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Proceedings of Indian Geotechnical Conference

December 22-24,2013, Roorkee



Govind Singh Bisht, Research Scholar, M.S. University of Baroda, Vadodara,
J. C. Shukla,L&T - Sargent & Lundy Ltd., Vadodara, Gujarat,
D. L. Shah*, Professor, Applied Mechanics Dept., M.S. University of Baroda, Vadodara,

ABSTRACT: In India, rock socketed bored piles are commonly used as foundations for high rise buildings,
bridges and other transportation structures to increase the foundations capacity. However, procedures to quantify
the side resistance capacity of sockets vary considerably. Currently in India, IS: 14593 (1998) and IRC: 78(2010)
are followed for estimation of ultimate side resistance for rock socketed piles. This paper reviews many of the
proposed methods to predict coefficient of side resistance () and critically assess them. Subsequent laboratory
investigation program comprised of 16 foundation model tests and 9 large size direct shear test on rock/concrete
composite specimen to characterize the behaviour of socket friction. The ultimate side resistance (fsu) obtained from
the present study are then compared with the values recommended by various researches. On the basis of
experimental model pile studies and large size shear test, correlations are developed in between coefficient of side
resistance and unconfined compressive strength.

Large diameter rock-socketed bored piles are resistance between pile and rock socket interface
commonly used as foundations for multi-storey (Basarkar, 2004; Basarkar and Dewaikar 2006).
buildings in India. Although considerable attention This paper examines the behaviour of axially
has been given to the design of rock-socketed piles loaded piles socketed into rock with different
in past decades (Carter and Kulhawy, 1988; Cole socket length during the load tests conducted in
and Stroud 1977; Horvath and Kenny 1979; laboratory.
Rosenberg and Journeaux 1976; Rowe and
Armitage 1987; Williams et al. 1981; Zhang and Design for Side Resistance carried out globally
Einstein, 1998; for both rough and smooth socket), A number of empirical relationships have been
the current design procedure is still highly published for estimating the capacity of rock
empirical. In general, research on the shaft friction socketed side resistance. All are based on studies
and end bearing of piles in rocks lags considerably of field load test results and laboratory tests and
behind that of piles in soils. Limited information is relate socket friction capacity to the UCS of rock
available on the load transfer characteristics of or concrete, generally whichever is weakest. Most
rock-socketed piles and very little, if any, of the load tests considered were carried out in
published data has been reported on the behaviour sedimentary rocks having lower strength than
of such piles in service. typical rock types encountered in various places
Till recent time, it was usual to adopt allowable globally.
bearing pressure of 3.0MPa for sound rocks like The development of empirical design rules for pile
basalt, and 2.5MPa for weaker rocks like volcanic shafts in rock commenced in the 1970s. The shaft
Breccia and Tuff. During installation, criterion resistances for piles in rock have historically been
based on chiselling energy (Datye, 1990) is being related to the unconfined compressive strength, qu.
practiced for pile termination in weathered rocks. Pells et al. (1979) recommended allowable
These practices appear to be very conservative as adhesions in Melbourne mudstone and Sydney
they neglect, or assume very low values of the side sandstone, respectively of 0.05 qu. Ultimate shaft

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Govind Singh ,Bisht, Shukla J. C., Shah, D. L.

resistance values published by Thorne (1977), and Table 1. Roughness Classes (after Pells et al.
reproduced as Figure 1, would suggest that these (1980)
recommended values were not necessarily
conservative. This data relates primarily to Roughness
unconfined compressive rock strengths in excess of Description
10 MPa. Williams and Pells(1981), on the basis of Straight, smooth-sided
a more comprehensive analysis of pile load tests in socket, grooves or
soft rocks proposed the relationship between R1 indentations less than 1 mm
adhesion factor and unconfined compressive deep.
strength shown in Figure 2. Grooves of depth 1-4 mm,
R2 width greater than 2 mm, at
spacing 50 mm to 200 mm.
Grooves of depth 4-10 mm,
R3 width greater than 5 mm, at
spacing 50 mm to 200 mm.
Grooves or undulations of
depth > 10 mm, width > 10
mm at spacing 50 mm to
200 mm.

Horvath et al. (1983) proposed a relationship

between available shaft resistance and a
Fig. 1 Achieved skin adhesion vs. rock strength for
quantitative measure of roughness, RF, denoted
pile sockets in rock (after Thorne, 1977)
roughness factor. Rowe and Armitage (1984)
developed an international data base for drilled
The importance of roughness in the shaft resistance
piles in rock, including 67 load tests to failure on
of piles in rock was noted by Pells et al. (1980)
18 sites. The data was separated into two
who developed a set of four roughness classes
categories-sockets with roughness classes R1 to
(Table 1) based on observation of sockets drilled in
R3, and sockets with roughness R4. Kulhawy and
Sydney sandstone.
Phoon (1993) supplemented the data of Rowe and
Armitage with 47 additional load tests in Florida
limestone after Bloomquist and Townsend (1991)
and McVay et al. (1992), as well as that of the pile
load tests in clay reported by Chen and

Kulhawy and Poon presented their data both for

individual pile load tests and as site averaged data,
the results of which are shown in Figure 3, in terms
of adhesion factor, , vs. normalized shear
strength, (cu / pa).
Fig. 2 Side resistance reduction factors for pile
sockets in rock (after Williams and Pells, 1981)

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Estimation of ultimate socket friction capacity for micro piles in rock strata

Rosenberg & Journeaux (1976)

1.4 Horvath (1982)
Williams & Pells (1981)
Zang and Einstein (1998) smooth socket
Zang and Einstein (1998) rough socket

Coefficient of Unit Side Resistance

1.2 IS: 14593 (1998)
Present research (Basalt)
Box Shear (White Sandstone)
Box Shear (Red Sandstone)
1.0 Box Shear (Basalt)
Instrumented pile Gandhi et al. (1981)
Pullout on plugs Gandhi et al. (1981)
Khare and Mhiskar (2010)
0.8 Basarkar and Dewaikar (2006) Pile load tests
Basarkar (2004) O-cell tests -Breccia and Tuff
Present Research (Sandstone)




Fig. 3 Site averaged adhesion factor vs. normalized 0.0

0.1 1 10 100
Uniaxial Compressive Strength (MPa)
shear strength (after Kulhaway & Phoon, 1993)
INDIAN RECOMMENDATIONS Fig. 4 Coefficient of unit side resistance of
IS: 14593 (Indian Standard code) suggest unit socketed piles.
shear resistance based on uniaxial compressive
strength of rock to obtain rock socket side Table 2: Coefficient of unit side resistance of
resistance factor. However, the computed rock socketed piles
Sr. Reference Empirical
socket resistance factor is recommended to correct
No. Correlations
for rock mass reduction factor which actually
1 IRC 78
reduce the computed side socket friction. Figure 4 2 Rowe and Armitage
describes the variation of rock socket side (1987)
resistance factor with respect to uniaxial 3 Horvath et al. (1980)
compressive strength of rocks recommended by IS: 4 Rosenberg and
14593. IRC -78 recommends an empirical equation Journeaux (1976)
to estimate the design rock socket side resistance 5 Zang and Einstein
factor. The recommended equation is presented (1998) - smooth
Table 2 comparing other popularly available sockets
empirical equation. However it is important to note 6 Zang and Einstein
that IRC-78 limits the maximum allowable size (1998) - rough
resistance to 5 MPa.
7 Horvath and Kenney
EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 8 Carter and Kulhawy
Two stage experimental programs are carried out (1988)
in the geotechnical testing laboratory at M.S.
University of Baroda, India. In first stage, model of The bottom portion of the drilled hole is filled with
concrete piles are casted in the rock chunk after soft material or kept open to avoid any end bearing
drilling hole of 52 mm of specified socket length. mobilization. After sufficient curing, the rock
The model piles are casted using M30 (concrete socketed pile model is placed under the load frame
compressive strength 30 N/mm2) concrete up to the of 250 kN capacity for vertical compression. The
depth of 2D to 3D (D = dia of rock core) from the experimental setup is schematically illustrated in
top. Figure 5.

The load was applied using screw jack and was

measured using 200 kN proving ring. The load was
applied gradually in increment of 25 kN and
corresponding settlements were measured. The
next incremental load was applied after the
settlement ceased under the applied load. The load

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Govind Singh ,Bisht, Shukla J. C., Shah, D. L.

increment and corresponding settlement strength of the rock. The observed coefficient of
observation continue till the model pile fails by unit side resistance is summarized in the Table 3,
loss of friction. Based on observed failure load, and compared with the different correlations
coefficient of unit side resistance is computed for derived by various investigators.
model pile and summarized in the Table 3.
Concrete Specimen


Soft Material

Fig. 5 Schematic laboratory experiment setup to

calculate maximum sock friction capacity

In second stage, the large box shear tests are

carried out in the laboratory in order to characterize
the ultimate socket friction between rock / concrete
interface. The large size direct shear test apparatus
is used for determining the shear strength of
concrete/rock composite samples. Maximum shear
load capacity of the instrument is in the order of
150 kN. It is a constant rate of strain type apparatus
and gives 72 different rates of strain. The samples
of 10cm x 10cm x 10cm are prepared from the Fig. 6 Large direct shear test specimen before and
chunks by cutting them with the help of rock after test, A- Basalt, B- Red sandstone, C- White
cutting machine. The samples thus prepared are sandstone
further sliced into two equal parts. The artificial
asperities were made on the test surface of all cut
sandstone and basalt rock samples. The concrete of
M30 grade were placed on the prepared rock
sample so that total thickness of composite
rock/concrete sample is of 10cm. The prepared
sample is cured for 21 days. The rock/concrete
composite sample (10cmx10cmx10cm) is then
transferred to large size shear test machine such
that rock slice remains in lower half box and
concrete portion remain in upper half box with
centre of joint exactly aligned to the plane of shear.
Normal stress of 0.45 MPa was applied during the Fig. 7 Direct Shear apparatus for testing rock
/concrete interface shear.
test. The strain rate of 0.502 mm/min was kept
during testing procedure. The ultimate shear failure DISCUSSIONS AND CONCLUSIONS
(bond failure) load was found out from the test. In present experimental study of model piles, it is
Figure 6 shows the box shear test samples before observed that Williams and Pells (1981), Zhang
and after testing. The coefficient of unit side and Einstein (1998) (rough sockets) predicts the
resistance is evaluated as the ratio of unit ultimate ultimate unit side friction closely for sandstone
shear resistance to the unconfined compressive samples (Fig.4). For basalt samples, ultimate unit

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Estimation of ultimate socket friction capacity for micro piles in rock strata

side friction estimated through IS: 14593, IRC limestone. Report to Florida Dept. of
78:2000 and values predicted by Horvath et al. Transportation. Gainesville: University of Florida.
(1980) are in close agreement with the Carter, J.P. and Kulhawy. F.H. (1988). Analysis
experimental results. and design of drilled shaft foundations socketed
Based on the results of the large box shear tests, it into rock. Report EL-5918. Palo Alto: Electric
is observed that for basalt, IS: 14593 predict the Power Research Institute.
most conservative ultimate unit side friction among Cole, K.W. and Stroud, M.A. (1977). Rock
all the empirical equation compared in Table 3. For socketed piles at Coventry point, Marketway,
white sandstone, IS: 14593, Horvath and Kenney Coventry. Proc. Of Piles in Weak Rock,
(1979) and Carter and Kulhawy (1988) closely Institution of Civil Engineers, London, 47-62.
predict the observed ultimate unit side resistance Datye, K. R., (1990). Bored piling in Bombay
whereas IRC: 78 under predicts the ultimate region. Proc. Indian Geotechnical Conference
friction load. For red sandstone, IRC 78 and (IGC) 1990, Bombay, 571-588.
Horvath et al. (1980) predicts the ultimate unit side
resistance closely compared to others. Overall, for Horvath, R.G. and T.C. Kenney. (1979). Shaft
higher strength class rocks i.e basalt, IS: 14593 and resistance of rock-socketed drilled piers. In
IRC: 78 predicts the side socked friction more Symposium on Deep Foundations, Atlanta, Oct.
closely and more variations are observed for the 1979, ed. F.M. Fuller, 182-214. New York: ASCE.
lower strength class rocks. Horvath, R.G., T.C. Kenney & P. Kozicki. 1983.
On the basis of experimental pile model studies Methods of improving the performance of drilled
and large size shear experiments performed on piers in weak rock. Canadian Geotech. J. 20(4):
various rock samples, correlation is developed in 758-772.
between coefficient of side resistance () and Horvath, R. G., Kenney, T. C. and Trow, W. A.
unconfined compressive strength. (1980). Results of tests to determine shaft
resistance of rock socketed drilled piers. Proc. Int.
Avg. UCS Conf. on Stru. Found. On Rock, 1, 349-361.
Rock Type Value Equations IRC: 78 (2000). Standard specifications and code
(MPa) of practice for road bridges. Section VII.
Hard 72-150 fsu = 0.22qu-0.5 IS: 14593 (1998). Design and Construction of
Soft 30-84 fsu = 1.12qu-0.5 bored cast in-situ pils founded on rocks
Hard + fsu =130.66 qu- Guidelines.
30-150 1.847
Soft Kenny, T. C. (1977). Factors to be considered in
the design of piers socketed in rocks. Conf. on the
The present study shows good co-relations with design and construction of deep foundations.
various authors as well as with code provisions for Canadian Society for Civil Engg., Sudbury,
certain rock types. Research need more input to Ontario, 11-39.
develop still batter correlation. McVay, M.C., F.C. Townsend & R.C. Williams.
1992. Design of socketed drilled shafts in
REFERENCES limestone. J. Geotech. Eng.(ASCE). 118(10):1626-
Basarkar, S. S. (2004). Analytical and experimental 1637.
studies on rock socketed piles in Mumbai region.
Pells, P. J. N. and Turner, R. M. (1979). Elastic
Ph D Thesis, IIT-B, Mumbai.
solutions for the design and analysis of rock
Basarkar, S.S. and Dewaikar, D.M. (2006). Load
sockted piles. Can. Geotech. Jr., 16, 481-487.
transfer characteristics of socketed piles in Mumbai
Pells, P.J.N and Turner, R.M (1980). End bearing
region. Soils and Foundations, Vol 46(2), 247-257.
of rock with particular reference to sandstone. Int.
Bloomquist, D. & F.C. Townsend. 1991.
Conf. on Structural Foundations on Rock. Sydney.
Development of insitu equipment for capacity
determinations of deep foundations in Florida
Rosenberg, P. and Journeux, N. L. (1976). Friction

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Govind Singh ,Bisht, Shukla J. C., Shah, D. L.

and end bearing tests on bedrock for high capacity Thome, C.P. (1980). The capacity of piers drilled
socketed design. Can. Geotech. Jr., 13, 324-333. into rock, proceedings of the International
Rowe, R. K. and Armitage, H. H. (1987). A design Conference on Structural Foundations on Rock,
method for drilled piers in soft rock. Can. Geotech. Sydney, Australia, pp 223-233
Jr., 24, 126-142. Zhang, L. and Einstein, H. H. (1998). End bearing
Williams, A. F. and Pells, P. J. N. (1981). Side capacity of drilled shafts in rock. Jr. of geotech.
resistance rock sockets in sandstone, mudstone and and Geoenvr. Engnr., ASCE, Vol. 24(7), 574-584.
shale. Can. Geotech. Jr., 18, 502-513.

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Estimation of ultimate socket friction capacity for micro piles in rock strata

Table 3 Estimated and observed coefficient of uniform side resistance for rock plug specimens
ZA- ZA -
Socket Observed Unit Side Unit Side Horvath
Rock UCS 1998 1998
of Socket IRC et al. -
Type length Ultimate Resistance Resistance IS: RA- RJ - Smooth Rough HK - CK -
rock Dia 78 1980
14593 1987 1976 1979 1988
(MPa) (mm) (mm) load (kg) (MPa) Coefficient Sockets Sockets

A 36 52 104 13200 7.77 0.216 0.08 0.037 0.075 0.041 0.062 0.067 0.133 0.111 0.105
A 40 52 130 13200 6.21 0.155 0.075 0.035 0.071 0.039 0.059 0.063 0.126 0.106 0.099
B 36 52 104 13200 7.77 0.213 0.08 0.037 0.075 0.041 0.062 0.067 0.133 0.111 0.105
B 39.6 52 130 13200 6.21 0.157 0.078 0.035 0.071 0.039 0.059 0.064 0.127 0.106 0.1
C 47 52 104 13200 7.77 0.165 0.07 0.032 0.065 0.036 0.054 0.058 0.116 0.097 0.091
C 30 52 130 13200 6.21 0.207 0.095 0.041 0.082 0.045 0.068 0.073 0.146 0.122 0.115
D 32.4 52 130 13200 6.21 0.192 0.09 0.039 0.079 0.044 0.065 0.07 0.14 0.118 0.11
D 43.2 52 104 13200 7.77 0.179 0.072 0.034 0.068 0.038 0.057 0.06 0.121 0.102 0.096
D 43.2 52 156 12900 5.06 0.117 0.072 0.034 0.068 0.038 0.057 0.06 0.121 0.102 0.096
E 104.3 52 130 7500 3.53 0.034 0.05 0.022 0.044 0.024 0.036 0.039 0.078 0.065 0.061
E 72 52 104 2400 1.41 0.019 0.06 0.026 0.053 0.029 0.044 0.047 0.094 0.078 0.074
F 140 52 156 6888 2.703 0.019 0.01 0.019 0.038 0.021 0.032 0.034 0.068 0.057 0.053
F 148 52 130 6750 3.178 0.021 0.01 0.018 0.037 0.021 0.031 0.033 0.066 0.055 0.052
G 84 52 104 1500 0.883 0.011 0.04 0.025 0.049 0.027 0.041 0.044 0.087 0.073 0.069
G 50 52 130 7500 0.353 0.007 0.08 0.032 0.064 0.035 0.053 0.057 0.113 0.095 0.089
G 70 52 130 1300 0.612 0.009 0.05 0.027 0.054 0.03 0.045 0.048 0.096 0.08 0.075
A - Gritty Sandstone; B- Cilious & Argillaceous Sandstone; C - Ferruginous & Argillaceous Sandstone; D - Argillaceous Sandstone; E Ortho
Sandstone; F - dark greyish black colour fine grained porphyritic Basalt. G - Fresh pinkish red colour ferrogenous Sandstone RA Rowand Armitage;
Rosenberg and Journeaux; ZA Zang and Einstein; HK Horvath and Kenney; CK Carter and Kulhawy

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Govind Singh ,Bisht, Shukla J. C., Shah, D. L.

TABLE 4 Observed and Predicted Coefficient of Side Resistance () (Box Shear Test)

Experimental Observations (With Roughness) Without Roughness

Fresh pinkish red colour
Fresh dark greyish black
ferruginous Sandstone with Fresh Creamy white colour Porphyritic Ferruginous
Rock Type Description colour fine grained
fine to medium grained Friable sandstone Basalt Sandstone
porphyritic Basalt
cementing material
UCS of rock (MPa) 150 150 150 50.32 50.32 50.32 72.5 72.5 72.5 150 50.32
Dia of Socket (mm) 52 52 52 52 52 52 52 52 52 52 52
Observed Ultimate load (kg) 2850 2700 3600 2040 1800 1800 6000 4800 3750 1800 2520
Observed Ultimate unit side
2.85 2.7 3.6 2.04 1.8 1.8 6 4.8 3.75 1.8 2.52
resistance (MPa)
Coefficient of unit side
0.019 0.018 0.024 0.041 0.036 0.036 0.083 0.066 0.052 0.012 0.05
resistance ()
Specimen Failed (Yes/No) No No No No No No No No No No No
Estimation of coefficient of unit side resistance using bored pile analogy
IS: 14593
IRC 78 0.018 0.0184 0.0184 0.032 0.032 0.032 0.0264 0.0264 0.0264 0.0184 0.032
Rowe and Armitage (1987) 0.037 0.037 0.037 0.063 0.063 0.063 0.053 0.053 0.053 0.037 0.063
Horvath et al. (1980) 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.035 0.035 0.035 0.029 0.029 0.029 0.02 0.035
Rosenberg and Journeaux
(1976) 0.031 0.031 0.031 0.053 0.053 0.053 0.044 0.044 0.044 0.031 0.053
Zhang and Einstein (1998) -
smooth sockets 0.033 0.033 0.033 0.056 0.056 0.056 0.047 0.047 0.047 0.033 0.056
Zhang and Einstein (1998) -
rough sockets 0.065 0.065 0.065 0.113 0.113 0.113 0.094 0.094 0.094 0.065 0.113
Horvath and Kenney (1979) 0.055 0.055 0.055 0.094 0.094 0.094 0.079 0.079 0.079 0.055 0.094
Carter and Kulhawy (1988) 0.051 0.051 0.051 0.088 0.088 0.088 0.074 0.074 0.074 0.051 0.088

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