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A building or structure's soundness starts with a strong foundation, especially the

piles. As a part of foundation's quality assurance, Maintain Load Test, also known as
Static Load Test is necessary to ensure the pile that was driven could take the
design load of the structure. During this test, load would be applied on the selected
pile and the pile settlement under the acting load would be recorded. As a common
practice, pile would be loaded up to twice of the working load, which is regarded as
the Test Load of the pile.
Prior testing, the pile head shall be cut off or built up to the necessary elevation and
shall be capped appropriately to produce a bearing surface perpendicular to the
axis of the pile. The arrangement shall be such that none of the test load is carried
by the ground under the cap.
The test load shall be applied in one of the following ways
1. By means of a jack which obtains its reaction from kentledge heavier than the
required load;
2. By means of a jack which obtains its reaction from tension piles or other
suitable anchors.
The load shall be measured using a calibrated load gauge and also a calibrated
pressure gauge in the hydraulic system. The jack and load gauge shall be carefully
aligned so that the load applied is co-axial with the pile. When method (1) is used,
care shall be taken to ensure that the centre of gravity of the kentledge is on the
axis of the pile. The nearest edge of the crib supporting the kentledge stack shall
not be closer than 1.3 m to the surface of the test pile. Kentledge shall not be used
for testing raked piles. When method (2) is used, all anchor piles shall be at a
distance of at least three (3) pile shaft diameters from the test pile, centre to
centre, and in no case shall they be less than 2 m from the test pile. If the anchor
piles are to be permanent working piles, their levels shall be observed during
application of the test load to ensure no residual uplift occurs.
Settlements shall be measured by use of a reference beam or wire supported
independently of the load test pile, reaction pile or piles supporting reaction loads.
Settlements shall be measured to the nearest 0.1 mm for reference beams or 0.5
mm for reference wires. The reference beam supports shall be located at least 3 m
from the load test pile, reaction pile or piles supporting reaction loads. The
reference beams or wires shall be protected from the effects of temperature
changes.
The Maintained Load Test shall be carried out as follows unless alternative method
specified by the Consultants;
a) The full test load on a pile shall be twice the design load noted on the
Drawings and it shall be applied in twelve equal decrements. At least two

hours shall elapse between the addition of each load increment, i.e. until the rate of
settlement is reduced to less than 0.25 mm/hour and slowing down;
b) The full test load shall be maintained on the pile for at least 48 hours and
settlements shall be recorded at intervals of not more than 12 hours. The test pile
shall then be unloaded in four equal decrements at one-hour intervals until the full
load is removed. Settlement readings shall be made immediately after and before
every load increment is applied or removed.