring Lake Drive, Keller, Texas, 76248, US)
International Classes:
E02D5/74
Foreign References:
US20090324343A1
US20080200620A1
US5653557A
US20090304457A1
US5010698A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HERDA, Alan N. et al. (Haynes and Boone, LLP2323 Victory Avenue, Suite 70, Dallas Texas, 75219, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

What is claimed is:

1 . An anchoring method, comprising:

positioning a first tubular member in a subterranean substrate, the first tubular member defining a first internal passage; and

forming, within the subterranean substrate, a conglomerate that is adhered to the first tubular member;

wherein the conglomerate comprises respective portions of the subterranean substrate and a chemical fastener in a cured state; and

wherein forming the conglomerate comprises injecting the chemical fastener in a liquid state into the first internal passage so that the chemical fastener in the liquid state flows from the first internal passage and into the subterranean substrate via at least a first radial opening formed in the first tubular member.

2. The anchoring method of claim 1 , wherein the chemical fastener has a gel time of at least about 15 seconds, a tensile strength of at least about 600 psi in the cured state, and a tensile elongation of at least about 240% in the cured state. 3. The anchoring method of claim 1 , wherein the chemical fastener is a two-component polyurea elastomer.

4. The anchoring method of claim 1 , wherein the chemical fastener in the liquid state is injected into the first internal passage at a pressure sufficient to cause the chemical fastener to flow through, and fracture, at least a portion of the subterranean substrate.

5. The anchoring method of claim 1 , wherein the chemical fastener in the liquid state is injected into the first internal passage in a first direction; and

wherein forming the conglomerate further comprises preventing the chemical fastener in the liquid state from flowing out of the first internal passage in a second direction that is opposite to the first direction.

6. The anchoring method of claim 1 , wherein injecting the chemical fastener in the liquid state into the first internal passage comprises:

mixing the chemical fastener in at least one mixing chamber; and

after mixing the chemical fastener in the at least one mixing chamber, injecting the chemical fastener in the liquid state into a second internal passage so that the chemical fastener flows into the first internal passage via at least the second internal passage;

wherein the chemical fastener is further mixed in the second internal passage as the chemical fastener flows therethrough.

7. The anchoring method of claim 1 , wherein positioning the first tubular member in the subterranean substrate comprises driving the first tubular member into the subterranean substrate.

8. The anchoring method of claim 1 , wherein positioning the first tubular member in the subterranean substrate comprises:

positioning a second tubular member in the subterranean substrate, the second tubular member defining a second internal passage;

inserting the first tubular member into the second internal passage; and

bending the first tubular member so that at least a portion thereof passes through a second radial opening formed in the second tubular member and penetrates the subterranean substrate;

wherein the first radial opening is formed in the portion of the first tubular member and thus passes through the second radial opening.

9. The anchoring method of claim 8, wherein positioning the first tubular member in the subterranean substrate further comprises inserting a third tubular member into the second internal passage, the third tubular member defining a third internal passage; wherein the first tubular member is inserted into the third internal passage and thus into the second internal passage; and

wherein, before passing through the second radial opening, the portion of the first tubular member passes through a third radial opening formed in the third tubular member, the third radial opening being radially aligned with the second radial opening. The anchoring method of claim 1 , wherein the chemical fastener is a two-component polyurea elastomer;

wherein injecting the chemical fastener in the liquid state into the first internal passage comprises:

mixing the chemical fastener in at least one mixing chamber; and after mixing the chemical fastener in the at least one mixing chamber, injecting the chemical fastener in the liquid state into a second internal passage so that the chemical fastener flows into the first internal passage via at least the second internal passage, wherein the chemical fastener is further mixed in the second internal passage as the chemical fastener flows therethrough;

wherein the chemical fastener in the liquid state is injected into the first internal passage in a first direction at a pressure sufficient to cause the chemical fastener to flow through, and fracture, at least a portion of the subterranean substrate; and wherein forming the conglomerate further comprises preventing the chemical fastener in the liquid state from flowing out of the first internal passage in a second direction that is opposite to the first direction.

An anchoring system, comprising:

a first tubular member adapted to be positioned in a subterranean substrate, the first tubular member defining a first internal passage;

a first radial opening formed in the first tubular member;

a chemical fastener having liquid and cured states;

a first configuration in which the first tubular member is positioned in the subterranean substrate, the chemical fastener is in the liquid state, and the chemical fastener is permitted to flow from the first internal passage and into the subterranean substrate via the first radial opening ; and

a second configuration in which the first tubular member is positioned in the

subterranean substrate, the chemical fastener is in the cured state, and the anchoring system further comprises a conglomerate adhered to the first tubular member, the conglomerate comprising respective portions of the subterranean substrate and the chemical fastener in the cured state.

12. The anchoring system of claim 1 1 , wherein the chemical fastener has a gel time of at least about 15 seconds, a tensile strength of at least about 600 psi in the cured state, and a tensile elongation of at least about 240% in the cured state.

13. The anchoring system of claim 1 1 , wherein the chemical fastener is a two-component polyurea elastomer. 14. The anchoring system of claim 1 1 , further comprising a valve in fluid communication with the first internal passage;

wherein the valve permits the chemical fastener in the liquid state to flow in a first

direction into the first internal passage; and

wherein the valve prevents the chemical fastener in the liquid state from flowing out of the first internal passage in a second direction that is opposite to the first direction.

15. The anchoring system of claim 14, further comprising:

a second tubular member, the second tubular member defining a second internal

passage adapted to be in fluid communication with the first internal passage via at least the valve; and

a mixing chamber adapted to be in fluid communication with the second internal

passage;

wherein, when the anchoring system is in the first configuration, the chemical fastener is permitted to be mixed in the mixing chamber, to flow from the mixing chamber and into the first internal passage via at least the second internal passage and the valve, and to be further mixed during its flow through the second internal passage. 16. The anchoring system of claim 1 1 , further comprising:

a second tubular member adapted to be positioned in the subterranean substrate, the second tubular member defining a second internal passage in which a first portion of the first tubular member is adapted to extend; and

a second radial opening formed in the second tubular member through which a second portion of the first tubular member is adapted to extend;

wherein, when the second portion of the tubular member extends through the second radial opening, the first radial opening is located outside of the second tubular member. The anchoring system of claim 16, further comprising:

a third tubular member adapted to extend within the second internal passage, the third tubular member defining a third internal passage in which the first portion of the first tubular member is adapted to extend and thus also extend in the second internal passage;

a third radial opening formed in the third tubular member and adapted to be radially aligned with the second radial opening ;

wherein the second portion of the first tubular member is adapted to extend through the second and third radial openings when the second and third radial openings are radially aligned.

The anchoring system of claim 17, further comprising a tubular support connected to the first tubular member and adapted to extend within the third internal passage;

wherein the tubular support and the first tubular member are movable within the third internal passage.

The anchoring system of claim 17, wherein the first tubular member is movable within the third internal passage; and

wherein the anchoring system further comprises a wedge adapted to be connected to the third tubular member, the wedge defining a surface against which the first tubular member is adapted to contact to thereby cause the second portion of the first tubular member to bend and extend through the second and third radial openings when the second and third radial openings are radially aligned.

The anchoring system of claim 1 1 , further comprising:

a valve in fluid communication with the first internal passage, wherein the valve permits the chemical fastener in the liquid state to flow in a first direction into the first internal passage, and wherein the valve prevents the chemical fastener in the liquid state from flowing out of the first internal passage in a second direction that is opposite to the first direction;

a second tubular member, the second tubular member defining a second internal

passage adapted to be in fluid communication with the first internal passage via at least the valve;

a mixing chamber adapted to be in fluid communication with the second internal

passage, wherein, when the anchoring system is in the first configuration, the chemical fastener in the liquid state is permitted to be mixed in the mixing chamber, to flow from the mixing chamber and into the first internal passage via at least the second internal passage and the valve, and to be further mixed during its flow through the second internal passage;

a third tubular member adapted to be positioned in the subterranean substrate, the third tubular member defining a third internal passage in which a first portion of the first tubular member is adapted to extend ;

a second radial opening formed in the third tubular member through which a second portion of the first tubular member is adapted to extend, wherein, when the second portion of the tubular member extends through the second radial opening, the first radial opening is located outside of the third tubular member; a fourth tubular member adapted to extend within the third internal passage, the fourth tubular member defining a fourth internal passage in which the first portion of the first tubular member is adapted to extend and thus also extend in the third internal passage;

a third radial opening formed in the fourth tubular member and adapted to be radially aligned with the second radial opening, wherein the second portion of the first tubular member is adapted to extend through the second and third radial openings when the second and third radial openings are radially aligned; and a wedge adapted to be connected to the fourth tubular member, the wedge defining a surface against which the first tubular member is adapted to contact to thereby cause the second portion of the first tubular member to bend and extend through the second and third radial openings when the second and third radial openings are radially aligned.

Description:
ANCHORING SYSTEM AND METHOD Background

The present disclosure relates in general to anchors, and in particular to anchoring systems for securing equipment or structures to the ground, and/or stabilizing sections of soil within a subterranean substrate.

Frequent problems occur when high winds or other weather conditions cause the undesired movement of pieces of equipment and structures such as, for example, house trailers, tents, temporary buildings, secondary containment structures, and storage tanks including above ground storage tanks (ASTs). To prevent or resist such movement, conventional ground anchors are sometimes used to secure the equipment and structures to the ground.

However, several problems can arise in connection with the use of conventional ground anchors. More particularly, conventional anchors are oftentimes pulled out of the ground because they exhibit low pull-out strength or resistance (i.e., resistance to force(s) that act to pull the anchors out of the ground). Additionally, a conventional ground anchor is inconvenient and usually involves the digging of a hole, injecting cement into the hole to form a concrete foundation, and placing an anchoring post in the hole. Concrete is conventionally used as a foundation for a ground anchor to increase the pull-out resistance of the anchor. However, concrete is extremely alkaline and can cause severe second and third-degree burns when contacted with skin. Concrete is heavy and cumbersome to prepare and the setting of the concrete is dependent on temperature and weather conditions. During curing, the concrete must be kept moist and at the correct temperature or it may crack and become unsuitable as a foundation. After the concrete has set, if the soil is moist or wet, the concrete may heave more during the freeze-thaw cycle, reducing pull-out resistance and possibly causing cracking. Importantly, concrete shrinks in size as it cures, which leaves open spaces in the soil. As a result, settling of the concrete in the open spaces may occur, thereby increasing the risk that the concrete will crack. A cracked concrete foundation reduces the pull-out resistance of the anchor.

Further, the pull-out resistance of a conventional ground anchor is related to the cohesion of the soil surrounding the hole. Fine grained soils such as clay are considered cohesive and have cohesive strength. Generally, cohesive soil does not crumble and is plastic when moist. Moreover, cohesive soil tends to be difficult to break up when dry, and exhibits significant cohesion when submerged. Cohesive soils include clay silt, sandy clay, silty clay and organic clay. In contrast, non-cohesive soils are loose and have a larger particle size as compared to cohesive soils. A non-cohesive soil such as gravel or sand exhibits no plasticity, especially in a dry state. As a result, several conventional ground anchors are necessary to secure equipment or structures to non-cohesive and low or moderate cohesion soils.

Still further, soil instability and displacement is present in many areas, reducing the ability of conventional ground anchors to sufficiently secure equipment and structures to the ground. Conventional methods for stabilizing soil typically involve the construction of retaining walls or other rigid or semi-rigid structural barriers. However, the construction of such walls or barriers is often expensive and time consuming.

Therefore, what is need is an anchoring system or method that addresses one or more of the above-described problems, among others.

Brief Description of the Drawings

Figure 1 a is a partial elevational/partial diagrammatic view of an anchoring system according to an exemplary embodiment, the anchoring system including an anchor and a chemical fastener.

Figure 1 b is a sectional view of the anchor of Figure 1 a taken along line 1 b-1 b, according to an exemplary embodiment.

Figure 1 c is an enlarged view of a portion of Figure 1 b, according to an exemplary embodiment.

Figure 2 is an elevational view of the anchor of Figures 1 a-1 c during the installation thereof into a subterranean substrate, according to an exemplary embodiment.

Figure 3 is a partial elevational/partial diagrammatic view of the anchoring system of

Figure 1 a during the installation thereof into the subterranean substrate, the system including an injection gun and a static mixer, according to an exemplary embodiment.

Figure 4 is a sectional view of the static mixer of Figure 2b, according to an exemplary embodiment.

Figure 5 is an elevational view of the anchoring system of Figures 1 a-1 c after the installation thereof into the subterranean substrate, according to an exemplary embodiment.

Figure 6a is a partial perspective/partial diagrammatic view of an anchoring system according to another exemplary embodiment.

Figure 6b is an exploded view of the anchoring system of Figure 6a according to an exemplary embodiment.

Figures 6c, 6d, 6e, 6f, 6g and 6h are respective sectional views of the components of the anchoring system of Figures 6a and 6b, according to respective exemplary embodiments.

Figures 7a, 7b, 7c and 7d are respective sectional views of the anchoring system of Figures 6a-6h during the installation thereof into a subterranean substrate, according to an exemplary embodiment. Figure 8 is an exploded view of an anchoring system according to yet another exemplary embodiment.

Figures 9a, 9b, 9c and 9d are diagrammatic views of the anchoring system of Figure 8 during the installation thereof into a subterranean substrate, according to an exemplary embodiment.

Figure 10 is an exploded view of an anchoring system according to still yet another exemplary embodiment.

Detailed Description

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in Figures 1 a, 1 b and 1 c, an anchoring system is generally referred to by the reference numeral 10 and is adapted to be installed into a subterranean substrate. The anchoring system 10 includes an anchor 12 and a liquid chemical fastener 14. The chemical fastener 14 has liquid and cured states, and is adapted to be injected into, and flow out of, the anchor 12, under conditions to be described below. The anchor 12 includes a tubular member 16, which defines an internal passage 16a and includes opposing end portions 16b and 16c, and an internal threaded connection 16d at the end portion 16c. An external flange 18 is connected to the end portion 16b of the tubular member 16, extending radially outwardly therefrom. In an exemplary embodiment, the flange 18 is welded to the tubular member 16. A plurality of axially-spaced grooves 20 are formed in the external surface of the tubular member 16, with each groove 20 circumferentially extending around the tubular member 16. A surface portion 16e of the external surface of the tubular member 16 extends from the end portion 16b to the grooves 20, and a surface portion 16f extends from the grooves 20 to the end portion 16c. Axially-spaced surface portions 16g of the external surface of the tubular member 16 are interposed between the grooves 20. The surface portions 16e, 16f and 16g are textured to promote engagement with subterranean substrates. In an exemplary embodiment, the surface portions 16e, 16f and 16g are knurled. In an exemplary embodiment, the surface portions 16e, 16f and 16g are ribbed with a diamond knurl so that the anchor 12 is more suitable for a particular type of soil, such as a rocky-clay type of soil. In several exemplary embodiments, the amount and type of texturing applied to the surface portions 16e, 16f and 16g are based on the type(s) of soil(s) in the subterranean substrate into which the anchor 12 is to be installed, and conditions associated therewith.

A pointed tip 22 is connected to the tubular member 16 at the end portion 16c thereof. More particularly, the pointed tip 22 defines a point 22a, and includes an external threaded connection 22b, which is threadably engaged with the internal threaded connection 16d of the tubular member 16.

A plurality of radial openings, or radial outlets, 24 are formed in the tubular member 16.

As shown in Figs. 1 a and 1 b, the plurality of outlets 24 includes, but is not limited to, outlets 24a, 24b, 24c and 24d, which are clustered together proximate the end portion 16c of the tubular member 16. The plurality of outlets 24 are circumferentially spaced around, and axially spaced along, the tubular member 16. In an exemplary embodiment, the plurality of outlets 24 are spirally disposed around the tubular member 16. In several exemplary embodiments, the quantity, locations and/or sizes of the outlets in the plurality of outlets 24 are varied.

A plurality of radial openings, or radial outlets, 26 are formed in the tubular member 16. As shown in Figs. 1 a and 1 b, the plurality of outlets 26 includes, but is not limited to, outlets 26a, 26b, 26c and 26d, which are clustered together and axially disposed between the surface portion 16e and the plurality of outlets 24. The plurality of outlets 26 are circumferentially spaced around, and axially spaced along, the tubular member 16. In an exemplary embodiment, the plurality of outlets 26 are spirally disposed around the tubular member 16. In several exemplary embodiments, the quantity, locations and/or sizes of the outlets in the plurality of outlets 26 are varied.

In several exemplary embodiments, additional pluralities of outlets, which may be substantially identical to the plurality of outlets 24 or 26, are formed in the tubular member 16. In an exemplary embodiment, one of the pluralities of outlets 24 or 26 is omitted. In an exemplary embodiment, the anchor 12 includes a single plurality of outlets formed in the tubular member 16, which outlets are distributed around, and along, the tubular member 16.

As shown in Figure 1 c, a check valve 28 is positioned at the end portion 16b of the tubular member 16. As viewed in Figs. 1 a, 1 b and 1 c, the check valve 28 is configured to permit one-way fluid flow in a direction from above the flange 18 and into the internal passage 16a, as indicated by an arrow 30. In an exemplary embodiment, the check valve 28 is, includes, or is part of, a grease fitting, grease nipple or zerk fitting. In an exemplary embodiment, the check valve 28 is, includes, or is part of, a grease fitting, grease nipple, or zerk fitting, and thus includes a spring-loaded ball within a fluid passage, as well as an external threaded connection, which is threadably engaged with an internal threaded connection (not shown) at the end portion 16b of the tubular member 16. In an exemplary embodiment, at least a portion of the check valve 28 is positioned within the internal passage 16a at the end portion 16b of the tubular member 16. In an exemplary embodiment, at least a portion of the check valve 28 is positioned outside of the tubular member 16 and immediately above the end portion 16b thereof.

As noted above, the chemical fastener 14 has liquid and cured states, and is adapted to be injected into, and flow out of, the anchor 12. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 is amorphous in nature and chemically inert. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 is a liquid thermosetting polymeric system. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 is a liquid two-component polymeric system. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 is a two-component polyurea elastomer. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 is a two-component polyurea elastomer commercially available as VersaFlex SL/75, from VersaFlex Incorporated, Kansas City, Kansas.

In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 has a gel time of at least about 15 seconds. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 has a gel time of at least about 30 seconds. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 has a gel time of less than about 60 minutes. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 has a gel time that ranges from about 15 seconds to about 60 minutes. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 has a gel time that ranges from about 30 seconds to about 60 minutes.

In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 has a pot life of less than about

1 minute. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 has a pot life of at least about 30 seconds. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 has a pot life that ranges from about 30 seconds to about 1 minute.

In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 has an initial cure time of about 60 minutes. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 has an initial cure time that ranges from about 15 minutes to about 120 minutes. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 has an initial cure time that ranges from about 30 minutes to about 60 minutes.

In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 has a tack free time that ranges from about 1 minute to about 5 minutes. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 has a tack free time that ranges from about 2 minutes to about 3 minutes.

In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 in its cured state has a tensile strength of at least about 600 psi, and a tensile elongation of at least about 240%. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 in its cured state has a tensile strength of at least about 600 psi, and a tensile elongation of at least about 240%, as measured using test method ASTM D638. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 in its cured state has a tensile strength that ranges from about 600 psi to about 1200 psi. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 in its cured state has a tensile strength that ranges from about 600 psi to about 1200 psi, as measured using test method ASTM D638. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener in its cured state has a tensile elongation that ranges from about 240% to about 500%. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 in its cured state has a tensile elongation that ranges from about 240% to about 500%, as measured using test method ASTM D638. In an exemplary embodiment, the aforementioned tensile strength range and tensile elongation range of the chemical fastener 14 are measured using test method ASTM D638 after the chemical fastener 14 has cured and been maintained at about 70 °F to about 77 °F for about seven days. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 is inert, does not shrink upon curing, and can be used in aqueous environments.

In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 is, or includes, polyurethane, polyimide, polyamide, polyamideimide, polyester, polycarbonate, polysulfone, polyketone, polyolefins, (meth)acrylates, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene, styrene-acrylonitrile, acrylonitrile- stryrene-acrylate, diphenylmethane, diisocyanate, polypropylene glycol, tripropylene glycol diamine, glycerin, aminated propoxylated polybutanediols, diethyltoluenediamine, amino functional reactive resins, and combinations thereof. In several exemplary embodiments, the chemical fastener 14 includes polymers described in one or more of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,797,789; 6,605,684; 6,399,736; 6,013,755; 5,962,618; 5,962,144; 5,759,695; 5,731 ,397; 5,616,677; 5,504,181 ; 5,480,955; 5,442,034; 5,317,076; 5,266,671 ; 5,218,005; 5,189,075; 5,189,073; 5,171 ,819; 5,162,388; 5,153,232; 5,124,426; 5,1 18,728; 5,082,917; 5,013,813; and 4,891 ,086, the entire disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference to the extent the incorporated disclosures are not inconsistent with the present disclosure.

In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 is, or includes, a polyurea elastomer system, a two-component aromatic and aliphatic polyurea elastomer system, an amorphous polymer system, and/or any combination thereof. In several exemplary embodiments, the chemical fastener 14 is a single component system such as, but not limited to, a polyurethane adhesive made from water, prepolymerized polyisocyanate based on 4,4'- diphenylmethane diisocyanate, polymeric diphenylmethane diisocyanate, diphenyl methane diisocyanate mixed isomer, toluene, phenyl isocyanate, and monochlorobenzene. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 is not a crystalline polymer such as, for example, a polyurethane system. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 neither is a conventional concrete or stucco type of material, nor is made of fly ash or limestone. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 is a two-component polyurea system that is similar to that of epoxy type systems except that the two-component polyurea system does not have a true-glass transition temperature.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in Figure 2 with continuing reference to Figures 1 a-1 c, to install the anchoring system 10, the anchor 12 is positioned in a subterranean substrate 32 so that the flange 18 engages or nearly engages a ground surface 34. In an exemplary embodiment, at least a portion of the equipment or structure to be anchored by the anchoring system 10 may be connected to the tubular member 16 and/or the flange 18, disposed between the flange 18 and the ground surface 34, disposed between the flange 18 and the subterranean substrate 32, and/or any combination thereof.

In an exemplary embodiment, to position the anchor 12 in the subterranean substrate

32, the tubular member 16 is driven into the subterranean substrate 32 by first penetrating the ground surface 34 with the pointed tip 22 and then pushing the tubular member 16 downward, as viewed in Figure 2, until the flange 18 engages or nearly engages the ground surface 34. In an exemplary embodiment, to position the anchor 12 in the subterranean substrate 32, a hole is drilled and then the anchor 12 is positioned in the hole.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in Figures 3 and 4 with continuing reference to Figures 1 a-2, before, during or after the anchor 12 has been positioned in the subterranean substrate 32, a static mixer 36 is connected to the check valve 28.

More particularly, the static mixer 36 includes tubular members 38 and 40, which are connected end-to-end via a coupling 42. In an exemplary embodiment, each of the tubular members 38 and 40 has an axial length of about 6 inches. The tubular members 38 and 40 define internal passages 38a and 40a, respectively, which are in fluid communication with each other via the coupling 42. A fitting 44 defining an inlet 44a is connected to the end of the tubular member 38 opposite the coupling 42. An injection gun 46, which includes a mixing chamber 46a, is in fluid communication with the inlet 44a and thus with the internal passages 38a and 40a. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 is a two-component polyurea elastomer and the injection gun 46 is, includes, or is part of, a Reactor E-10 Plural-Component Proportioner, which is available from Graco Inc. of Minneapolis, Minnesota. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 is a two-component polyurea elastomer and the injection gun 46 is, includes, or is part of, a solvent or mechanical purge-type spray gun, such as a Series 450XT Snuff Back Valve, which is available from Nordson EFD, East Providence, Rhode Island. In several exemplary embodiments, the injection gun 46 is, includes, or is part of, embodiments disclosed in U.S. Patent Nos. 5,072,862; 4,538,920; 4,767,026; 6,135,631 ; 5,535,922; 5,875,928; 6,244,740; 3,166,221 ; 3,828,980; 6,601 ,782; and 7,815,384, the entire disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference to the extent the incorporated disclosures are not inconsistent with the present disclosure. A line 48 is connected to the fitting 44, and defines an internal passage 48a, which is in fluid communication with the internal passages 38a and 40a. A hydraulic connector 50 is connected to the end of the tubular member 40 opposite the coupling 42.

As shown in Figure 3, to connect the static mixer 36 to the check valve 28, the hydraulic connector 50 is engaged with the check valve 28. In an exemplary embodiment, the hydraulic connector 50 is a grease fitting coupler and the check valve 28 engaged therewith is a grease fitting, grease nipple or zerk fitting.

In an exemplary embodiment, with continuing reference to Figures 3 and 4, before, during or after the static mixer 36 has been connected to the check valve 28, the chemical fastener 14 is mixed in the mixing chamber 46a of the injection gun 46. After this mixing and the connection of the static mixer 36 to the check valve 28, the injection gun 46 pressurizes the mixed chemical fastener 14 and injects the chemical fastener 14 in its liquid state into the inlet 44a. As a result, the pressurized chemical fastener 14 in its liquid state flows through the internal passages 38a and 40a, through the check valve 28, and into the internal passage 16a of the tubular member 16 of the anchor 12, as indicated by an arrow 52 in Figure 3. The flow of the mixed chemical fastener 14 through the internal passages 38a and 40a of the static mixer causes the chemical fastener 14 to be further mixed. The respective lengths of the internal passages 38a and 40a promote this further mixing of the chemical fastener 14. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 is a two-component polyurea elastomer, and the injection gun 46 injects the polyurea elastomer into the inlet 44a at a fluid pressure of at least about or above 500 psi, up to about 40,000 psi, up to about 12,000 psi, from about 500 psi to about 12,000 psi, from above about 50 psi to about 5,000 psi, up to about 5,000 psi, or at about 2,000 psi, with an inlet air pressure of about 80 psi to about 130 psi. Although the check valve 28 permits the chemical fastener 14 in its liquid state to flow in the direction indicated by the arrow 52, the check valve 28 prevents the chemical fastener 14, and/or any other fluid, from flowing back up and out of the internal passage 16a in a direction opposite to the direction indicated by the arrow 52.

As indicated by the arrow 52, the chemical fastener 14 flows downward in the internal passage 16a of the tubular member 16. The chemical fastener 14 then flows out into the subterranean substrate 32 via the plurality of outlets 24, as indicated by arrows 54a and 54b, and also via the plurality of outlets 26, as indicated by arrows 56a and 56b. After exiting tubular member 16 via the pluralities of outlets 24 and 26, the chemical fastener 14 continues to flow into voids formed within the portion of the subterranean substrate 32 that surrounds the tubular member 16. In an exemplary embodiment, the voids are formed in the subterranean substrate 32 because of natural fractures in the substrate 32, and/or because of fractures that are formed due to the pressurized injection of the chemical fastener 14 into the substrate 32.

The gel time of the chemical fastener 14 is high enough to permit flow through the internal passages 38a and 40a for further mixing, through the internal passage 16a and out into the subterranean substrate 32, and through portions of the subterranean substrate 32, before the chemical fastener 14 becomes too viscous to flow.

In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 is a two-component polyurea elastomer, and the two components are heated to a temperature of about 60 °F to about 200 °F before, during or after the components are mixed in the mixing chamber 46a. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 is a two-component polyurea elastomer, and the two components are mixed in the mixing chamber 46a, and further mixed while flowing through the internal passages 38a and 40a of the static mixer 36. The gel time of the two-component polyurea elastomer is high enough to allow the polyurea elastomer to flow through the internal passages 38a and 40a for further mixing, through the internal passage 16a and out into the subterranean substrate 32, and through portions of the subterranean substrate 32, before the polyurea elastomer becomes too viscous to flow. After being injected into the subterranean substrate 32, the chemical fastener 14 eventually gels and thus stops flowing through the subterranean substrate 32. Additionally, any portion of the chemical fastener 14 remaining in the internal passage 16a of the tubular member 16 also gels.

In several exemplary embodiments, the amount of the chemical fastener 14 injected during installation of the anchoring system 10 depends on the anchoring requirements and properties of the subterranean substrate 32. In an exemplary embodiment, the amount of the chemical fastener 14 injected into the tubular member 16 is about 12 oz. In several exemplary embodiments, the amount of the chemical fastener 14 injected during installation may range from about 0.1 oz. to about 10 gallons, from about 0.2 oz. to about 1 gallon, from about 0.2 oz. to about 20 oz., from about 0.2 oz., to about 15 oz., or from about 0.5 oz to about 24 oz.

In several exemplary embodiments, the amount of time during which the chemical fastener 14 is injected during installation may range from about 1 second to about 3 minutes, about 1 second to about 2 minutes, about 1 second to about 1 minute, about 1 second to about 30 seconds, about 1 second to about 20 seconds, and about 1 second to about 10 seconds. In an exemplary embodiment, the injection time takes less than about 60 seconds.

After a sufficient quantity of the chemical fastener 14 has been injected into internal passage 16a of the tubular member 16 and thus into the subterranean substrate 32, the hydraulic connector 50 is disengaged from the check valve 28, and the static mixer 36 and the injection gun 46 can be removed from the location of the anchor 12. Before, during or after the injection of the chemical fastener 14 through the inlet 44a and the internal passages 38a and 40a, the static mixer 36 can be cleaned using the internal passage 48a to convey solvent(s) to or from one or more of the inlet 44a and the internal passages 38a and 40a.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in Figure 5 with continuing reference to Figures 1 a-4, after gelling, the chemical fastener 14 cures within the subterranean substrate 32, and adheres to the subterranean substrate 32 and at least the surface portion 16g of the external surface of the tubular member 16. Additionally, any portion of the chemical fastener 14 remaining in the internal passage 16a of the tubular member 16 also cures and adheres to the inside surface of the tubular member 16. As a result of the foregoing curing, a conglomerate 58 is formed, the conglomerate 58 including the chemical fastener 14 and the portion of the subterranean substrate 32 adhered thereto. Via the cured chemical fastener 14, the conglomerate 58 is adhered to at least the surface portion 16g of the external surface of the tubular member 16, as well as to the internal surface of the tubular member 16. In several exemplary embodiments, the conglomerate 58 forms a root-like pattern, an abstract annular shape, a prismatic shape, a spiral pattern, and/or any combination thereof. In several exemplary embodiments, the pattern or shape of the conglomerate 58 is based on the type(s) of soil in the subterranean substrate 32, as well as other conditions including, but not limited to, environmental conditions and soil properties. In several exemplary embodiments, the conglomerate 58 adapts to the cohesion properties of the soil(s) in the subterranean substrate 32. More particularly, by flowing into the voids within the subterranean substrate 32, the chemical fastener 14 and thus the conglomerate 58 formed therefrom adjust and adapt to the cohesion properties of the soil(s) in the substrate 32, forming patterns and/or shapes based on the properties of the soil(s).

In an exemplary embodiment, after installation and in operation, the anchoring system 10 anchors to the ground surface 34 the equipment or structure connected to, or otherwise engaged with, the anchor 12. The anchor 12 resists any movement of such equipment or structure due to external forces acting thereupon and caused by, for example, high winds or inclement weather. To resist such movement, the anchoring system 10 as a whole resists the pull-out of the anchor 12 from the subterranean substrate 32. In an exemplary embodiment, the pull-out resistance of the anchoring system 10 is due at least in part to the increased external surface area defined by the conglomerate 58, which increased surface area contacts the remainder of the subterranean substrate 32 that is not part of the conglomerate 58. In an exemplary embodiment, the pull-out resistance of the anchoring system 10 is due at least in part to the ability of the conglomerate 58 to form pattern(s) and/or shape(s) based on the type(s) of soil in the subterranean substrate 32. In an exemplary embodiment, the pull-out resistance of the anchoring system 10 is due at least in part to the tensile strength and tensile elongation of the chemical fastener 14, as well as the gel time of the chemical fastener 14, particularly in view of the ability of the chemical fastener 14 to flow into the voids in the subterranean substrate 32 surrounding the tubular member 16.

In an exemplary embodiment, after installation and in operation, the anchoring system 10 stabilizes the soil(s) within the subterranean substrate 32. In an exemplary embodiment, during operation, the anchoring system 10 stabilizes non-cohesive and low or moderate cohesion soils within the subterranean substrate 32. In an exemplary embodiment, during operation, the anchoring system 10 reduces the likelihood that the soil(s) within the subterranean substrate 32 will shift or otherwise undergo displacement.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in Figures 6a and 6b with continuing reference to Figures 1 a-5, an anchoring system is generally referred to by the reference numeral 60 and includes the chemical fastener 14 and an anchor 62. The anchor 62 includes an outer tubular member or casing 64, a pointed tip 66, a wedge 68, an inner tubular member or sleeve 70, a plurality of tubular members or rods 72, a tubular rod support 74, and a tubular member 76.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in Figures 6a, 6b and 6c with continuing reference to Figures 1 a-5, the outer tubular casing 64 defines an internal passage 64a and includes opposing end portions 64b and 64c. An internal threaded connection 64d is formed at the end portion 64c. Diametrically-opposite radial openings, or radial outlets, 78a and 78b are formed in the outer tubular casing 64. In an exemplary embodiment, the outlets 78a and 78b are formed in the outer tubular casing 64 at a downwardly-directed angle, which angle is defined from the longitudinal center axis of the outer tubular casing 64, and is directed from the center axis and towards the end portion 64c.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in Figure 6d with continuing reference to Figures 1 a-6c, the pointed tip 66 defines a tip 66a at one end, and includes an external threaded connection 66b at the other end.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in Figures 6b and 6e with continuing reference to Figures 1 a-6a, the inner sleeve 70 defines an internal passage 70a and includes opposing end portions 70b and 70c. Internal threaded connections 70d and 70e are formed at the end portions 70b and 70c, respectively. Diametrically-opposite radial openings, or radial outlets, 80a and 80b are formed in the inner sleeve 70. In an exemplary embodiment, the outlets 80a and 80b are formed in the inner sleeve 70 at a downwardly-directed angle, which angle is defined from the longitudinal center axis of the inner sleeve 70, and is directed from the center axis and towards the end portion 70c.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in Figures 6b and 6f with continuing reference to Figures 1 a-6a, the wedge 68 includes a cylindrical body 68a in which an external threaded connection 68b is formed. Wedge surfaces 68c and 68d extend from the cylindrical body 68a and towards a splitting edge 68e, at which the surfaces 68c and 68d converge or nearly converge. In an exemplary embodiment, a guide groove 68f (Figure 6b) is formed in the wedge surface 68c, extending from the edge 68e to the body 68a. Although not shown, another guide groove that is substantially identical to the guide groove 68f is formed in the wedge surface 68d, and extends from the edge 68e to the body 68a. In an exemplary embodiment, instead of, or in addition to, the guide groove 68f and the guide groove substantially identical thereto that is formed in the surface 68d, respective guide ribs extend along the wedge surfaces 68c and 68d, from the edge 68e to the body 68a.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in Figures 6b and 6g with continuing reference to Figures 1 a-6a, the tubular rod support 74 defines an internal passage 74a and includes opposing end portions 74b and 74c. A cap 82 is part of, or is connected to, the longitudinal extent of the end portion 74c of the tubular rod support 74. In contrast, the end portion 74b is not capped and thus an inlet 74d into the internal passage 74a is defined at the end portion 74b.

The plurality of rods 72, which includes rods 72a and 72b, are connected to the cap 82 and extend axially away from the tubular rod support 74. The rods 72a and 72b are substantially identical. More particularly, the rods 72a and 72b define internal passages 72aa and 72ba, respectively, each of which is in fluid communication with the internal passage 74a of the tubular rod support 74. The rods 72a and 72b include pointed tips 72ab and 72bb, which oppose the cap 82. A plurality of radial openings, or radial outlets, 84 are formed in the rod 72a. As shown in Figures 6b and 6g, the plurality of outlets 84 includes, but is not limited to, outlets 84a, 84b and 84c, which are clustered together proximate the pointed tip 72ab of the rod 72a. The plurality of outlets 84 are circumferentially spaced around, and axially spaced along, the rod 72a. In an exemplary embodiment, the plurality of outlets 84 are spirally disposed around the rod 72a. In several exemplary embodiments, the quantity, locations and/or sizes of the outlets in the plurality of outlets 84 are varied. A plurality of radial openings, or radial outlets, 86 are formed in the rod 72b. The outlets 86 are substantially identical to the outlets 84 and therefore will not be described in further detail. In several exemplary embodiments, additional pluralities of outlets, which may be substantially identical to the plurality of outlets 84 or 86, are formed in the rod 72a and/or 72b. In an exemplary embodiment, one of the plurality of outlets 84 or 86 is omitted.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in Figures 6a, 6b and 6h with continuing reference to Figures 1 a-5, the tubular member 76 defines an internal passage 76a and includes opposing end portions 76b and 76c, and an enlarged outer diameter portion 76d at the end portion 76c. An end face 76e of the tubular member 76 is defined by the enlarged outer diameter portion 76d. The end face 76e of the tubular member 76 is adapted to engage and apply a force against the extent of the end portion 74b of the tubular rod support 74, under conditions to be described below. An external threaded connection 76f is formed in the enlarged outer diameter portion 76d. A check valve 88 is positioned at the end portion 76b of the tubular member 76. As viewed in Figure 6h, the check valve 88 is configured to permit oneway fluid flow in a direction from above the end portion 76b and down into the internal passage 76a, as indicated by an arrow 90. In an exemplary embodiment, the check valve 88 is, includes, or is part of, a grease fitting, grease nipple or zerk fitting.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in Figure 7a with continuing reference to Figures 1 a-6h, to install the anchoring system 60, the pointed tip 66 is connected to the outer tubular casing 64 by threadably engaging the external threaded connection 66b with the internal threaded connection 64d. The outer tubular casing 64 is then positioned in the subterranean substrate 32 so that the pointed tip 66 opposes the ground surface 34. In an exemplary embodiment, to position the outer tubular casing 64 in the subterranean substrate 32, the outer tubular casing 64 is driven into the subterranean substrate 32 by first penetrating the ground surface 34 with the pointed tip 66 and then driving the outer tubular casing 64 downward, as viewed in Figure 7a. In an exemplary embodiment, to position the outer tubular casing 64 in the subterranean substrate 32, a hole is drilled and then the outer tubular casing 64 is positioned in the hole, with or without the pointed tip 66.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in Figure 7b with continuing reference to Figures 1 a-7a, during or after the outer tubular casing 64 is positioned in the subterranean substrate 32, the plurality of rods 72 are positioned in the subterranean substrate 32. To so position the rods 72a and 72b, the wedge 68 is positioned inside the inner sleeve 70 by threadably engaging the external threaded connection 68b with the internal threaded connection 70e so that the wedge surfaces 68c and 68d extend from the body 68a and towards the end portion 70b of the inner sleeve 70. In several exemplary embodiments, instead of a threaded engagement, the wedge 68 is positioned in the inner sleeve 70 using one or more fasteners such as set screws, an interference fit between the body 68a and the inside surface of the inner sleeve 70, a shape fit between the body 68a and the inside surface of the inner sleeve 70, and/or any combination thereof.

The inner sleeve 70 is inserted into the internal passage 64a of the outer tubular casing 64 so that the outlets 80a and 80b in the inner sleeve 70 are radially aligned with the outlets 78a and 78b, respectively, in the outer tubular casing 64. In an exemplary embodiment, the inner sleeve 70 and/or the outer tubular casing 64 include one or more keys, guide slots, guide fins, and/or any combination thereof, in order to guide the inner sleeve 70 as it is inserted into the outer tubular casing 64, and to prevent relative rotation therebetween, thereby ensuring that the outlets 80a and 80b are radially aligned with the outlets 78a and 78b, respectively.

The rods 72a and 72b and the tubular rod support 74 connected thereto are then inserted into the inner sleeve 70 so that the pointed tips 72ab and 72bb contact, or nearly contact, the wedge surfaces 68c and 68d, respectively, and so that the edge 68e is positioned between the rods 72a and 72b. The external threaded connection 76f of the tubular member 76 is then threadably engaged with the internal threaded connection 70d of the inner sleeve 70, causing the tubular member 76 to move downward, as viewed in Figure 7b and indicated by an arrow 92. As the tubular member 76 continues to be threadably engaged with the inner sleeve 70 and thus continues to move in the direction of the arrow 92, the end face 76e of the tubular member 76 contacts the extent of the end portion 74b of the tubular rod support 74. Continued threaded engagement causes the end face 76e to bear against the extent of the end portion 74b, thereby causing the tubular rod support 74 and thus the rods 72a and 72b to move downward as indicated by the arrow 92. In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in Figure 7c with continuing reference to Figures 1 a-7b, in response to the downward movement of the tubular rod support 74, the rods 72a and 72b ride against the wedge surfaces 68c and 68d, respectively, causing the rods 72a and 72b to bend outwardly away from the longitudinal center axis of the internal passage 70a of the inner sleeve 70. In an exemplary embodiment, the guide groove 68f guides the rod 72a as it bends, and the guide groove that is formed in the wedge surface 68d and is substantially identical to the guide groove 68f guides the rod 72b as it bends. The foregoing movement is continued, thereby causing the rods 72a and 72b to bend further, the pointed tip 72ab of the rod 72a to pass through the radially-aligned outlets 80a and 78a and penetrate into the subterranean substrate 32, and the pointed tip 72bb of the rod 72b to pass through the radially- aligned outlets 80b and 78b and penetrate into the subterranean substrate 32. In an exemplary embodiment, the foregoing movement is stopped either before or at the point when the external threaded connection 76f can no longer be further threadably engaged with the internal threaded connection 70d.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in Figure 7c with continuing reference to

Figures 1 a-7b, during or after the rods 72a and 72b are positioned in the subterranean substrate 32, the chemical fastener 14 is injected in its liquid state into the subterranean substrate 32. More particularly, the chemical fastener 14 is injected through the check valve 88 as indicated by an arrow 94, through the internal passage 76a of the tubular member 76, through the internal passage 74a of the tubular rod support 74, through the respective internal passages 72aa and 72ba of the rods 72a and 72b and thus through the radially-aligned outlets 80a and 78a and the radially-aligned outlets 80b and 78b, through the pluralities of outlets 84 and 86, respectively, and thus into the subterranean substrate 32 as indicated by arrows 96, 98, 100 and 102. The chemical fastener 14 flows into voids present in the subterranean substrate 32 and surrounding the outer tubular casing 64 and the rods 72a and 72b. In an exemplary embodiment, the voids are formed in the subterranean substrate 32 because of natural fractures in the substrate 32, and/or because of fractures that are formed due to the pressurized injection of the chemical fastener 14 into the substrate 32.

In an exemplary embodiment, to inject the chemical fastener 14 into the subterranean substrate 32 via the anchor 62, the static mixer 36 is connected to the check valve 88 and thus the anchor 62 in a manner substantially identical to the manner described above in which the static mixer 36 is connected to the check valve 28 and thus the anchor 12. And the injection gun 46 injects the chemical fastener 14 into and through the anchor 62, and into the subterranean substrate 32 in a manner substantially identical to the manner described above in which the injection gun 46 injects the chemical fastener 14 into and through the anchor 12, and into the subterranean substrate 32. Although the check valve 88 permits the chemical fastener 14 in its liquid state to flow in the direction indicated by the arrow 94, the check valve 88 prevents the chemical fastener 14, and/or any other fluid, from flowing back up and out from the internal passage 76a in a direction opposite to the direction indicated by the arrow 94.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in Figure 7d with continuing reference to Figures 1 a-7c, before, during or after injection, the chemical fastener 14 gels and then cures within the subterranean substrate 32, and adheres to the subterranean substrate 32 and at least portions of the respective external surfaces of the outer tubular casing 64 and the rods 72a and 72b. Additionally, any portion of the chemical fastener 14 remaining in the internal passage 76a of the tubular member 16 cures and adheres to the inside surface of the tubular member 76, any portion of the chemical fastener 14 remaining in the internal passage 74a of the tubular rod support 74 cures and adheres to the inside surface of the tubular rod support 74, any portion of the chemical fastener 14 remaining in the internal passage 72aa of the rod 72 cures and adheres to the inside surface of the rod 72a, and any portion of the chemical fastener 14 remaining in the internal passage 72ba of the rod 72 cures and adheres to the inside surface of the rod 72b.

As a result of the curing of the chemical fastener 14, a conglomerate 104 is formed, the conglomerate 104 including the chemical fastener 14 and the portion of the subterranean substrate 32 adhered thereto. Via the cured chemical fastener 14, the conglomerate 104 is adhered to at least portions of the respective external surfaces of the outer tubular casing 64 and the rods 72a and72b.

In several exemplary embodiments, the conglomerate 104 forms a root-like pattern, an abstract annular shape, a prismatic shape, a spiral pattern, and/or any combination thereof. In several exemplary embodiments, the pattern or shape of the conglomerate 104 is based on the type(s) of soil in the subterranean substrate 32, as well as other conditions including, but not limited to, environmental conditions and soil properties. In several exemplary embodiments, the conglomerate 104 adapts to the cohesion properties of the soil(s) in the subterranean substrate 32. More particularly, by flowing into the voids within the subterranean substrate 32, the chemical fastener 14 and thus the conglomerate 104 formed therefrom adjust and adapt to the cohesion properties of the soil(s) in the substrate 32, forming patterns and/or shapes based on the properties of the soil(s).

In an exemplary embodiment, after installation and in operation, the anchoring system 60 anchors to the ground surface 34 any equipment or structure(s) connected to, or otherwise engaged with, the anchor 62. The anchor 62 resists any movement of such equipment or structure due to external forces acting thereupon and caused by, for example, high winds or inclement weather. To resist such movement, the anchoring system 60 as a whole resists the pull-out of the anchor 62 from the subterranean substrate 32. In an exemplary embodiment, the pull-out resistance of the anchoring system 60 is due at least in part to the increased external surface area defined by the conglomerate 104, which increased surface area contacts the remainder of the subterranean substrate 32 that is not part of the conglomerate 104. In several exemplary embodiments, due at least in part to the use of the rods 72a and 72b, the external surface area defined by the conglomerate 104 is greater than the external surface area defined by the conglomerate 58 (shown in Figure 5) and, as a result, the pull-out strength or resistance of the anchoring system 60 is greater than that of the anchoring system 10. In an exemplary embodiment, the pull-out resistance of the anchoring system 60 is due at least in part to the ability of the conglomerate 104 to form pattern(s) and/or shape(s) based on the type(s) of soil in the subterranean substrate 32. In an exemplary embodiment, the pull-out resistance of the anchoring system 60 is due at least in part to the tensile strength and tensile elongation of the chemical fastener 14, as well as the gel time of the chemical fastener 14, particularly in view of the ability of the chemical fastener 14 to flow into the voids in the subterranean substrate 32 surrounding the outer tubular casing 64 and the rods 72a and 72b.

In an exemplary embodiment, after installation and in operation, the anchoring system

60 stabilizes the soil(s) within the subterranean substrate 32. In an exemplary embodiment, during operation, the anchoring system 60 stabilizes non-cohesive and low or moderate cohesion soils within the subterranean substrate 32. In an exemplary embodiment, during operation, the anchoring system 60 reduces the likelihood that the soil(s) within the subterranean substrate 32 will shift or otherwise undergo displacement.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in Figure 8 with continuing reference to Figures 1 a-7d, an anchoring system is generally referred to by the reference numeral 106 and includes the chemical fastener 14 and an anchor 108. The anchor 108 includes several components of the anchor 62 of the anchoring system 60, which components are given the same reference numerals. As shown in Figure 8, the pointed tip 66 is omitted in favor of a drill bit 1 10, which is removably engaged with the outer tubular casing 64 at the end portion 64c thereof. In an exemplary embodiment, the drill bit 1 10 is first inserted into the internal passage 64a at the end portion 64b of the outer tubular casing 64, and is then inserted through the internal passage 64a until the drill bit 1 10 extends out from the end portion 64c, as shown in Figure 8. In an exemplary embodiment, the drill bit 1 10 is retractable so that it may be retracted up through the internal passage 64a and out of the outer tubular casing 64, in a direction from the end portion 64c to the end portion 64b. In an exemplary embodiment, the drill bit 1 10 is collapsible and retractable so that it may be collapsed so as to have a smaller outside diameter or dimension, and then retracted up through the internal passage 64a and out of the outer tubular casing 64, in a direction from the end portion 64c to the end portion 64b. The remainder of the anchor 108 is substantially identical to the anchor 62 and thus will not be described in further detail.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in Figure 9a with continuing reference to Figures 1 a-8, to install the anchoring system 106, the outer tubular casing 64 is positioned in the subterranean substrate 32. To so position the outer tubular casing 64, the drill bit 1 10 penetrates the ground surface 34 and drills into the subterranean substrate 32. In an exemplary embodiment, the outer tubular casing 64 is pulled downward, as viewed in Figure 9a, as the drill bit 1 10 drills into the subterranean substrate 32. In an exemplary embodiment, the outer tubular casing 64 is driven downward, as viewed in Figure 9a, as the drill bit 1 10 drills into the subterranean substrate 32.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in Figure 9b with continuing reference to Figures 1 a-9a, the drill bit 1 10 continues to drill into the subterranean substrate 32, and the outer tubular casing 64 continues to move downward as viewed in Figure 9b, until the outer tubular casing 64 is positioned at a desired location in the subterranean substrate 32, relative to the ground surface 34.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in Figure 9c with continuing reference to Figures 1 a-9b, after the outer tubular casing 64 has been positioned at the desired location in the subterranean substrate 32, the drill bit 1 10 is removed from the anchoring system 106. In an exemplary embodiment, the drill bit 1 10 is retracted up through the internal passage 64a and out of the outer tubular casing 64, in a direction from the end portion 64c to the end portion 64b. In an exemplary embodiment, the drill bit 1 10 is collapsed so as to have a smaller outside diameter or dimension, and then retracted up through the internal passage 64a and out of the outer tubular casing 64, in a direction from the end portion 64c to the end portion 64b.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in Figures 9d and 9e with continuing reference to Figures 1 a-9c, during or after the outer tubular casing 64 of the anchor 108 is positioned in the subterranean substrate 32, the plurality of rods 72 of the anchor 108 is positioned in the subterranean substrate 32 by moving the tubular member 76 downward, as indicated by an arrow 1 1 1 in Figure 9d. In an exemplary embodiment, the plurality of rods 72 of the anchor 108 is positioned in the subterranean substrate 32 in a manner substantially identical to the above-described manner in which the plurality of rods 72 of the anchor 62 is positioned in the subterranean substrate 32.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in Figure 9e with continuing reference to Figures 1 a-9d, during or after the rods 72a and 72b are positioned in the subterranean substrate 32, the chemical fastener 14 of the anchoring system 106 in its liquid state is injected into the subterranean substrate 32. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener 14 of the anchoring system 106 is injected into the subterranean substrate 32 in a manner substantially identical to the above-described manner in which the chemical fastener 14 of the anchoring system 60 is injected into the subterranean substrate 32, with the chemical fastener 14 of the anchoring system 106 being injected through the check valve 88 as indicated by an arrow 1 12, and subsequently out of the rods 72a and 72b and into the subterranean substrate 32, as indicated by arrows 1 14, 1 16, 1 18 and 120.

In an exemplary embodiment, the anchoring system 106 forms a conglomerate (not shown) in a manner substantially identical to the above-described manner in which the conglomerate 104 is formed. In an exemplary embodiment, the anchoring system 106 operates in a manner substantially identical to the above-described manner in which the anchoring system 60 operates.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in Figure 10 with continuing reference to Figures 1 a-9e, an anchoring system is generally referred to by the reference numeral 122 and includes the chemical fastener 14 and an anchor 124. The anchor 124 includes several components of the anchor 62 of the anchoring system 60, which components are given the same reference numerals. As shown in Figure 10, in addition to the outlets 78a and 78b, the plurality of outlets 78 further includes a radial outlet 78c that extends radially through the outer tubular casing 64 and another radial outlet (not shown) that extends radially through the outer tubular casing 64 and is diametrically opposed to the outlet 78c, resulting in a total of four outlets in the plurality of outlets 78. Correspondingly, in addition to the outlets 80a and 80b, the plurality of outlets 80 further includes a radial outlet 80c that extends radially through the inner sleeve 70 and another radial outlet (not shown) that extends radially through the inner sleeve 70. And, in addition to the rods 72a and 72b, the plurality of rods 72 includes rods 72c and 72d, which are connected to, and extend axially away from, the cap 82 of the tubular rod support 74. Each of the rods 72c and 72d is substantially identical to the rod 72a and thus also to the rod 72b; therefore, each of the rods 72c and 72d includes a plurality of radial openings, or radial outlets, which are formed in the rod and are clustered together proximate the respective pointed tip of the rod. In several exemplary embodiments, the quantity of rods in the plurality of rods 72 may be increased or decreased.

Instead of the wedge 68 of the anchor 62, the anchor 124 includes a wedge 126, which includes a cylindrical body 126a and an external threaded connection 126b. Channels 126c and 126d are formed in the cylindrical body 126a, thereby defining an edge 126e and an edge 126f perpendicular thereto. Each of the edges 126e and 126f is perpendicular to the axial extension of the cylindrical body 126a. The channel 126c defines wedge surfaces 126g and 126h, and the channel 126d defines wedge surfaces 126i and 126j. The surfaces 126g and 126i extend axially away from the external threaded connection 126b and towards the edge 126e. The surfaces 126h and 126j extend axially away from the external threaded connection 126b and converge at the edge 126f. Although not shown, two additional channels are formed in the body 126a, and are identical to the channels 126c and 126d, respectively. The channels 126c and 126d are symmetric, about the edge 126e, to the two additional channels. The channel 126c and one of the two additional channels are symmetric, about the edge 126f, to the channel 126d and the other of the two additional channels.

The remainder of the anchor 124 is substantially identical to the anchor 62 and thus will not be described in further detail.

In an exemplary embodiment, the anchoring system 122 is installed in the subterranean substrate 32 in a manner that is substantially identical to the above-described manner in which the anchoring system 60 is installed in the subterranean substrate 32, except that, in the anchoring system 122, the rods 72c and 72d are positioned in the subterranean substrate 32 along with the rods 72a and 72b, and the chemical fastener 14 is injected into the subterranean substrate 32 via the rods 72c and 72d, as well as the rods 72a and 72b. More particularly, during installation, the rods 72a and 72c extend within the channels 126c and 126d, respectively. The rod 72a contacts the surface(s) 126g and/or 126h, bending and thus being directed out of the inner sleeve 70 and the outer tubular casing 64 via the radially-aligned openings 80a and 78a. The rod 72c contacts the surface(s) 126i and/or 126j, bending and thus being directed out of the inner sleeve 70 and the outer tubular casing 64 via the radially-aligned openings 80c and 78c. And the rods 72b and 72d extend within the two additional channels (not shown) that are symmetric, about the edge 126e, to the channels 126c and 126d, and thus are bent and are directed out of the inner sleeve 70 and the outer sleeve 64 via corresponding pairs of radially-aligned openings. Since the remainder of the installation of the anchoring system 122 is substantially identical to the above-described installation of the anchoring system 60, the remainder of the installation of the anchoring system 122 will not be described in further detail.

In an exemplary embodiment, the anchoring system 122 operates in a manner substantially identical to the above-described manner in which the anchoring system 60 operates. Therefore, the operation of the anchoring system 122 will not be described in further detail.

In an exemplary experimental embodiment, testing was conducted using an experimental embodiment of the anchoring system 10. The experimental tubular member 16 had an outside diameter of about 0.5 inches, and an inside diameter of about 0.3 inches. The experimental chemical fastener 14 was a two-component polyurea elastomer commercially available as VersaFlex SL/75, from VersaFlex Incorporated, Kansas City, Kansas. The experimental flange 18 had an outside diameter of about 1 .625 inches, and an axial thickness of about 0.25 inches. The experimental plurality of outlets 24 included six outlets 24 arranged in a spiral pattern, with each of the outlets 24 having a diameter of about 0.16 inches. Likewise, the experimental plurality of outlets 26 included six outlets 26 arranged in a spiral pattern, with each of the outlets 26 having a diameter of about 0.16 inches. The experimental plurality of outlets 24 was located about 2 inches above the experimental pointed tip 22, and the experimental plurality of outlets 26 was located about 3.5 inches above the experimental pointed tip 22. The experimental injection gun 46 included a Reactor E-10 Plural-Component Proportioner, which is available from Graco Inc. of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and a Series 450XT Snuff Back Valve, which is available from Nordson EFD, East Providence, Rhode Island. The experimental hydraulic connector 50 was a grease gun tip. The experimental testing was conducted in an experimental subterranean substrate 32 that had a top layer of rocky soil and an under layer of rocky clay soil that was slightly damp. An experimental ½ -inch diameter hole was drilled into the soil. The experimental tubular member 16 was manually forced into the predrilled hole. The experimental tubular member 16 was positioned in the soil so that the flange 18 was flush with the ground surface 34. Before injecting the chemical fastener 14 into the internal passage 16a of the tubular member 16, the chemical fastener 14 was heated to a temperature of about 100 °F to about 120 °F in the experimental injection gun 46. After heating, the chemical fastener 14 was injected into the internal passage 16a at a fluid pressure of about 2,000 psi for about 10 seconds. The volume of the chemical fastener 14 injected into the internal passage 16a ranged from about 12 oz. to about 24 oz. Three experimental embodiments of the anchoring system 10 were tested, in accordance with the foregoing. The three experimental embodiments of the anchor system 10 were tested for vertical pull strength at least about 72 hours after the injection of the chemical fastener 14. The experimental vertical pull strength was determined by a hoisting the flange 18 upward with a flatbed crane. The load was recorded with a Chatillon DFS-R-ND Dynamometer and a SLC-10000 load cell. Testing using the first experimental embodiment of the anchoring system 10 indicated a vertical pull strength of about 4,045 lbs. This was a surprising and unexpected result. Testing using the second experimental embodiment of the anchoring system 10 indicated a vertical pull strength of about 4,750 lbs. This was a surprising and unexpected result. Testing using the third experimental embodiment of the anchoring system 10 indicated a vertical pull strength of over 6,000 lbs. This was a surprising and unexpected result.

In an exemplary embodiment, the anchoring system 10 may achieve a minimum vertical pull strength of at least about 500 lbs in a rocky-clay soil when the tubular member 16 is about 16 inches in length and about 0.5 inches in outer diameter, the chemical fastener 14 is a two- component polyurea elastomer, and about 12 oz. of the chemical fastener 14 is injected into the tubular member 16. An anchoring method has been described that includes positioning a first tubular member in a subterranean substrate, the first tubular member defining a first internal passage; and forming, within the subterranean substrate, a conglomerate that is adhered to the first tubular member; wherein the conglomerate includes respective portions of the subterranean substrate and a chemical fastener in a cured state; and wherein forming the conglomerate includes injecting the chemical fastener in a liquid state into the first internal passage so that the chemical fastener in the liquid state flows from the first internal passage and into the subterranean substrate via at least a first radial opening formed in the first tubular member. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener has a gel time of at least about 15 seconds, a tensile strength of at least about 600 psi in the cured state, and a tensile elongation of at least about 240% in the cured state. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener is a two- component polyurea elastomer. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener in the liquid state is injected into the first internal passage at a pressure sufficient to cause the chemical fastener to flow through, and fracture, at least a portion of the subterranean substrate. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener in the liquid state is injected into the first internal passage in a first direction; and wherein forming the conglomerate further includes preventing the chemical fastener in the liquid state from flowing out of the first internal passage in a second direction that is opposite to the first direction. In an exemplary embodiment, injecting the chemical fastener in the liquid state into the first internal passage includes mixing the chemical fastener in at least one mixing chamber; and after mixing the chemical fastener in the at least one mixing chamber, injecting the chemical fastener in the liquid state into a second internal passage so that the chemical fastener flows into the first internal passage via at least the second internal passage; wherein the chemical fastener is further mixed in the second internal passage as the chemical fastener flows therethrough. In an exemplary embodiment, positioning the first tubular member in the subterranean substrate includes driving the first tubular member into the subterranean substrate. In an exemplary embodiment, positioning the first tubular member in the subterranean substrate includes positioning a second tubular member in the subterranean substrate, the second tubular member defining a second internal passage; inserting the first tubular member into the second internal passage; and bending the first tubular member so that at least a portion thereof passes through a second radial opening formed in the second tubular member and penetrates the subterranean substrate; wherein the first radial opening is formed in the portion of the first tubular member and thus passes through the second radial opening. In an exemplary embodiment, positioning the first tubular member in the subterranean substrate further includes inserting a third tubular member into the second internal passage, the third tubular member defining a third internal passage; wherein the first tubular member is inserted into the third internal passage and thus into the second internal passage; and wherein, before passing through the second radial opening, the portion of the first tubular member passes through a third radial opening formed in the third tubular member, the third radial opening being radially aligned with the second radial opening. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener is a two-component polyurea elastomer; wherein injecting the chemical fastener in the liquid state into the first internal passage includes mixing the chemical fastener in at least one mixing chamber; and after mixing the chemical fastener in the at least one mixing chamber, injecting the chemical fastener in the liquid state into a second internal passage so that the chemical fastener flows into the first internal passage via at least the second internal passage, wherein the chemical fastener is further mixed in the second internal passage as the chemical fastener flows therethrough; wherein the chemical fastener in the liquid state is injected into the first internal passage in a first direction at a pressure sufficient to cause the chemical fastener to flow through, and fracture, at least a portion of the subterranean substrate; and wherein forming the conglomerate further includes preventing the chemical fastener in the liquid state from flowing out of the first internal passage in a second direction that is opposite to the first direction.

An anchoring system has been described that includes a first tubular member adapted to be positioned in a subterranean substrate, the first tubular member defining a first internal passage; a first radial opening formed in the first tubular member; a chemical fastener having liquid and cured states; a first configuration in which the first tubular member is positioned in the subterranean substrate, the chemical fastener is in the liquid state, and the chemical fastener is permitted to flow from the first internal passage and into the subterranean substrate via the first radial opening; and a second configuration in which the first tubular member is positioned in the subterranean substrate, the chemical fastener is in the cured state, and the anchoring system further includes a conglomerate adhered to the first tubular member, the conglomerate including respective portions of the subterranean substrate and the chemical fastener in the cured state. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener has a gel time of at least about 15 seconds, a tensile strength of at least about 600 psi in the cured state, and a tensile elongation of at least about 240% in the cured state. In an exemplary embodiment, the chemical fastener is a two- component polyurea elastomer. In an exemplary embodiment, the anchoring system includes a valve in fluid communication with the first internal passage; wherein the valve permits the chemical fastener in the liquid state to flow in a first direction into the first internal passage; and wherein the valve prevents the chemical fastener in the liquid state from flowing out of the first internal passage in a second direction that is opposite to the first direction. In an exemplary embodiment, the anchoring system includes a second tubular member, the second tubular member defining a second internal passage adapted to be in fluid communication with the first internal passage via at least the valve; and a mixing chamber adapted to be in fluid communication with the second internal passage; wherein, when the anchoring system is in the first configuration, the chemical fastener is permitted to be mixed in the mixing chamber, to flow from the mixing chamber and into the first internal passage via at least the second internal passage and the valve, and to be further mixed during its flow through the second internal passage. In an exemplary embodiment, the anchoring system includes a second tubular member adapted to be positioned in the subterranean substrate, the second tubular member defining a second internal passage in which a first portion of the first tubular member is adapted to extend; and a second radial opening formed in the second tubular member through which a second portion of the first tubular member is adapted to extend; wherein, when the second portion of the tubular member extends through the second radial opening, the first radial opening is located outside of the second tubular member. In an exemplary embodiment, the anchoring system includes a third tubular member adapted to extend within the second internal passage, the third tubular member defining a third internal passage in which the first portion of the first tubular member is adapted to extend and thus also extend in the second internal passage; a third radial opening formed in the third tubular member and adapted to be radially aligned with the second radial opening; wherein the second portion of the first tubular member is adapted to extend through the second and third radial openings when the second and third radial openings are radially aligned. In an exemplary embodiment, the anchoring system includes a tubular support connected to the first tubular member and adapted to extend within the third internal passage; wherein the tubular support and the first tubular member are movable within the third internal passage. In an exemplary embodiment, the first tubular member is movable within the third internal passage; and wherein the anchoring system further includes a wedge adapted to be connected to the third tubular member, the wedge defining a surface against which the first tubular member is adapted to contact to thereby cause the second portion of the first tubular member to bend and extend through the second and third radial openings when the second and third radial openings are radially aligned. In an exemplary embodiment, the anchoring system includes a valve in fluid communication with the first internal passage, wherein the valve permits the chemical fastener in the liquid state to flow in a first direction into the first internal passage, and wherein the valve prevents the chemical fastener in the liquid state from flowing out of the first internal passage in a second direction that is opposite to the first direction; a second tubular member, the second tubular member defining a second internal passage adapted to be in fluid communication with the first internal passage via at least the valve; and a mixing chamber adapted to be in fluid communication with the second internal passage, wherein, when the anchoring system is in the first configuration, the chemical fastener in the liquid state is permitted to be mixed in the mixing chamber, to flow from the mixing chamber and into the first internal passage via at least the second internal passage and the valve, and to be further mixed during its flow through the second internal passage; a third tubular member adapted to be positioned in the subterranean substrate, the third tubular member defining a third internal passage in which a first portion of the first tubular member is adapted to extend; a second radial opening formed in the third tubular member through which a second portion of the first tubular member is adapted to extend, wherein, when the second portion of the tubular member extends through the second radial opening, the first radial opening is located outside of the third tubular member; a fourth tubular member adapted to extend within the third internal passage, the fourth tubular member defining a fourth internal passage in which the first portion of the first tubular member is adapted to extend and thus also extend in the third internal passage; a third radial opening formed in the fourth tubular member and adapted to be radially aligned with the second radial opening, wherein the second portion of the first tubular member is adapted to extend through the second and third radial openings when the second and third radial openings are radially aligned; and a wedge adapted to be connected to the fourth tubular member, the wedge defining a surface against which the first tubular member is adapted to contact to thereby cause the second portion of the first tubular member to bend and extend through the second and third radial openings when the second and third radial openings are radially aligned.

It is understood that variations may be made in the foregoing without departing from the scope of the disclosure.

In several exemplary embodiments, the elements and teachings of the various illustrative exemplary embodiments may be combined in whole or in part in some or all of the illustrative exemplary embodiments. In addition, one or more of the elements and teachings of the various illustrative exemplary embodiments may be omitted, at least in part, and/or combined, at least in part, with one or more of the other elements and teachings of the various illustrative embodiments.

Any spatial references such as, for example, "upper," "lower," "above," "below," "between," "bottom," "vertical," "horizontal," "angular," "upward," "downward," "side-to-side," "left- to-right," "left," "right," "right-to-left," "top- to-bottom," "bottom-to-top," "top," "bottom," "bottom-up," "top-down," etc., are for the purpose of illustration only and do not limit the specific orientation or location of the structure described above.

In several exemplary embodiments, while different steps, processes, and procedures are described as appearing as distinct acts, one or more of the steps, one or more of the processes, and/or one or more of the procedures may also be performed in different orders, simultaneously and/or sequentially. In several exemplary embodiments, the steps, processes and/or procedures may be merged into one or more steps, processes and/or procedures. In several exemplary embodiments, one or more of the operational steps in each embodiment may be omitted. Moreover, in some instances, some features of the present disclosure may be employed without a corresponding use of the other features. Moreover, one or more of the above-described embodiments and/or variations may be combined in whole or in part with any one or more of the other above-described embodiments and/or variations.

Although several exemplary embodiments have been described in detail above, the embodiments described are exemplary only and are not limiting, and those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that many other modifications, changes and/or substitutions are possible in the exemplary embodiments without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of the present disclosure. Accordingly, all such modifications, changes and/or substitutions are intended to be included within the scope of this disclosure as defined in the following claims. In the claims, any means-plus-function clauses are intended to cover the structures described herein as performing the recited function and not only structural equivalents, but also equivalent structures.