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Pile Groups

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Pile Groups

- Group Settlement

- Group Bearing Capacity

- Group Uplift

- Group Efficiency

- Pile Cap Design

There are three methods commonly used to analyze a pile group:

1. The Simple Static analysis. In this method, the presence of the soil is ignored and the pile

group is regarded as an isolated structural system. It also assumes a zero moment at the head

of each pile.

2. The Equivalent Bent analysis. This method considers the reaction of the sub-grade on the

equivalent free standing length of the piles. The pile cap is assumed to be rigid, and the piles

are assumed to behave elastically.

3. The Elastic Analysis. The soil is considered to be an elastic material that is consistent

through out its mass. An increase of the spacing between the piles increases the load bearing

efficiency of the group.

In comparing the various methods of group pile analysis, the vertical loads are similar, but the

elastic continuum method predicts a higher maximum load. The zero moment is assumed

for the static method. But there is considerable difference in moment between the other 2

methods. The equivalent-bent method predicts larger rotation that elastic, and larger

vertical deflection of the leading pile, but smaller horizontal deflection.

I.

The elastic settlement is the immediate settlement of the pile group due to the deformation of

the soil mass. The elastic settlement of pile group under service working loads per pile

increases with the width of the group Bg and their center-to-center spacing s.

H g (e) =

Bg

sd

H e

where ? Hg(e) is the elastic settlement of the entire pile group, Bg is the width of the pile group

section, d is the width or diameter of each pile in the group, ? He is the elastic settlement of

each pile at their service load.

B) Elastic Settlement of pile groups (after Meyerhof, 1976).

bI

H G = 2 p

N

where I = [1 (

Df

8b

)] 0.5

In granular soils the settlement increases with the pile group width Bg and the c-to-c distance d

(from Meyerhof, 1961).

A simple stress distribution below the pile group is the 2:1 stress method,

The stress increase ? pi at the middle of layer i in the soil mass due to the group load Qg is,

pi =

(B

Qg

+ zi )( Lg + zi )

and the settlement at that level i can be given as a function of the voids ratio,

H i =

e(i )

(1 + e )

0 (i )

H g = H i

Example 1.

The pile group placed in a deep clay stratum is shown below. Determine the consolidation

settlement of the pile group, assuming that the clays are normally consolidated.

p3 =

Qg

( Lg + z3 )( Bg + z3 )

1335 kN

= 22.3 kN / m 2

( 5.00 + 2.75 )( 5.00 + 2.75)

p0(3) = 3(15.72) +3(18.55 - 9.81) +13(19.18 - 9.81) = 195 kN/m2.

Similarly, the increase of stress in layer 4 is given by,

p4 =

Qg

( Lg + z 4 )( Bg + z4 )

1335 kN

= 5.74 kN / m 2

(12.5 + 2.75)(12.5 + 2.75 )

p0(4) =3(15.72) +3(18.55 - 9.81) +18(19.18 - 9.81) +2.50(18.08 - 9.81) = 263 kN/m2.

Finally, the increase in stress in layer 5,

p5 =

Qg

( Lg + z5 )( Bg + z5 )

1335 kN

= 3.6 kN / m 2

(12.5 + 2.75 )(12.5 + 2.75 )

po(5) = 3(15.7) +3(18.55- .81)+18(19.18-9.81) +5(18.08-9.81) +1.50(19.5-9.81) = 298 kN/m2.

H 3 =

po + p(3) 0.8(10.0)

Cc H 3

195 + 22.2

log 3

=

log

= 0.208 m

1 + e0(3)

1 + 0.8

195

p 0(3)

Cc H 4

263 + 5.74

H 4 =

log

=

log

= 0.007 m

1 + e0 ( 4 )

1 + 1.0

263

p 0(4)

po5 + p (5) 0.26(3.0)

Cc H 5

298 + 3.60

H 5 =

log

=

log

= 0.002 m

1 + e0(5)

1 + 0.7

298

p 0(5)

Therefore, the total pile group consolidation settlement is,

? Hg = ? H3 + ? H4 + ? H5 = 0.208 + 0.007 + 0.002 = 0.217 m = 217 mm.

The capacity of pile groups are extremely dependent on the conditions of the soil. For that

reason, the direct measurement of the loads provides the most accurate results, because the

measurements are taken on site with actual conditions. For preliminary design it is acceptable

to use industry heuristics for group pile capacity, but it is important to remember that these

values are only estimates.

The following chart is an example of a heuristic of the bearing capacities in cohesive soils for

group piles prepared by Terzaghi and Peck:

Consistency

Stiff Clay

Firm Clay

Soft Clay

Unconfined

compression strength Shear strength

(bearing pressure) psf

psf

2000 - 4000

1000 - 2000

1000 - 2000

500 - 1000

500 - 1000

250 - 500

To estimate the ultimate bearing capacity of group piles Qg(u) , choose the smaller of,

1.

2.

Q

Q

u

u

= n1n2 [9 Ap cu ( p) + ( p)cu L ] or

= Lg Bg cu ( p ) N + 2( Lg + Bg )cu L

*

c

To find the ultimate bearing capacity factor Nc* and a , please refer to the next two slides.

Most building codes permit Qg(u) = S Qu

provided that the minimum distance from center-to-center of each pile is D + 300 mm.

For H-piles and piles with square cross sections, D is the diagonal distance.

The bearing capacity factor Nc* for a pile group in clay soils.

Example 2.

The plan view of a group pile (friction pile) is shown below, where the piles are embedded in a

saturated homogeneous clay, and are circular in cross section. Given that their c-c spacing d is

30 inches, their length is 45 feet, diameter is 12 in., and cu = 860 lb/ft2, find the allowable

bearing capacity of the pile group if a FS=3 is desired.

Solution.

a) The load capacity of the tip of each pile

Qp in a saturated homogeneous clay is,

Qp = 9cuAp = 9(0.860)(12/12)2* / 4

= 6.08 kips

Also, from the figure,

n1 = 3, n2 = 3, p = D = 12* = 37.7 in

and = 0.95.

Qs = p cu L = (0.95)(37.7/12)(860)(45)(1/1000) = 115.5 kips

and therefore, the total load capacity of the pile group is,

The alternate analysis is for piles acting as a group, Lg =6 ft, Bg =6 ft, so that Lg/Bg = 1, which

yields Nc* =7.75, therefore,

= 1,168 kips

The smallest of the two is ? Qu = 1,094 kips

Therefore,

all

Q u 1094

=

=

= 364 kips

SF

3

The pile groups efficiency against uplift ? T is given by,

where T is the uplifting force.

T =

Tg

Ti

Stresses coming from the piles in the soil mass overlap when the piles are placed too close to

each other. The load-bearing capacity of the pile is thereby reduced. Here we introduce some

of simplified analysis to obtain the groups efficiency for friction piles in sand.

p

3 piles contribute to the stress in this zone

2 piles contribute to the stress in this zone

S

S

reduces the overlap zones and number

of piles contribute to any zone

Stress surrounding a friction pile and the summing effects of a pile group

1) The Converse-LaBarr method. In all methods, ? is the symbol used for the groups

efficiency, expressed as a percentage of the theoretical total group load. The theoretical

group load is obviously the ultimate load of each pile multiplied by the total number of

piles. The ni represent the number of rows and columns, d is the pile diameter and s is the

spacing between piles (center-to-center).

(n1 1)n2 + ( n2 1) n1 )

= 1

90n1n2

d

s

2) Feld rule, which reduces the calculated load capacity of each pile in a group by 0.0625 for

each adjacent pile. The pile spacing s is not taken into account.

3) The contractors rule, where the calculated load capacity of each pile is reduced by a factor

I for each adjacent pile, where,

d

I=

8s

4) The sand rule, where piles carried in friction in sand can be evaluated with the equation,

2 ( n1 + n2 2) s + 4d )

=

pn1n2

= 1

D

n ( n 1) ) + n1 ( n1 1) + 2 ( n1 1)( n2 1)

d n1n 2 1 1

= 1

11d

( n + n 2)

0.3

1

2

2

n

+

n

1

7

d

1

(

) 1 2 n1 + n 2

where d is in feet

Felds method of estimating the pile group capacity of friction piles is based on,

Pile

type

A

B

C

No. of

Pile

1

4

4

No. of adjacent

piles/pile

8

5

3

( No of piles)(Qu)(reduction factor)

Qu = ultimate capacity for an isolated pile

Reduction factor

for each pile

1-8/16

1-5/16

1-3/16

Ultimate

capacity

0.5Qu

2.75Qu

3.25Qu

? 6.5Qu=

Qg(u)

Example 3.

Compare the predicted group efficiency of the piles shown below by using (1) the sand rule

versus (2) the Converse-Labarr equation.

Solution. n1 = 4, n2 = 3, d = 12 in, p = 4d = 48 in

2( n1 + n 2 2) s + 4 d 2(4 + 3 2)(30) + 48

=

=

= 0.60 = 60%

pn1 n 2

(48)(4)(3)

whereas, the Converse-Labarr equation yields,

(4 1)3 + ( 3 1)4) 1 12

=1

= 1 (0.0157)

= 1

tan

90n1n2

90(4)(3)

30

= 0.66 = 66%

Whitaker (1957) discussed the results of model tests performed on free-standing groups,

whereas Chellis (1962) discussed the considerable variation between all the methods

discussed previously. Obviously, load testing a pile group to failure is an extremely

expensive affair, and nobody seems to have obtained funding for such an adventure.

Some of the most common types of pile caps are shown below, and on the next slide,

Example 4.

Design a pile cap for an H-pile foundation carrying a concentric column load of 1780 kips. The

designer is advised by the foundation engineer that BP14 H-piles driven to refusal on rock may

be designed for a maximum load of 400 kips per pile, with a pile spacing of 36 inches, center

to center. For the column, the designer chooses a 14WF 314 column in A36 steel.

Solution.

Step 1. Find the required number of piles.

The required number of piles is = 1780 kips / 400 kips per pile = 4.5 ~ use 5 piles.

Step 2. Dimension the pile cap.

The 5 piles and the nominal column size of 14 x 16, yields,

Pile Cap Plan Dimensions:

Length L = 4 s + 24 = 140

Width B = 2.74 s + 24= 103

Long way C = 57

Short way B= 56

Thickness, t = 7.86 (calculated).

Pile Cap:

Thickness T = 67

Volume of concrete = 29.52 cubic yards,

Reinforcing Steel: Long way, As = 16 in 2, N= 26,

Required area per bar = 16.50 / 26 = 0.635 in 2,

Choose 26 No. 8 bars (area / bar = 0.79 in 2).

Short way, As = 16.88 in 2, N = 26

Required area per bar = 16.88 / 26 = 0.649 in 2,

Choose 26 No. 8 bars (approx. weight of steel = 708 lbs.).

Step 4. Placement of Bars.

ACI 318 states that the clear distance between parallel bars may not be less than 1 times the

maximum size of the coarse aggregate, nor 1 inch. In the case of No. 8 bars, which have a

diameter of 1 inch, the minimum clear space between bars would be 1 inch (assuming that the

maximum size of coarse aggregate is no larger than inch). Therefore, two inches center to

center of bars is the minimum allowable spacing. Twenty-five spaces at two inches per space,

plus three inches of concrete protection outside of the outer bars requires 57 inches in each

direction. Because the pile cap is 63 by 63, the bars will fit in one layer in each direction.

Step 5.

Anchorage Bond.

As = 16.50in2 is the required area of the reinforcing steel with fs = 20,000 psi. design tensile

stress in steel reinforcing.

The sum of bar perimeters , l= 20 in, embedded length of bars beyond critical section (The

critical section for bond is located midway between the edge of the column and the edge of the

base plate, ua= 16.50 x 20,000 = 202 psi; 81.7 x 20

u = (4.8 3000) (1.0) = 264 psi

Permissible bond stress, u =

264

According to ACI 318.63, Section 1301 (c), because anchorage bond stress is less than 0.8 of

the permissible bond stress, flexural bond stress does not need to be considered. Setting

anchorage bond stress equal to 0.8 of the permissible bond stress leads to the following

modification for the required number of bars

N = ua

Thus, a check of anchorage bond stress requirement has resulted in the saving of one No. 8

bar. A similar check in the short way direction would show that 26 No. 8 bars are still

required in that direction. It is important to note that in pile caps sufficient anchorage bond

is always provided if flexural bond is satisfied. Therefore, hooks are never required to provide

additional anchorage bond. The tabulated values of N are base on flexural bond.

Homework Problem.

References.

- Banerjee, P. K., and Davies, T. G., "The behavior of axially and laterally loaded single piles

embedded in non-homogeneous soils." Geotechnique, London, 28(3), 309-326, 1978.

-Bowles, Joseph E., Foundation Analysis and Design, Fifth Edition. McGraw-Hill, New

York, 1996.

- Butterfield, R., and Banerjee, P. K., The elastic analysis of compressible piles and pile

groups," Geotechnique, London, 21(1), 43-60. (1971).

- El Shamouby, B., and Novak, M., "Stiffness constants and interaction factors for vertically

response of pile groups," Canadian Geotechnique. J., 27, 813-822., 1990.

- Lee, C. Y., "Pile group settlement analysis by hybrid layer approach," J. of Geotech. Eng.,

ASCE, 119(6), 984-997, 1993.

- Zeevaret, Leonardo, Foundation Engineering for Difficult Subsoil Conditions, Van

Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York, 1972.

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