Artificial Intelligence, Compressors and Geotechnical Applications

Like many other people and organisations at GenAir we’ve taken an interest in and experimented with AI, we created a context in the form of Really Really New Dan, an experimental customer service chat bot that although a little tongue in cheek has been useful in testing some features. You can have a chat with him here, he’s a friendly character. 

Adobe have released an AI image generation tool and Calum Spires posted about this on LinkedIn. He asked it to produce an image of a geotechnical drilling site in the English countryside. It’s not great, check it out here. Calum’s conclusion was “AI clearly has no idea what geotechnics is or what it looks like.” 

This got us thinking, is Really Really New Dan not know anything or is he just no good at drawing?  So we asked him “Are air compressors used in geotechnical applications and if so, what for?

This was his answer: 

Yes, air compressors are used in various geotechnical applications for different purposes. Here are some common uses of air compressors in geotechnical engineering:

1. Drilling and pile driving: Air compressors are often used to power pneumatic drilling rigs and pile drivers. Compressed air is utilized to drive the drill bit or pile into the ground, providing the necessary force for penetration.

2. Soil and groundwater remediation: In environmental geotechnical projects, air compressors play a role in soil and groundwater remediation techniques such as soil vapor extraction (SVE) and air sparging. Compressed air is injected into the subsurface to enhance the extraction of volatile contaminants from the soil or to aerate groundwater, facilitating the removal of dissolved contaminants.

3. Soil compaction testing: Air compressors are utilized in geotechnical laboratories or field testing to conduct soil compaction tests. These tests involve compacting soil samples at various moisture contents and measuring their compacted density. Air compressors are used to power compaction hammers or rammers, providing the necessary energy to compact the soil specimens.

4. Geophysical surveys: Air compressors are sometimes employed in geophysical surveys to generate seismic waves for seismic refraction or seismic reflection surveys. Compressed air is used to create controlled vibrations or to generate air-gun shots, which propagate through the subsurface and provide data on the geological layers.

5. Soil and rock fragmentation: In certain geotechnical applications, such as tunneling or excavation projects, air compressors can be used in conjunction with pneumatic tools to fragment or break apart soil or rock. Compressed air is supplied to pneumatic breakers or hammers, which deliver impact forces to disintegrate the material.

It’s important to note that the specific use of air compressors in geotechnical engineering may vary depending on the project requirements and site conditions. The size, capacity, and pressure rating of the air compressor used will depend on the specific application and the amount of compressed air needed.

What do you think, does Really Really New Dan know his stuff? 


We won’t have Really Really New Dan or any other AI at Geotechnica but if you want to talk to someone about compressors who definitely does know what they’re talking about Paul Starling will be there.