The University of Manchester

School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science

Multiphase Processing Group

Publications Presentations

Carlos Lam

DPhil Student

Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford
Start date: September 2007
Co-supervisors: Dr Chris Martin and Prof Stephan Jefferis, University of Oxford
Project: Polymer soil interactions in geo-technical processes
Sponsor: EPSRC CASE with Stent Foundations

My research deals with the use of synthetic polymer fluids for the construction of structural foundation elements such as bored piles or diaphragm walls. These fluids are typically solutions of partially hydrolysed polyacrylamide (HPAM or PHPA) or more complicated polymer blend. Although this construction technology has been used in various parts of the world for almost two decades, very little is known about the relationships between the physiochemical properties of the polymer fluids and the load-settlement behaviour of the foundation. The aim of this research is to improve our understanding in the following areas:

  • Fundamental difference between the various polymer products available in the market

  • Rheological properties of the polymer fluids

  • Field techniques for measuring the properties of polymer fluids

  • Relationship between fluid and soil properties and hence the effects on foundation behaviour


  • Lam, C, Jefferis, SA (2011). Critical assessment of pile modulus determination methods. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 48, 1433-1448.

  • Lam, C, Troughton, V, Jefferis, S, Suckling, T (2010). Effect of support fluids on pile performance - a field trial in east London. Ground Engineering, October 2010, 28-31.
    [download pdf - 1.7 MB]


  • Lam, C., Jefferis, Goodhue, K.G., Jr. (2010). Observations on viscosity reduction of PHPA polymer support fluids.Presentation at the GeoShanghai International Conference 2010, Shanghai, China.