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Procttdings of the Sixth (1996) -lntD7uIIional Offshortl tuU1Poilu Engineering ConjertllU:e(1996)

Los Angeks, USA May 26-31, 1996

Copyright 1996 by The Interntltional Sockty of Offshortl tuU1Poilu Engineers
ISBN 1880653222 (Set); ISBN 1880653230 (VoL I)
Design of Deep Foundations Using the Pressuremeter Method
F . A z i z i
Dept. of Civil Engineering,Universityof Plymouth
R. Frank
NoisyIeGrand, France
The Menard pressuremeter (Menard, 1955) has been used
in France as a design tool for more than three decades
where foundations for public works have been designed
almost exclusively according to the pressuremeter method.
The amount of data amassed as well as the valuable
experience acquired since then, led the French Highway
Authorities to publish a code of practice in 1985
(LCPC-SETRA) related to recommendations for deep
foundations design. This code was since updated and
extended to shallow foundations (MELT, 1993) and this
paper focuses on the relevance of these (new) design
recommendations in the case of deep foundations. The
pressuremeter method will be presented in detail and
results corresponding to full scaletests onpiles undertaken
at different French sites (see Azizi &Frank, 1990) will be
discussed in conjunction with the predictions based on the
pressuremeter method.
This paper aims at presenting the essential features of the
theory of the expansion of cylindrical cavities and
reviewing the practical aspects of pressuremeter test and
its use for (deep) foundation design. Since its invention by
Menard in the mid-fifties, the pressuremeter has proved to
be very reliable. Moreover, the continuous developments
related to its use, both on the analysis side (Gibson and
Anderson, 1961, Baguelin et al., 1978) and on the
technical side (J ezequel, 1968, Baguelin et al., 1972-74,
Wroth and Huges, 1973) have contributed to the
pressuremeter becoming a widely used tool that can
provide representative soil parameters. In what follows,
the main theoretical aspects related to the expansion test in
clays and in sands are presented, followed by different
design rules in the case of deep foundations. Finally,
results corresponding to full scale tests on piles will be
compared to the predictions derived from the
pressuremeter method.
In the following, only the main aspects of the theory of
cavity expansion are provided. For more thorough
analysis, the reader is referred to the work of Baguelin et
al., (1978) and Huges et al., (1977).
Because testing in clays can be performed very quickly (a
test can practically be finished in amatter of minutes), the
behaviour of the soil is therefore undrained since the
excess water pressure due to the expansion of the borehole
has no time to dissipate. Consequently, the analysis that
follows is based ontotal stresses.

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