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Axial Pile Capacity

CHAPTER 1
CHAPTER 2
CHAPTER 3

6.1 Introduction
Selection of pile geometry:

CHAPTER 4

In order to reach a safe and economic design, the designer


should seek the suitable diameter and length of the used piles
such that the excess number of piles used is minimum.

Length of end bearing piles is chosen such that they are rested
on a firm stratum.

Length of friction piles is determined from the load to be


transmitted to soil.

The cross-sectional dimensions of piles are determined from


the properties and strength of the used material.

CHAPTER 5
CHAPTER 6
CHAPTER 7
CHAPTER 8
CHAPTER 9
CHAPTER 10

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The Ultimate axial capacity of piles depends on both the pile and the
surrounding soil. The two major parameters that control the axial
capacity of piles are:
1- Pile Geometry (Length and Cross-sectional Area)
2- Soil Strength.
Loads on piles are transformed to the surrounding soil either through
friction between the pile shaft and the surrounding soil or by end
bearing at the pile tip or both. This depends on the strength of the
surrounding soil.

Loads on piles are transformed to the surrounding soil either through


friction between the pile shaft and the surrounding soil or by end
bearing at the pile tip or both. This depends on the strength of the
surrounding soil.

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The behaviour of piles under load:

Piles are designed that calculations and prediction of carrying


capacity is based on the application of ultimate axial load in the
particular soil conditions at the site at relatively short time after
installation.
When pile is subjected to gradually increasing compressive load in
maintained load stages, initially the pile-soil system behaves in a
linear-elastic manner up to point ( A ) on the settlement-load diagram
and if the load is realised at any stage up to this point the pile head
rebound to its original level.

When the load is increase beyond point ( A ) there is yielding at, or


close to, the pile-soil interface and slippage occurs until point ( B ) is
reached, when the maximum skin friction on the pile shaft will have
been mobilised.
If the load is realised at this stage the pile head will rebound to point (
C ), the amount of permanent settlement being the distance OC. When
the stage of full mobilisation of the base resistance is reached ( point
D ), the pile plunges downwards with out any farther increase of load,
or small increases in load producing large settlements.

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Typical Load Movement Curve

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At what load will the pile fail?


How much will pile deflect under service loads?

Prediction:
On basis of Site investigation and laboratory testing.

Verification:
By some method of loading tests

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Ultimate capacity is the load required to cause failure, whether


by excessive settlement or irreversible movement of the pile
relative to the soil.

Allowable capacity is the ultimate capacity divided by a factor of


safety

The pile ultimate load capacity can be determined by the following


methods :

1- Pile Load Tests (load test on piles at the site)


()
2- Pile Driving Formulae
()
3- Correlations with SPT or CPT data
()
4- Correlations based on soil shear strength parameters.

6.2 Pile Load tests


Pile load test are usually carried out that one or some of the following
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reasons are fulfilled:


1.

To obtain back-figured soil data that will enable other piles to


be designed.

2.

To confirm pile lengths and hence contract costs before the


client is committed to over all job costs.

3.

To counter-check results from geotechnical and pile driving


formulae.

4.

To determine the load-settlement behaviour of a pile, especially


in the region of the anticipated working load that the data can be
used in prediction of group settlement.

5.

To verify structural soundness of the pile.

Limitations of Pile Load Tests:


It is important to recognize that a load test performed on a single pile
dose not :
* account for long-term settlement
* take into account downdrag from settling soils
* take into account the effect of group action
The above must be considered when using load test results to design
or analyze pile foundations
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Test loading:
There are four types of test loading:
1- Compression test

2- Lateral-load test

3- Uplift test

4- Torsion-load test

Performing pile load tests is the most reliable method to measure


axial capacity of piles as it is performed in situ taking field conditions
into consideration.

Compression tests (Static Load Tests)

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The most precise if not always the most accurate method of


determining the ultimate upward or downward load capacity of
a deep foundation.

Static load tests, however, are time consuming and expensive;


must be used judiciously.

Object of the test is to develop a load-displacement curve, from


which the load capacity can be determined.

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The design load shall be defined as 50% of the failure load (factor of
safety = 2 ). The failure load for the pile shall be defined as follows:
For piles 60 cm (24 inches) or less in diameter or width, the failure
load of a pile tested under axial compressive load is that load which
produces a settlement at failure of the pile head equal to:

Sf = + (4 + 0.008 D)
Where: Sf = Settlement at failure (mm).
D = Pile diameter or width (mm).
= Elastic deformation of total pile length (mm).
For piles greater than 60 cm in diameter or width:

S f = + D/30

The top elevation of the test pile shall be determined immediately after
driving and again just before load testing to check for heave. Any pile
which heaves more than 6 mm shall be redriven or jacked to the
original elevation prior to testing. Unless otherwise specified in the
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contract, a minimum 3 day waiting period shall be observed between


the driving of any anchor piles or the load test pile and the
commencement of the load test.

The pile capacity may increase (soil setup) or decrease (relaxation)


after the end of driving. Therefore, it is essential that static load
testing be performed after equilibrium conditions in the soil have reestablished. Static load tests performed before equilibrium
conditions have re-established will underestimate the long term pile
capacity in soil setup conditions and overestimate the long term
capacity in relaxation cases. For piles in clays, specifications should
require at least 2 weeks or longer to elapse between driving and load
testing. In sandy silts and sands, 5 days to a week is usually
sufficient. Load testing of piles driven into shale should also be
delayed for at least 2 weeks after driving.

Failure of the pile is defined in to two ways that as the load at which
the pile continues to move downward without further increase in
load, or according to the B.S., the load which the penetration
reaches a value equal to one-tenth of the diameter of the pile at the
base.

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Compression Test :
Stress-controlled tests are performed by applying vertical loads to
the pile and observing or measuring the vertical pile displacement.
The load increments are typically: 25, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150, 175, and
200% of the estimated capacity (the design load of the pile), until
excessive pile displacement (failure) is observed.
Piles are loaded to 150% to 200% of their theoretical axial capacity
using a hydraulic jack.

Loads are applied according to the following table:


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Load (% of Design load)


25%
50%
75%
100%
125%
150%
125%
100%
75%
50%
25%

Time (hrs)
1
1
1
3
3
12

Interpretation of Load Test:


The load displacement curve generated from the pile load test is used
to determine the allowable pile capacity. The following methods have
been used to define failure:

Offset Limit Method (Davisson 1972): The failure load is defined


as the load corresponding to a movement which exceeds the
elastic compression of the pile, when considered as a free
column, by a value of 0.15 inches (4 mm) plus a factor
depending on the diameter of the pile (D/120), where D is the
diameter of the pile in inches. AASHTO (1992) and FHWA
recommend that the offset method be used to determine the
failure load.
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De Beers Method (Fellenius, 1980): The load displacement


values are plotted on a double logarithmic scale, where the
values may be shown to fall on two straight lines. The
intersection of the lines corresponds to the failure load.

Slope and Tangent (Butler and Hoy, 1977): The failure load is
defined as the load at the intersection of a line tangent to the
initial straight line portion of the load displacement curve and a
line tangent to the load displacement curve where the slope of
the line reaches 0.05 inches/ton).

The results of a pile load test are typically plotted as load versus
displacement (movement of the pile butt). The scale of the plot should
be arithmetic and should be selected so that the slope of the elastic
deformation of the pile is inclined at an approximate angle of 20.
The elastic deformation of a pile may be determined using the
following equation:

= ( Q L) / (AE)
Where:

= Elastic deformation

Q = Test load
L = Pile length
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A = Pile cross-sectional area


E = Modulus of elasticity of pile material

This equation is accurate for end bearing piles where no stress


transfer occurs along the length of the pile. Timber piles, however,
are typically friction piles or a combination of friction and end
bearing. The elastic deformation will, therefore, typically be less than
that determined from the above equation

The failure load (offset limit method) of a timber pile is the load that
produces a movement of the pile butt (head) (Sf) equal to:

S f = + ( 4 + 0.008 D

For piles diameter or width 60

S f = + ( 4 + 0.008 D )

For piles diameter or width 60

cm

cm

Where:

Sf = movement of the pile head (mm)

D = Pile diameter (mm)


= Elastic deformation (mm)
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Figure 6-1 presents a typical pile load test load movement curve. The
elastic deformation and the offset limit failure criteria are also plotted.
The intersection of the failure criterion line and load movement line
yields the ultimate capacity of the pile.

Figure 6-1 Typical static pile load test results


Results of load-settlement and load-time curves are recorded and
their curves are drawn.

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Modified Chin method is used to analyze the data

Davissons Method

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Davissons Method

90 % Criterion (Brinch Hansen, 1963)


The failure load is defined as the load at which the movement is twice
that obtained for 90% of that load.
This criterion has been proposed for use with the constant Rate of
Penetration test (CPR) regardless of soil type.
At the Constant Rate of Penetration test (CPR), the test load is carried
to failure and the pile head is forced to settle at constant rate of:
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0.4

mm/min

for friction pile in clay.

2.0

mm/min

for end bearing pile in sand.

Brinch Hansens Method

Modified Chins Method


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)Qult = 1 / (1.2b

:
:

-1
1.75 ) (

1970
.1963

- 2 12 Q %2
:

SQ = 0.02 d + 0.5 QL/AE


.
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:
d
Q
L
A
E
:
kg/cm2

E = 14000 fcu

fcu .
140 /.2

Test Setup:

n Reaction System
n Loading & Load Measurement
n Reference System & Displacement Measurements

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Reaction Pile Test Disadvantages


1- Reaction piles may pull out
2- Flexible system stores energy during tests

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6.3 Pile Driving Formulae


Pile driving formulae are mainly used to estimate the ultimate axial
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load of driven piles.

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These formulae depend on correlations between the weight of the


used hammer, the resulting settlement and the height of drop.

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Engineering news formula:

Highly Formula (1925):

C = C c + Cp + C g ,

C g = 0.50 % of the pile diameter

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Efficiency of different types of hammers


Type of Hammer

Power Efficiency, k

Drop hammer ( triggered fall )


Steam or compressed air hammer
Drop hammer (winch operated)
Diesel hammer

1.0
0.9
0.8
0.6 - 0.8

Cushion type

Coefficient of
Restitution, e

Micarta plastic
Greenheart oak
Other timber

Young s
modulus, Ec

0.8
0.5
0.3

(MN/m2)
3x103
3x102
2x102

6.4 Correlations with SPT and CPT tests

6.4.1- Correlations with SPT data

Standard penetration test (S.P.T)


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Empirical correlations with the results of SPT data usually take the
following form:

where AN and BN are empirical numbers, and depend on the units of


fs, and N = SPT value at the point under consideration.

) ) (kN (
). 2.5
2 ( .

:
N
d 3d 50/.

N
.
l .
d .
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d .

%50%100
.

6.4.2 Correlations with CPT tests

)Static Cone Penetrometer Test (C.P.T

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n Static Cone penetrometer test (C.P.T) measures:

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1- Cone Resistance, qc
2- Sleeve Resistance, fsc

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Typical CPT results

Empirical correlation with the results of CPT data often takes the
following form:

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Where Aq = empirical number, and qc = cone penetration resistance at


the point under consideration, and

where Cq = empirical factor, and qcb = average cone resistance


around the pile tip.
In most practical methods of design, an upper limits are placed on the
values of fs (fsl) and fb (fbl), these being dependent on the type of soil
and the type of pile.

( ) ( kN )
3 ) .
:( 2

:
6

qc

.2/150 qc 3
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fc

100 /2

(1.0/ (2 0.005 qc.



CPT

.
50
% % 100
.

6.5 Low Strain Integrity Methods

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Low strain integrity tests examine the response of a pile to a small


hammer blow at the pile head. The induced stress wave travels down
the pile shaft and reflected waves from significant changes in pile
shaft acoustic impedance are registered by a transducer held against
the pile head. The measured signals are digitized by the test unit,
stored internally and downloaded onto PC for hard copy reporting.

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Ideal as quality control for pile integrity.

All piles on site can be tested quickly and efficiently.

Faults can be detected immediately on site.

Pile lengths as well as necking & bulging can be detected.

Practical & inexpensive.

n Over 200 piles per day may be tested depending on access and
pile head condition.
n

Modern, battery operated data acquisition systems.

Data downloaded to PC for quick reporting

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