Compaction of Soil with Pneumatic Rammers: An Overview

Compaction of Soil with Pneumatic Rammers: An Overview Rammer for compaction of soil, sand or gravel. Vibratory plates (rammers) are rightfully called professional construction machines. They are used to compact the soil, lay asphalt, paving slabs, and also eliminate various defects and unevenness of the road surface.

Such a tool is quite simple to operate, but still do not forget about the standard safety precautions, as well as about the features of work for different materials, such as soil, sand, crushed stone, asphalt, tiles and under flooring.

General information

Why is it needed

The rammer, that is, the vibrating plate, consists of five main elements.

It is the engine , which is gasoline, electric and diesel, and drives all the parts of the tool. Belt drive helps transfer torque from the engine to the eccentric . That, in turn, helps to create vibrational vibrations in order to perform ramming.

The action on the treated surface is created with the base plate, and everything can be controlled with the operator handle. The plate compactor has a heavy and strong base, which, together with vibration at high frequencies, allows the surface to be compacted.

The efficiency of the work done will depend on the power of the device and the volume of its electric or gasoline engine. In most models, the devices are quite maneuverable, and this makes it possible to perform tasks even on inconvenient and sometimes curved surface areas.

Field of application

The pneumatic compaction ram was designed to compact bulk materials by means of oscillatory movements. After the materials are poured onto the surface, their particles will not be located close enough to each other. To make them fit as tightly as possible to each other, a tamper should be used.

This will help change the load-bearing properties of some of the materials so that future construction work can be carried out on this surface. Tamping with a vibrating plate is used for a large number of areas of construction.

It is especially often used for such cases:

  1. Compaction of Soil with Pneumatic Rammers: An Overview Road construction.
  2. Laying lawns.
  3. Creation of a bulk cushion for foundations in a large number of buildings, and also on floors in tall buildings.

  4. Construction of parking lots and sports grounds.
  5. Paving asphalt.
  6. Seals for trenches and excavations, laying of utility lines.

In special cases, tamping is used to lay paving slabs and paving stones. This makes it possible to perform work several times faster.

How to use it correctly?

In order to start using the vibratory plate, no special skills are required.

Any person can cope with such a task if he remembers the safety rules and acts very carefully:

  1. Before starting work, you should carry out very a thorough inspection of the vibrating plate to see if it is faulty. Particular attention should be paid to the transmission belt guard, as it is this that protects the engine from dust. If the vibrating plate is powered by diesel or gasoline, then it is required to check the presence of oil and fuel in the engine.
  2. Compaction of Soil with Pneumatic Rammers: An Overview The area you plan to work with the vibrating plate should be well leveled and cleaned of debris.

    Do not work on a dry or very wet surface, immediately after heavy rain.

  3. The mechanism should be started. In 80% of models, this requires only pressing the "START" button. There is also a manual starter on individual vibrating plates, so to use such models, you should smoothly start pulling on the cord and wait until the equipment warms up well. Start the engine only on a level surface.

  4. The operator of the device must always stay behind the vibrating plate during work. He should not bend over the device too much or try to speed up the work with artificial methods. the tool will operate in a precise mode that will be selected according to the surface.
  5. Use the special knob to operate the vibrating plate for ramming and compaction. It enables the device to turn in all directions.

    After turning, you should quickly go behind the plate so as not to accidentally injure yourself.

Do not forget that consumables of the device should be changed in a timely manner. The oil should be changed at least once a month, or every 100 hours of operation. Use gasoline and oil only of the brand that is allowed, as otherwise it will lead to the fact that the vibrating plate will quickly fail. The brands of gasoline and oil must necessarily correspond to what is indicated by the manufacturer to the technical manual for the device.

Before tamping any bulk materials, clean the surface to be treated. To do this, it is necessary to remove various debris from it - fragments of bricks, pieces of boards, cobblestones.


Compaction of the sand mixture is carried out using a different technology.

Principle of operation for ramming with a vibrating plate:

  1. Spread an even layer of sand on the prepared surface. Its thickness must necessarily be at least 60 cm.

    Specific indicators will depend on how much your device weighs.

  2. Moisten the entire surface evenly with water.
  3. After that, the vibrating plate should be passed over the entire area at least 4 times.
  4. If the sand has acquired the required density, then you can fill in the second layer, and if it is loose enough, then go through the device a couple of times.
  5. Repeat on the second filled layer.

When the compaction is finished, the surface compaction factor should be at least 0. 95. If you plan to install columns in the selected area, then additional equipment may be required for compaction.

Just as when compacting the soil with a manual rammer, the sand should also be moistened, this is a mandatory item in the plan. If this is not done, then during operation the vibrating plates will begin to create a lot of dust, and this, in turn, will cause the air-cleaning filters to quickly clog (this is especially important for vibrating plates on a gasoline engine).

But keep in mind that you cannot use too much water, as otherwise it will start clogging between the material and will interfere with its effective bonding. To achieve the desired cementing effect, water should be poured, but in moderation.


Sandy soil is best for creating small buildings. The fact is that it is he who does not retain moisture well, and because of this it will not be prone to frost heaving. Such soils can push the foundation out in winter and are therefore not suitable for construction.

They (or soft soil) during the installation of buildings should be removed and replaced with sand. To tamp with a vibrating plate, walk the entire area 3 times. If after this it is not possible to achieve the desired result, then the layer of material should be less. Moisten the soil until it starts to crumble when squeezed in the palm of your hand.

Please note that vibrating plates cannot be used to compact clay and loam, and vibrating rollers are better suited for this purpose.

Crushed stone

Difficulties in working with such material as crushed stone lie in the fact that it does not have the same factions. For this reason, it is possible to select the maximum possible thickness in each of the specific cases only on site and immediately before starting work. After filling one layer of material and four walkers on it, the compaction coefficient should be determined, which should be at least 0. 95. If the crushed stone remains loose after tamping, then further manipulations will not give a result.

You will have to remove some of the material to make the layer thinner and repeat the procedure.

For effective work, professionals recommend starting the process with the thinnest layer. After that, as you progress, you should increase the thickness to the required quality-performance ratio. Thus, it will be easiest to determine the sufficient layer thickness. If the compaction of crushed limestone occurs, then the clinking effect is most often obtained.

This happens due to the fact that the stones interlock in the upper layer from vibrations due to the fact that there is no compaction of the lower stones. To avoid such a situation, you should use heavy vibrating plates, the weight of which is from 150 kg. If only those units weighing 100 kg are available, then they will be able to lay only 1-2 cm of stones.

Laying paving slabs

Compaction of Soil with Pneumatic Rammers: An Overview The only feature paving slabs are laid with a rubber or polyurethane mat. It should be attached to the work plate so that the fragile material is not damaged.

For tamping, choose mats made from polyurethane as they will not leave dark marks on the polyurethane and will last much longer. The power of the vibrating plate must be medium.

Please note, that it is not allowed to tamp the device plate weighing more than 90 kg. Heavy models sometimes cause surface cracking.

Paving asphalt

To compact the asphalt crumb after it has been laid, use vibration plates, all of which are from 60 to 90 kg.

If the unit is heavier, it sometimes causes cracks, bumps and chips on the asphalt surface. The device should be walked about 2-3 times. The layer height will be determined by the characteristics of the coating.

Underlayment for the floor

For houses that have been set on the ground, create a soft underlay. It should be made of two layers, which must be covered with crushed stone or gravel on top.

After laying each of the layers, moisten and tamp with a vibrating plate. As a material for work, you should take washed quarry or river sand, and in order for the coating to become even, you should first install and then remove the pegs.

Safety precautions for work

When compacting the soil with a pneumatic primer and using it for other materials, you should first follow the safety rules.

Of the recommendations that already exist, remember the following:

  1. For safe operation, the operator must always cover the body and face with personal protective equipment, namely headphones, goggles, hard hats, sturdy clothing and shoes.
  2. If the work is to be carried out on a small hill, then the operator and other workers must be above the device.

    In this case, work should be done from top to bottom.

  3. If the vibrating plate for some reason stumbles upon an obstacle, it should be turned off immediately. After that, remove the obstacle, and the tool should be inspected so that it does not have any malfunctions.

  4. Do not leave the operating device unattended. When working, the master must be behind the device and constantly monitor it, moving alongside.

  5. It is forbidden to work with the vibrating plate in rooms or in the area where there are fire-hazardous or flammable objects nearby.
  6. Compaction of Soil with Pneumatic Rammers: An Overview If the work will be carried out at the edge of a trench, ravine or foundation pit, then a person can be at the minimum allowable distance from the cliff, but not closer.
  7. To further accelerate the device, do not use force, it is strictly prohibited.
  8. Use only one hand to rotate the device.
  9. Before starting work, all equipment should be inspected in advance to ensure that there is no damage to it.

    If there are any external defects, then they must be removed in advance.

  10. To prevent injury, keep your feet and hands close to the working surface of the product.
  11. If for some reason the device falls on the block, first turn it off. Only then can you start lifting it and bringing it into working condition.
  12. It is strictly forbidden to perform work in a state of narcotic, alcoholic or psychotropic intoxication.

  13. You cannot work for a long time without rest. After you have been tamping for 40 minutes, you should take a break for 10 minutes to relieve the equipment and the technician.

Please note that the higher the center of gravity of the unit, the easier it is to tip over. In addition, the technician should be careful when working with equipment that has a small footprint.

Be especially careful when working with a vibrating plate that has a soft start button, since if the work is done in a closed room, then it will be much safer for a person to use models with remote control.

Naturally, such devices are more expensive, but they fully justify their cost. Tamping with a vibrating plate helps to cope with any task that is associated with the compaction of bulk materials. To get a high quality result, you should take into account the characteristics of specific surfaces, and also calculate the appropriate thickness for the layer. The main attention should be paid to safety. Failure to follow these basic guidelines can result in serious injury and damage to the instrument.

Self-production of a vibrating plate with a gasoline drive

To create a device you will need the following materials:

  • Wheels.
  • Compaction of Soil with Pneumatic Rammers: An Overview Petrol drive.
  • Damping cushions from the car engine.
  • A sheet of metal with a thickness of 0.8-1 cm and a size of 0.

    8 * 0. 45 meters.

  • A pipe with a diameter of 1.5 * 2. 5 cm to create a handle.

  • 2 pieces of channel.
  • Bolts M12 for installing a petrol-type drive.

When performing installation work, you will need the following tools:

  • Grinder.
  • Safety glasses.
  • Welding machine, electrodes.

  • Cutting wheels for the grinder.
  • Electric drill.
  • Hammer.

After you decide on the type of drive that will be used in the device, you can start creating a working surface with a frame. To create a platform for a vibrating plate, you will need to take a pre-prepared metal sheet and, using a grinder, make cuts at a distance of 10 cm from the edge with a depth of 0.

5 cm. After that, the metal should be bent with a hammer along the cuts. The bend angle should be approximately 25 or even 30 degrees. The bending of the edge of the metal sheet is required so that the slab is not buried in the ground. In order for the ends to be fixed in places of bend, they should be welded by welding.

The second step is to adjust the channels. This is done so that they do not protrude beyond the edges of the work plane. Finished channels should be welded at a distance of 7 to 10 cm from each other to the working surface. The channels must be well welded, since the integrity of the entire structure will depend on this. Then you can start installing the engine.

To do this, holes should be made in the channels using an electric drill. The motor must be fastened with M12 bolts. Once the engine is installed, you can begin installing the handle. The fastening of this element should be carried out with a shock absorber. This is necessary so that the load on the operator's hands is relieved.

As you can see, even making such a device with your own hands is not so difficult as it might seem at first glance.

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