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Title no. 93-S41

TECHNICAL PAPER

Design of Deep Pile Caps by Strut-and-Tie Models

**by Perry Adebar and Luke (Zongyu) Zhou
**

Comparisons with results from 48 pile cap tests demonstrate that the oneway shear design provisions of the present ACI Building Code are excessively conservative for deep pile caps, and that the traditional flexural design procedures for beams and two-way slabs are unconservative for pile caps. Flexural design can best be accomplished using a simple strut-andtie model, and test results demonstrate that the longitudinal reinforcement should be concentrated over the piles as suggested by strut-and-tie models. A simple shear design procedure is proposed in which maximum bearing stress is considered the best indicator of “shear strength” for deep pile caps. The maximum bearing stress that can be applied without causing splitting of compression struts within pile caps depends on the amount of confinement, as well as the aspect ratio (height-to- width) of compression struts. The influence of confinement is more gradual than suggested by the ACI Code bearing strength provisions. Keywords: building codes; caps (supports); deep beams; footings; piles; reinforced concrete; shear strength; structural design; strut-and-tie mod els; tests.

The ACI Building Code procedure for the shear design of footings supported on piles (pile caps) is the same sectional approach used for footings supported on soil and for twoway slabs. The procedure involves determining the section thickness that gives a concrete contribution Vc greater than the shear force applied on the code- defined critical section. While this approach is reasonable for slender footings supported on numerous piles, it is not appropriate for deep pile caps. A change recently introduced in the ACI Building Code1 means that the critical section for one-way shear in deep pile caps is now at the column face rather than d from the column face. This relatively small change in location of the critical section has resulted in a very significant increase in the required depth of many deep pile caps. The fact that a small change in location of the critical section has such a large consequence is a demonstration that a sectional approach is not appropriate in this case. It is also important to note that the drastic increase in the ACI Code shear requirements for deep pile caps implies that either the present method is overly conservative or that previously designed deep pile caps may be unsafe. As the ACI Code shear design procedures are not appropriate for deep pile caps (they were not developed for that purpose), the CRSI Handbook2 suggests an alternate oneACI Structural Journal / July-August 1996

way shear design procedure when the center of the nearest pile is within d from the column face, and an alternate twoway shear design procedure when the center of the nearest pile is within d/2 from the column face. The CRSI Handbook alternate procedures involve a critical section along the column face for both one-way and two-way shear, as well as modified expressions for the concrete contribution. Another approach for deep pile caps is to use strut-and-tie models3,4,5 that consider the complete flow of forces rather than the forces at any one particular section. The internal load path in cracked reinforced concrete is approximated by an idealized truss, where zones of concrete with primarily unidirectional compressive stresses are modeled by compression struts, tension ties are used to model the principal reinforcement, and the areas of concrete where strut and ties meet (referred to as nodal zones) are analogous to joints of a truss. While the concept of using a truss analogy for the flexural design of deep pile caps (i.e., determining the required amount of longitudinal reinforcement) is well known,6,7,8 a sectional approach has invariably been used for the shear design of pile caps. Unlike traditional design procedures, strut-and-tie models do not separate flexural and shear design; however, it may be said that the “shear design” of deep members using strutand-tie models involves limiting the concrete stresses to insure that the tension tie reinforcement yields prior to a concrete shear failure. If sufficient distributed reinforcement is provided to insure crack control, thereby allowing internal redistribution of stresses after cracking, the compressive stresses in the concrete struts should be limited depending on the biaxial strains.4 On the other hand, if little or no reinforcement is provided for crack control, the concrete tensile stresses should be limited to avoid diagonal cracking of compression struts.5 In pile caps it is usually not practical to provide sufficient distributed (horizontal and vertical)

ACI Structural Journal, V. 93, No. 4, July-August 1996. Received Dec. 22, 1993, and reviewed under Institute publication policies. Copyright © 1996, American Concrete Institute. All rights reserved, including the making of copies unless permission is obtained from the copyright proprietors. Pertinent discussion will be published in the May-June 1997 ACI Structural Journal if received by Jan. 1, 1997.

1

and 3) a check of the bearing stress at the base of the column and at the top of the piles. The special provisions for the shear design of slabs and footings (Section 11. except when the supporting surface area A 2 is wider on all sides than the loaded area A1 .5. however. needs to be considered. In the 1977 and earlier editions of the ACI Code. A shear design procedure for deep pile caps based on the strut-and-tie model concept is presented. as well as the method suggested in the CRSI Handbook. and ACI Committee 341. and is a member of Joint ACI-ASCE Committee 445. The commentary to Section 11. He is Secretary of Joint ACI-ASCE Committee 441. The designer is told to distribute the required longitudinal reinforcement uniformly across the footing (except that the short-direction reinforcement of rectangular footings must be somewhat more concentrated near the center). The critical section remains at d/2 from the perimeter of the column regardless whether there is a concentrated load applied within the critical section. The ACI Building Code specifies that the critical section for moment in footings is at the face of concrete columns. Designers of pile caps could ignore this warning. Canada. In this paper the methods commonly used in North America for the design of deep pile caps are briefly reviewed. since the specific statement in the code for slab and footings superseded the more general statement made in the commentary. In addition. Many pile caps are designed by design aids with rule-of-thumb procedures and what are hoped to be conservative allowable stresses. where the critical section is taken midway between the concentrated load and the support and the concrete contribution is increased due to deep beam action. DESIGN METHODS ACI Building Code The ACI Building Code (ACI-318) does not contain any provisions specifically for deep pile caps. Reinforced Concrete Columns.8 of the ACI Code addresses only one-way shear in deep members.1 of 2 the ACI Code stated that sections located less than a distance d from the face of support may be designed for the same shear as that computed at a distance d. In the 1983 and subsequent editions of the ACI Code.3 states that any pile located inside the critical section is considered to produce no shear on the critical section and describes how to calculate the contribution from any pile that intercepts the critical section. The commentary on Section 15.12) requires that designers consider both one-way and two-way shear. Reference 11) described how the shear strength of deep members is much greater than the shear strength of slender members. and results from 48 deep pile cap tests are reviewed and compared with predictions from the different design methods. 10 the special provisions for slabs and footings specifically stated that the critical section for oneway shear was located at a distance d from the face of the concentrated load or reaction area. reinforcement to insure crack control. Kishi in North Vancouver. Vancouver. the bearing strength is multiplied by A 2 ⁄ A 1 but not more than 2. which involves calculating the minimum pile cap depth so that the concrete contribution to shear resistance is greater than the shear applied on the code-defined critical sections for shear.5.. the statement about the location of critical section for one-way shear was removed from the special shear provisions for slabs and footings. in accordance with Section 11. In addition. The quantity of longitudinal reinforcement required at this critical section is determined by the usual procedures for reinforced concrete members. in which the usual assumptions for reinforced concrete beams are used to determine the required amount of longitudinal reinforcement at the critical section for flexure. ACI Structural Journal / July-August 1996 . Adebar and Zhou9 have recently developed bearing stress limits to avoid transverse splitting in concrete compression struts confined by plain concrete. The information presented in this paper should prove useful to the organizations who publish design aids for deep pile caps and practicing engineers who must design appropriate pile cap designs. RESEARCH SIGNIFICANCE Deep pile caps are important structural elements that are not adequately covered by the ACI Building Code. In addition. Shear and Torsion.ACI member Perry Adebar is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of British Columbia. The result is that designers of deep pile caps now have no choice but to take the critical section for oneway shear at the face of the column. a number of technical reports (e. Utilizing these concrete stress limits.1 warned that if the shear at sections between the support and a distance d differed radically from the shear at distance d. According to the ACI Code.3 contains a statement (since 1977) that when piles are located within the critical section. Canada. The ACI Building Code procedures for two-way shear have not been modified recently. designs are based on the procedure for slender footings that can be divided into three separate steps: 1) shear design. Section 11. assuming plane sections remain plane and assuming that there is uniform flexural compression stresses across the entire width of the member. similar to the situation that occurs in pile caps. the critical section should be taken at the face of the support. Unfortunately. Section 15. but considerable disparity exists between the various procedures.85 fc′. therefore.g. and the general statement about the critical section being at the face of the support when a concentrated load occurs within d from the support was moved from the commentary to the code. analysis for shear in deep flexural members. as occurs when a concentrated load is located close to the support.8. He holds engineering degrees from Tongji University and a doctorate in structural engineering from the University of British Columbia. Luke (Zongyu) Zhou is a structural designer with Jones. the commentary was modified to include a footing supported on piles as an example of when the critical section is commonly at the face of the support. strutand-tie models can be used for both “flexural design” and “shear design” of deep pile caps. Earthquake-Resistant Concrete Bridges. This includes the ACI Building Code with and without the recent modifications. diagonal cracking of the compression struts should be avoided. Thus. Section 11. 2) flexural design. the maximum bearing strength of concrete is 0. Kwong.

No stirrups are required to resist the “shear” created by the concentrated load [see Fig. The concentrated load does. (b) sectional shear forces. as well as the required tension force in the longitudinal reinforcement at the face of the support [see Fig. The sectional shear force in such a member is very different depending on which side of the concentrated load the “critical section” is located on [see Fig. 1(b)]. The suggested relationship for one-way shear is d V c C R S I = ----Vc ACI ≤ 10 f c′ b d w (1) (a) (b) (c) where w is the distance from the center of the nearest pile to the face of the column. (e) discontinuous stress field. 1(g)]. 1(e)].( A 2 ⁄ A 1 – 1 ) ≤ 1. The concentrated column load is transmitted directly to the support by inclined compression struts.0 3 (3a) (3b) 3 . (d) truss model. 1—Truss model for simply supported beam with concentrated load close to support: (a) geometry and loading. (g) required longitudinal reinforcement (adapted from Marti3 ) struts and nodal zones to insure that the tension tie (longitudinal reinforcement) yields prior to any significant diagonal cracking in the plain concrete compression struts. The term (1 + d/c) in the CRSI equation is a factor that compensates for this difference. increase the diagonal compression stresses in the concrete immediately above the support [see Fig. the CRSI Handbook suggests that the one-way shear capacity should be investigated at the face of the column (similar to recent ACI Codes). Strut-and-tie model The influence of a concentrated load within d from the face of the support of a member subjected to one-way shear is summarized in Fig. When the center of the nearest pile is within d/2. 1 + -. Fig. and again. Based on an analytical and experimental study of compression struts confined by plain concrete. (f) required stirrup resistance per unit length of beam. but suggests that the concrete contribution should be significantly increased to account for deep beam action. (c) sectional bending moments. As the critical section is at the perimeter of the column. 1(d) indicates that the concentrated load is transmitted directly to the support by a compression strut.9 it is proposed that the maximum bearing stresses in nodal zones of deep pile caps be limited to fb ≤ 0. (11-6)] should be used. with the exception of the shear design procedures for deep pile caps. 4 fc ′b o d ≤ 32 fc ′b o d 2w c (2) (d) (e) CRSI where b o equals 4 × c for a square column of dimension c. The suggested relationship for two-way shear is Vc d d = ------. 2 depicts a simple three-dimensional strut-and-tie model for a four-pile cap. the CRSI Handbook suggests that the two-way shear capacity should also be investigated at the perimeter of the column face (this is different than the ACI code). When the center of the nearest pile is within d from the column face. the more complex ACI Code expression for Vc [Eq. 1(f)]. Schlaich et al. 1. where the critical section is at d/2 from the column perimeter [bo equals 4 × (c + d)]. the concrete contribution should be increased to account for deep (two-way shear) action.6f c ′ + αβ72 fc ′ 1 α = -. The “shear design” of a deep pile cap using a strut-and-tie model involves limiting the concrete stresses in compression ACI Structural Journal / July-August 1996 (f) (g) Fig. The CRSI Handbook suggests that to include the effect of M/Vd for several piles at varying spans.CRSI Handbook The CRSI Handbook2 makes use of the general design procedures in the ACI Building Code for the design of pile caps. The truss model shown in Fig.5 suggest that the concrete stresses within an entire disturbed region can be considered safe if the maximum bearing stress in all nodal zones is below a certain limit. Horizontal tension ties (longitudinal reinforcement) are required to prevent the piles from being spread apart. however. the CRSI two-way shear strength equation is much more sensitive to the dimensions of the column compared to the ACI approach.

not slender pile caps. the pile cap depth may be increased (β increased). Second. First. The ratio A2 /A1 in Eq. or else the bearing stresses may need to be reduced by increasing the column or pile dimensions.e. the aspect ratio of the compression strut can be approximated as hs d ---. Three different ACI Code predictions for one-way shear are given in Fig.– 1 ≤ 1. choose the initial pile cap depth using the traditional ACI Code one-way and two-way shear design procedures. the shear strength of slender pile caps will be limited by the traditional sectional shear design procedures... the maximum column load is limited by bearing strength (indicated by the horizontal lines in Fig. 3. For a round column. but it's more conservative than when the critical section is taken at d from the column face (“ACI ‘77”). 3(b)].2—Simple three-dimensional truss model for four-pile cap The lower bearing stress limit of 0. 3). the ACI Code predicts that confinement is sufficient so that the bearing strength has reached the upper limit of 2 × 0. the diameter may be used in place of c. entitled “ACI ‘77. is much less conservative than “ACI ‘83” due to an enhanced concrete contribution. The upper limit of Eq. the 72 in Eq. and the maximum bearing stress (and hence. Note that the ratio h s/b s should not be taken less than 1 (i. This method gives very conservative predictions. maximum column load) is larger as a result of increased confinement [see Fig. To calculate the maximum bearing stress for the nodal zone below a column. Fig. the pile cap is essentially a deep beam [see Fig. If necessary.≈ 2 d bs c (4) where d is the effective depth of the pile cap and c is the dimension of a square column. As it is not always obvious whether a pile cap is slender or deep.85 fc′ = 1.≈ ----bs dp (5) where d p is the diameter of a round pile.” is what designers of pile caps could have used prior to the 1983 edition of the ACI Building Code (any pile within d of the column face is assumed to produce no shear on the critical section). the aspect ratio of the compression strut can be approximated as hs --------. Comparison of design methods To compare the one-way shear design procedures. and some pile caps may be somewhere in between. When the width of the pile cap is increased. the nodal zone bearing stresses should be checked using Eq. β ≥ 0). a general shear design procedure for pile caps can be accomplished by the following. regardless of the height of the compression strut. Thus.0 3 bs (3c) where f c′ and fb have units of psi.Fig. 3 summarizes the relationship between the maximum column load and the width b and depth d of a two-pile cap. larger shear forces can be resisted by the increased concrete area at the critical section. regardless of the amount of confinement.e.8 for deep flexural members. (3) results in similar maximum bearing strengths as the ACI Code. When the pile cap is twice as wide as the column (b = 2c). The CRSI Handbook method. The parameter β accounts for confinement of the compression strut.” gives an intermediate result. where the ratio h s /b s is the aspect ratio (height-to-width) of the compression strut.6 fc′ in Eq. or the pile cap dimensions may be increased to increase the confinement of the nodal zones (α increased). (3).8]. in which the critical section is also at the face of the column. the “ACI ‘83” procedure is what designers must use since the 1983 edition of the ACI Code (critical section at the column face). the critical section should be taken at d from the column face. Results from numerous bearing strength tests and the procedure proposed ACI Structural Journal / July-August 1996 1 hs β = -. as well as when the compression strut is short (h s /bs ≈ 1). The procedure from Section 11. All methods predict that when the pile cap is very deep. (3b) is identical to that used in the ACI Code to calculate bearing strength. If MPa units are used. When the width of the pile cap is the same as the column width (b = c). the ACI procedure prior to 1983). where only one compression strut is anchored. ---. and any pile force within the critical section should be ignored (i. The parameter β accounts for the geometry of the compression strut. (3) is appropriate if there is no confinement (A2 /A1 ≈ 1). 4 . To calculate the maximum bearing stress for a nodal zone above a pile. The least conservative prediction. “ACI [11. where two or more compression struts meet. while the shear strength of deep pile caps will be limited by the nodal zone bearing stress limits. 3(c) and (d)]. In the case of one-way shear.7 fc ′. (3a) should be replaced by 6. The proposed strut-and-tie model approach is intended for the design of deep pile caps.

= 25. when b = 2c the confinement may not be sufficient to support a column bearing stress of 1. That is.7 fc ′ (a detailed discussion of this issue was recently presented by the authors9 ). For example. the critical section is at d/2 from the column face and any pile that intercepts the critical section is assumed to transmit part of the load directly to the column. Although the CRSI Handbook expression gives a considerably larger concrete contribution for deep pile caps than the ACI Code.45 kN) by Hawkins12 (which is the origin of the ACI Code procedure) indicate that the increase in bearing strength due to confinement is more gradual than suggested by the ACI ACI Structural Journal / July-August 1996 . 1 kip = 4. This problem can be corrected by applying the CRSI Handbook procedure when the 5 (c) (d) Fig.45 kN) Code. It is interesting to note that as the CRSI Handbook method suggests that the ACI Code procedures be used until the center of the nearest pile is at d/2 from the column face. 3—Comparison of one-way shear design methods for two-pile caps with fc ′ = 25 MPa: (a) plan view of pile cap. only half of the pile reaction must be resisted by the critical section according to the ACI Code method. (b) to (d) influence of pile cap depth on column load for various pile cap widths (1 in. 1 kip = 4. if a pile is centered on the critical section. Fig.4 mm. 4). there is an abrupt reduction in maximum column load at that point (d = 22 in. in Fig. 4 compares the influence of pile cap depth on twoway shear strength predictions for a typical four-pile cap. the maximum column load is always smaller than the ACI Code method.(a) (a) (b) (b) Fig. (b) influence of pile cap depth on column load (1 in. 4—Comparison of two-way shear design methods for typical four-pile cap with fc′ = 25 MPa: (a) plan view of pile cap.4 mm. This is because in the ACI Code method. = 25.

the failure mode still looked very much like a “shear failure” because the plain concrete in the pile caps had very little ductility. the reinforcement was either bunched over the piles or distributed in a uniform grid.face of the pile is within d/2 of the column face so that none of the pile shear bypasses the critical section. The author also classified the failure modes as either one-way (beam) shear or two-way (punching) shear. and the actual pile loads were measured throughout the test. Shear failure occurred when a diagonal crack formed between the column and a pile. three different predictions are given from the ACI Building Code: 1) the 1977 edition of the ACI Building Code (critical section at d from the column face). The capacities were not significantly influenced by whether the bunched reinforcement was provided around the perimeter of the pile cap or diagonally across the pile cap. Sabnis and Gogate 15 tested nine very small (1 /5 ) scale models of four-pile caps to study how the quantity of uniformly distributed longitudinal reinforcement influences the shear capacity of deep pile caps.8 the longitudinal reinforcement was hooked and extended to the top surface. The first series consisted of 94 models at about half-scale. Prior to failure. Depending on the geometry of the pile cap. extending to near 6 the top of the pile caps. The objective of the tests was to investigate the influence of pile cap depth and the amount of reinforcing steel. In the study. no details were given about how artificial restraint was eliminated at the base of the simulated piles. the pile caps had usually split into four separate pieces hinged below the column base.012 had little influence on the shear capacities of the models. however.27 fc ′. External and internal strain measurements taken during the tests demonstrated that the behavior of pile caps is very different from two-way slabs. as required by the ACI Code. The so-called “full anchorage” resulted in approximately a 30 percent increase in capacity. Deep pile caps deform very little before failure and thus. The largest specimen weighed more than 7 ton (6. Clarke 8 tested 15 four-pile caps. The longitudinal reinforcement was either concentrated over the piles. Plane sections do not remain plane. The models had various amounts of either straight or curved nondeformed reinforcing bars that were anchored by a number of different methods. and the two specimens tested by Deutsch and Walker that did not fail.0014 and 0. The proposed method. Kuchma. EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS The first results from tests on pile caps were reported by Hobbs and Stein13 who tested numerous small-scale models of two-pile caps. In the case of one-way shear. Sliding bearings were used under the pseudo-piles to simulate the lateral flexibility of piles. The maximum bearing stress in specimens that failed in shear varied from 1. or distributed in a uniform orthogonal grid. while “full anchorage” meant providing a 90deg hook and extending the longitudinal reinforcement to the top of the pile cap. however. 4.13 to 1. Similar to Blévot and Frémy. 2) the 1983 ACI Building Code (critical section at the column face). and Collins16 tested six full-scale pile caps (five four-pile caps and one six-pile cap). “nominal anchorage” involved extending the longitudinal reinforcement just beyond the piles. Deutsch and Walker14 tested four full-scale two-pile cap specimens. the small-scale specimens (first series) tested by Blévot and Frémy. the result is shown by the dashed line in Fig.” so the models were really wide deep beams. however. Bunching the reinforcement over the piles resulted in a 14 percent increase in capacity compared to spreading the reinforcement uniformly. have virtually no ability to redistribute pile loads. the final failure mechanism resembled either a one-way or two-way shear failure. the pile bearing stress is slightly more critical than column bearing stress. most specimens failed in “shear” after the longitudinal reinforcement yielded. All pile caps were statically indeterminate (piles in four-pile caps were arranged in a diamond shape). Note that for the particular example shown in Fig. The tests showed that varying the reinforcement ratio between 0. depending on the appearance of the failed specimen. Adebar. and 3) the special provisions for deep flexural members (Section 11. and two of the specimens did not fail. The main objective of the tests was to determine the influence of pile cap depth and longitudinal reinforcement layout. That is.8 of the ACI Structural Journal / July-August 1996 . Strain gages in two of the specimens indicated that the longitudinal reinforcement had definitely yielded prior to failure. The behavior of all pile caps was similar. 4. Distributing an equal amount of reinforcement in a uniform grid resulted in the four-pile caps being 20 percent weaker and the threepile caps being 50 percent weaker. Table 2 summarizes the details of the ACI Code and CRSI Handbook predictions. while the second series consisted of 22 approximately full-scale specimens (eight four-pile caps. according to the proposed method. the best crack control under service loads occurred when a combination of the two was used. eight three-pile caps. and six two-pile caps). (3) gives a very reasonable result. and strut action is the predominant mechanism of shear resistance. Similar to Clarke. the confinement around the pile is not sufficient to reach the maximum bearing stress limit. According to the author. Specimens not considered include the small wide-beam models tested by Hobbs and Stein. even though some parts of the specimens had poor crack control. Vertical cracks formed near the center of the pile cap sides. Blévot and Frémy7 tested two series of pile caps.4 tonne). In all cases. The authors believed that true shear failures (prior to steel yielding) were a result of compression struts splitting longitudinally. Bunching the longitudinal reinforcement resulted in higher capacities (for a given quantity of steel). Specimens were stronger than anticipated. the simulated column and piles were the same width as the “pile cap. all approximately halfscale. which combines the “ACI ‘77” procedure for pile caps with smaller depths (slender pile caps) with the more conservative bearing stress limit in Eq. COMPARATIVE STUDY Table 1 summarizes the properties of 48 pile cap specimens that are used in the comparative study. as suggested by a truss model. All pile caps behaved similarly with one main vertical (flexural) crack forming at midspan. The longitudinal reinforcement layout and anchorage were the parameters studied.

9 17.0 24. Kuchma.4 40.3 34.0 36.1 46.3 44.Table 1—Summary of pile cap test results Specimen 2N1 2N1b 2N2 2N2b 2N3 2N3b 3N1 3N1b 3N3 3N3b 4N1 4N1b 4N2 4N2b 4N3 4N3b 4N4 4N4b 3 4 No.3 31.5 Reinforcement layout Bunched Bunched Bunched Bunched Bunched Bunched Bunched Bunched Bunched Bunched Bunched and grid Bunched and grid Bunched Bunched Bunched and grid Bunched and grid Bunched Bunched Failure load.3 26.2 17.1 30. and Collins16 ACI Structural Journal / July-August 1996 7 .1 43.9 26.2 27.5 26.7 41. MPa 23.8 27.8 18.6 32.3 41.2 27.9 26.8 23.1 30.5 40.3 31.8 24. mm 495 498 703 698 894 892 447 486 702 736 674 681 660 670 925 931 920 926 533 373 Column size.3 Grid Bunched Bunched Grid Bunched Bunched Grid Bunched Grid Grid Grid Grid Grid Grid Grid Grid Grid Grid Grid Grid Grid Grid Grid Bunched Bunched Bunched Bunched and grid Bunched 1110 1420 1340 1230 1400 1230 1640 1510 1450 1520 1640 1640 2080 1770 250 245 248 226 264 280 173 177 1781 2189 2892 3222 4709 3026 Sabnis and Gogate15 Adebar. mm 350 square 350 square 350 square 350 square 350 square 350 square 450 square 450 square 450 square 450 square 500 square 500 square 500 square 500 square 500 square 500 square 500 square 500 square 165 square 165 square Pile size. of piles 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 2 2 d.3 31.6 Bunched Bunched 596 289 254 2 254 2 Clarke A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 A6 A7 A8 A9 A10 A11 A12 B1 B3 SS1 SS2 SS3 SS4 SS5 SS6 SG2 SG3 A B C D E F 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 6 4 4 4 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 111 112 111 112 109 109 117 117 445 397 395 390 410 390 200 square 200 square 200 square 200 square 200 square 200 square 200 square 200 square 200 square 200 square 200 square 200 square 200 square 200 square 76 round 76 round 76 round 76 round 76 round 76 round 76 round 76 round 300 square 300 square 300 square 300 square 300 square 300 square 8 fc′.5 45.5 33.1 36.4 25.9 24.1 44. kN 2059 3187 2942 5100 4413 5884 4119 4904 6080 6669 6865 6571 6453 7247 6375 8826 7385 8581 Blévot and Frémy7 Deutsch and 200 round 200 round 200 round 200 round 200 round 200 round 200 round 200 round 200 round 200 round 200 round 200 round 200 round 200 round 76 round 76 round 76 round 76 round 76 round 76 round 76 round 76 round 200 round 200 round 200 round 200 round 200 round 200 round 20.5 31. mm 350 square 350 square 350 square 350 square 350 square 350 square 350 square 350 square 350 square 350 square 350 square 350 square 350 square 350 square 350 square 350 square 350 square 350 square Walker 14 23.3 31.5 48.4 33.1 20.7 44.3 41.9 36.9 27.0 17.0 41.

489 25. ACI Code).307 10.866 512 271 1258 1266 1256 1258 1265 1252 1262 1266 1264 1252 1252 1262 2022 1528 133 116 194 158 317 455 302 628 2256 2790 4009 5646 7428 5324 Column 2749 5141 3249 5308 3820 5487 15.621* 54.998* 63.003* 11.748 17.770 24.638 1102 1092 1421 1870 2115 1421 1829 1768 1646 1870 1822 1238 1183 1720 1829 2468 241 241 241 241 316 316 138 138 3794 3794 4146 4636 6288 3083 Pile 5498 10.251 21.Table 2—Summary of ACI Building Code and CRSI Handbook predictions Bearing Specimen 2N1 2N1b 2N2 2N2b 2N3 2N3b 3N1 3N1b 3N3 3N3b 4N1 4N1b 4N2 4N2b 4N3 4N3b 4N4 4N4b No.528 14.420 25. It is 8 interesting to note that many pile caps predicted to fail in flexure were reported to have failed in shear.807 9866 10.859 34.937 ‡ ‡ 1458 1672 1778 1458 1654 1626 1569 1672 1651 1360 1330 1604 3308 3843 § § § § § § § § § § § § § ‡ Pile ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ † † † † † † † † † † † † ‡ ‡ 1996 2288 2434 1996 2263 2225 2148 2288 2260 1860 1820 2196 † † 228 228 226 228 251 251 185 185 6247 2762 2990 3106 3970 ‡ *Increased capacity since piles partially within critical section.513 17.607* 71. As previously mentioned.102* 59.239 9709 10.557 3915 3883 3907 5140 5813 3907 5028 4860 4524 5140 5010 3402 3253 4729 5028 6785 806 806 806 806 1056 1056 461 461 5298 5298 8684 6473 8780 6473 1977 1049* 1442* † † † † 2128* 2697* † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † 3246 3411 6300 3773 4475 1604 One-way shear ACI 1983 314 432 490 618 677 804 1589* 1716* 2511* 2471* 2824 2766 2373 2314 3609 4080 3236 3560 343 231 604 684 722 604 678 664 644 684 676 566 556 658 578 636 69 68 69 71 84 89 65 85 2397 2085 1820 2431 3076 573 (11.866 11.309 13.670 16.974 23. ‡Procedure not applicable.220 16.925 23. 4 A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 A6 A7 A8 A9 A10 A11 A12 B1 B3 SS1 SS2 SS3 SS4 SS5 SS6 SG2 SG3 A B C D E F Flexure 2197 3756 3432 5551 5413 7257 3825 5286 6129 7983 7924 8159 7542 8552 8277 10.238 14.400 24.282 6498 10. Table 3 presents the ratio of measured pile cap capacity to predicted capacity for the three ACI Code predictions.000 15.996 28.918 22. 3 No.435 925 503 1646 1847 1934 1646 1830 1791 1750 1847 1828 1554 1526 1784 2066* 2338* 186 178 181 192 229 229 164 164 6056 5308 4938 6348 8141 1739 CRSI 775 902 2432 2628 3364 4021 2020 2638 9317 9876 11.238 20. The predicted failure mode and reported failure mode are also given.629 13.252 § § § § 13. the likely reason for this is that pile caps are large blocks of plain concrete that do not have the ductility to unACI Structural Journal / July-August 1996 .470 14.320 16.749* 11.083 19.852* 12.8) 951 1295 1461 1844 2020 3364 4492 4737 7493 7385 7257 7689 7139 6953 9650 11.182 17.616 7640 10.859 23. †Infinite capacity since piles totally within critical section.804 15. as well as the CRSI Handbook prediction. §CRSI prediction not applicable (use ACI).714 29.819 560 § 2718 3078 3250 2718 3052 2988 2898 3078 3042 2548 2502 2962 2584 3002 256 252 251 262 287 305 254 329 6349 4269 3740 4724 7058 1619 ACI ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ 3717* 4394* † † 11.319 15.746* ‡ ‡ 2916* 3344* 3558* 2916* 3308* 3252* 3138* 3345* 3302* 2722* 2660* 3208* † † 122 122 121 122 134 134 101 101 2309* 1839 1899 1968 2475 ‡ Two-way shear Column CRSI ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ 6551 8061 20.877 23.388 15.426 14.965 11.

31 f 1.98 f 1.60 s 1 3.41 s 1 1.96 s1 2.59 s 1 3. s1 = one-way shear.82 s 1.Table 3—Comparison of ACI Code and CRSI Handbook predictions: ratio of measured capacity to predicted capacity and failure mode* Name 2N1 2N1b 2N2 2N2b 2N3 2N3b 3N1 3N1b 3N3 3N3b 4N1 4N1b 4N2 4N2b 4N3 4N3b 4N4 4N4b No.64 s 2 1.72 s 1 3.38 s 1 6.79 f 1. 4 A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 A6 A7 A8 A9 A10 A11 A12 B1 B3 SS1 SS2 SS3 SS4 SS5 SS6 SG2 SG3 A B C D E F ACI ‘77 1.90 s2 1.66 s 1 2.97 s 2.38 f 1.04 s1 1.90 s 2 5.72 f 2.60 s 1 2.86 s 1 2.21 s1 1.09 s 1.05 s2 1.55 s 1 2.30 f 1.85 f 0.97 s2 2.64 s2 1.31 s1 1. 3 No.81 f 0.59 f 1.19 f 1.95 f 1.79 f 1.21 s1 0.94 s1 1.51 f 1.81 f 0.25 s 1 1.86 s1 0.05 f 1.98 f 1.62 s 1 3.97 s2 2.56 s 1 7.53 s1 1.85 f 0.30 f 1.16 f 2.07 f 0.71 s 1.18 s 1 1.77 s 1 2. bc = column bearing.72 s 2.59 s 1 2.91 b c 0.20 f 1.86 s 1 2.62 s 1.07 f 1.05 s 2.84 s 1 2.71 s 2 1. s 2 = two-way shear.84 f 0.19 s 2 1.14 f 1.30 f 1.52 s2 1.28 s 1 ACI (11.15 f 1.18 s 1 3.72 s 1.77 f 0.89 s1 ACI ‘83 6.15 f 1.85 s 1 1.09 f 1.66 s1 3.52 s 1 7.600 14. f = flexure critical.05 s 1.15 s 1 2.39 b c 1. dergo significant flexural deformations without triggering a shear failure.90 s 1 1.05 s 2 2.23 f 1.82 f 0.16 f 2.74 s 1 CRSI 2.85 s 1 0.99 f 0.64 s2 1.64 s 1.76 s 1 0.86 f 0.05 s2 2.04 s 1 0.82 s 1 1.21 s 1 2.98 f 1.14 f 1.19 f 1.25 s 1 6.30 f 1.59 f 1.39 b c 1.79 f 1.39 b c 1.52 s 2 1.11 s 2 1.75 s 2 0.07 b c 1.20 f 0.12 f 1.08 s 1 1.49 s 1 3.11 f 2.59 f 1.43 s 1 2.84 f 0.04 s 1 0.41 f 1.16 f 1.00 s 1 8.11 f 0.78 s 1 3.07 f 0.14 s 1 2.30 f 1.900 12.16 s 1 2.09 s 2 1. s = shear.14 b c 1.75 f 0.08 s 1 0.12 f 1.11 f 0.98 f 1.06 s 1 1.07 f 0.71 s2 1.19 s2 1.88 f 1.90 s 2 1.16 f 1.79 f 1. s = shear critical.14 f 1.52 s2 1.75 s 1 1.07 f 0.75 s 1.05 f 1.85 s 1 2.23 b c 1.87 f 0.82 f 0.38 s 1 2.42 s 1 2.82 f 0.69 s 1 2.450 732 730 1424 1717 1871 1424 1691 1652 1573 1717 1688 1296 1260 1620 1596 1977 122a 122a 121a 122a 134a 134a 101a 101a 1924 1696 1639 1968a 2731 1303 Experimental 2059 3187 2942 5100 4413 5884 4119 4904 6080 6669 6865 6571 6453 7247 6375 8826 7385 8581 596 289 1110 1420 1340 1230 1400 1230 1640 1510 1450 1520 1640 1640 2080 1770 250 245 248 226 264 280 173 177 1781 2189 2892 3222 4709 3026 Experimental Predicted 1.97 s 2 2.32 s 1 2.75 s2 0.99 f 1.90 s 1 0.99 f 0.99 f 0.32 s Note: a = ACI ‘77 prediction critical.26 f 1.07 f 0.46 s1 2.32 f 1.28 s 1 2.75 f 0.23 b c 1.79 f 1.16 f 1. 3 No.36 f 1.24 f 1.85 s1 1.8) 2. Note: f = flexure.59 s 1 1.11 f 1.94 s 1.94 s1 1.11 f 2.15 f 1.88 f 2.71 s2 1.82 s1 0.14 f 1.19 s 2 1.050 10.74 s 1 1.03 f 1.17 s 1 2.36 s 1.46 s 1 2.01 s 1 2.12 f 1.93 f 1.21 s 1.47 f 1.88 f 1.70 s 1 2.86 f 0.16 b c 1.96 s 2.96 b c 1.60 f 2.09 s2 1.77 s 1 2.87 s1 Reported failure mode s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s f f f s f s s s s s s s s f s s s s s Table 4—Comparison of proposed strut-and-tie model predicitons with experimental results Predicted Name 2N1 2N1b 2N2 2N2b 2N3 2N3b 3N1 3N1b 3N3 3N3b 4N1 4N1b 4N2 4N2b 4N3 4N3b 4N4 4N4b No.09 s2 1.47 s 1.48 f 1.79 f 1.64 s 2 1.85 s2 1.77 f 0.87 f 0. Table 4 summarizes the predictions17 from the proposed strut-and-tie model and compares the predictions with the ex- ACI Structural Journal / July-August 1996 9 .04 s 1 2.05 f 1.11 f 2.88 f 1.07 f 0.19 s2 1.06 f 1.00 f 1. 4 A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 A6 A7 A8 A9 A10 A11 A12 B1 B3 SS1 SS2 SS3 SS4 SS5 SS6 SG2 SG3 A B C D E F Flexure 2127 3567 3107 5047 4831 6439 3254 4528 5067 6762 6037 6174 5929 6507 6203 7007 7409 8144 480 253 1029 1030 1020 1029 1030 1020 1029 1030 1029 1029 1029 1029 1376 1031 96 85 144 116 237 346 231 543 1445 1662 1502 3454 5085 3472 Shear 1049a 1442a 2156 3470 2560 3623 2128a 2697a 7493 6885 9050 9826 8877 8377 10.75 s2 0.77 f 0.08 f 1.95 s 1 2.98 f 1.98 f 1.11 f 0.19 f 1.95 s 1 0.13 s 1 1.23 b c 1.16 f 2.21 f 1.90 s2 1.14 s 1 3.

perimental results. 5(a) and 5(d) also demonstrate that the traditional flexural strength predictions are unconservative for pile caps. while the upper nodal zones were assumed to be at the top surface of the pile cap at the column quarter points. assuming that the flexural 10 Fig. Fig. pile caps are too brittle to undergo such deformations. 5(b) that the one-way shear design provisions of the 1983 and subsequent editions of the ACI Building Code are excessively conservative for pile caps. 5—Ratio of experimentally measured-to-predicted pile cap capacities from: (a) 1977 ACI Building Code (critical section for one-way shear at d from column face). (e) proposed strut-and-tie model ACI Structural Journal / July-August 1996 . the flexural compression stresses concentrate near the compression face of the member. Fig. As mentioned previously. (3). (d) CRSI Handbook. therefore. As the curvature increases. while the “flexural” capacity is the maximum column load limited by yielding of the longitudinal reinforcement. (c) ACI Building Code special provisions for deep flexural members. The flexural capacity depends strongly on the inclination of the compression strut that is defined by the location of the nodal zones. The lower nodal zones were located at the center of the piles at the level of the longitudinal reinforcement. These flexural strength procedures are meant for lightly reinforced beams that are able to undergo extensive flexural deformations (increased curvatures) after the reinforcement yields. (b) 1983 ACI Building Code (critical section for one-way shear at column face). The “shear” capacity is the maximum column load limited by the nodal zone bearing stresses given by Eq. 5 compares the predictions from the various methods. It is obvious from Fig.

however. The flexural compressive stresses within pile caps are concentrated near the column (not spread uniformly across the section). 46-56. 925-933. and a number of examples are provided to show how to apply the method in manual calculations. ACI Committee 318. and Jennewein. pp. more confinement is needed before reaching the maximum bearing stress). This can be explained by the fact that the shear failure of pile caps involves a tension failure of the concrete. Since the critical section must resist much larger shear forces. As the bearing stress limit will always control the “shear strength” of very deep pile caps. 16 leads to a further overprediction of the flexural capacity. where the critical section is at the column face. the amount of scatter is nonetheless still relatively high (COV = 28 percent). No.” ACI JOURNAL. 1992. “Rational Approach to Shear Design—The 1984 Canadian Code Provisions. A general shear design procedure for all pile caps (deep or slender) can be accomplished by combining the ACI Code shear design procedure with the maximum bearing stress limit of Eq.compression is concentrated near the compression face is inappropriate. results in considerably higher flexural capacities compared to when the longitudinal reinforcement is distributed in a uniform grid. While the proposed strut-and-tie method gives the least amount of scatter between experimental results and predictions. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS Recent editions of the ACI Building Code require that the critical section for one-way shear be taken at the support face if a concentrated load exists within d from the support.e. Mattias. In this paper a simple rational design method for deep pile caps is proposed in which the maximum bearing stress is considered a better indicator of shear strength than the “shear stress” on any prescribed critical section. the shear force from any pile within the critical section (d or d/2) can be ignored with confidence. Neither suggestion is based on any experimental results. 1983. While this is appropriate for heavily reinforced deep beams (Fig. 6.-Dec.” Journal of Prestressed Concrete Institute. Peter. 5(e)] when the upper nodal zones are located on the top surface of the pile cap at c/4 from the column center. The influence of confinement is much more gradual in the proposed relationship than in the ACI Code procedure (i. Kurt. (3).-Feb. as well as the aspect ratio (height-to-width) of the compression struts that transmit shear between the column and piles. REFERENCES 1.. 266 pp. 83. V. Proceedings V. The ACI Building Code procedure for two-way shear involves a critical section at d/2 from the face of the column. pp. CRSI Handbook. Previous experimental results have demonstrated that concentrating the longitudinal reinforcement over the piles. Michael P. The CRSI Handbook suggests an alternate twoway shear design procedure for deep pile caps. the more critical one controls. 5(a)]. it is excessively conservative for pile caps [Fig. as suggested by strut-and-tie models. The CRSI Handbook suggests an upper limit of 32 fc ′ for the shear stress on two-way critical sections in very deep members and others18 have suggested reducing this limit to 24 fc ′ . and is not uniform over the height. The more appropriate one-way shear design procedure for pile caps in the 1977 and earlier editions of the ACI Building Code results in two-way shear and flexure being more critical for most pile caps (except for two-pile caps) [Fig. Jörg. the concrete contribution is greatly enhanced to account for deep two-way action. The most important issue is that the proposed design method is simple. The method proposed in this paper for the design of deep pile caps has been implemented in the 1995 CPCA Concrete Design Handbook. where a significant portion of the column load does not produce shear on the critical section. While the sectional shear resistance is larger according to the CRSI Handbook method. 3. Jan. Reasonably conservative designs are obtained [Fig. Schäfer. It is the author's opinion that a further refinement of the design procedure to reduce this scatter is not warranted. the maximum column load is usually smaller than the ACI Code method..” American Concrete Institute. “Basic Tools of Reinforced Concrete Beam Design. some of the longitudinal reinforcement should be uniformly distributed to help control cracking. Based on a study of idealized compression struts confined by plain concrete. The maximum bearing stress is a function of confinement (similar to the ACI Code). Collins. A more appropriate flexural design procedure for deep pile caps can be achieved by using strut-and-tie models. 1985.” ACI JOURNAL. 5(a)]. No. Chicago. May-June 1987. where a shear failure may occur due to diagonal crushing of concrete. The procedure suggested herein is based on the ACI Structural Journal / July-August 1996 premise proposed by Schlaich et al.9 Eq.5 that an entire D-region of a concrete structure can be considered safe if the maximum bearing stress is maintained below a certain limit. ACKNOWLEDGMENT Support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada is gratefully acknowledged. Schlaich. Denis. Nov. 3. “Building Code Requirements for Reinforced Concrete (ACI 318-83) and Commentary ACI 318R-83. pp. 5. an upper limit is actually not needed since the maximum load that can be applied to very deep pile caps is always limited by bearing stress at either the base of the column or the top of the piles (see Fig. 1986. 3). 82. and any pile reaction within d/2 from the column face does not produce shear on the critical section. Marti. which makes it difficult to calculate a meaningful shear stress. which strain measurements have shown to be incorrect.19 The pile cap design tables were developed using the method proposed herein. 2. Detroit. which do not fail as a result of diagonal compression. it does not overpredict any of the pile cap test results. 74-150. and Mitchell. 1. Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute. Proceedings V. 5(b)]. 32. This results in an “infinite” two-way shear capacity for some deep pile caps (Table 2). (3) is proposed for the maximum bearing stress in pile caps. rational. “Toward a Consistent Design of Reinforced Structural Concrete. however. and conservative. and unlike the other design methods. Assuming the flexural compression is uniform across the entire pile cap. 11 . No. In deep pile caps the shear stress is concentrated in zones (compression struts) between the column and piles. and pile caps are large blocks of plain concrete that cannot undergo significant flexural deformations without triggering brittle shear failure. 4. Comparisons with experimental results indicate that the traditional flexural design procedures for beams and twoway slabs are unconservative for deep pile caps [Fig. 1).

P. 534-541. pp.-Feb. “Pile Caps. R.” CPCA Concrete Design Handbook. 1968. “Design of Thick Pile Caps. P. V. Neil M. “Semelles sur Pieux. 1990. Jan. G.489. pp. M. Daniel. 1984. 1994. 16. 20.-Feb.” ACI Structural Journal. 1977. ACI Committee 318. and Gogate.Clarke..” Civil Engineering Research Project . 111 pp. No. No. V.” PhD thesis. Sept. No. D. Ottawa. also. B. Mar. pp. O.. and Sabnis. G. “Bearing Strength of Compressive Struts Confined by Plain Concrete. and Stein.” ACI JOURNAL. Gogate.” ACI JOURNAL. 1974. 1. B. ACI-ASCE Committee 426..-Feb. 17.” Civil Engineering and Public Works Review. June 1954. J.. A.. 15. “Investigation into the Stress Distributions in Pile Caps with Some Notes on Design. 13. 7. pp.” ACI Structural Journal .” Cement and Concrete Association. 62. Jan. pp. B. “Strut-andTie Models for the Design of Pile Caps: An Experimental Study. pp..” American Concrete Institute.. A. 575. and Zhou. N. Hobbs. Report No. Reaffirmed 1980). Department of Civil Engineering. No.1. 14. 19. May 1954.. Michael P. 12 ACI Structural Journal / July-August 1996 . No. 77. 75 pp. 1967. 18. 7.. 1.35-39. 493495. G. 1963. Adebar. V. University of Melbourne.. “Chapter 9— Footings.223-295. “Shear Design of Pile Caps and Other Members Without Transverse Reinforcement. Jan. Zongyu. 12.81. Detroit. Canadian Portland Cement Association. London. V. 1980. 81-92. 9. pp. and Walker. 19 pp. 5. 87.Sabnis. and Suter. “Bearing Strength of Concrete Loaded through Rigid Plates. Nov. 49. and Frémy.. 31-40.. Deutsch. pp. G. L.” (ACI 426R-74.. London. G. Adebar. 235 pp.42.” Magazine of Concrete Research. J. 1973. “Behavior and Design of Pile Caps with Four Piles.” Annales de l'Institut Technique du Batiment et des Travaux Publics. N.6. 1993.20. “Building Code Requirements for Reinforced Concrete (ACI 318-77) and Commentary. Fenton. 576. Proceedings V. pp.-Oct. Feb. Proceedings V. 11... Kuchma. T. V. Zhou. 8. “Bloom-Base Allowance in the Design of Pile Caps. 599-628. 1995. “Investigation of Thick Slab (Pile Cap) Behavior.Blévot. “Shear Strength of Reinforced Concrete Members. T. A. University of British Columbia. July 1957.” Proceedings of the Institute of Civil Engineers. V. and Collins. 10. 18-22.230. 90. 622-623. Zongyu. Perry. No. Hawkins. Detroit. No. H. M. Yan. American Concrete Institute. Perry. No.

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