You are on page 1of 10

BASE GROUTING OF BORED CAST-IN-SITU PILES AT THE RAILWAY BRIDGE

OVER THE RIVER RUPSHA, BANGLADESH: A CASE STUDY


Vignesh R, Engineering Manager, L&T Construction, Chennai, rvignesh@lntecc.com
Rahul S, Asst. Engineering Manager, L&T Construction, Chennai, RAHUL-S@lntecc.com
Visakan R, Engineering Manager, L&T Construction, Chennai, VISAKAN@lntecc.com

ABSTRACT
The alignment of the new rail line, which connects Khulna port and Mongla city, passes across the river
Rupsha, which necessitates for a railway bridge near the existing road bridge. Pile foundation is designed
as bored cast in-situ pile of diameter 1.5 m at the approach bridge and 2.5 m diameter at the main bridge
portion. The prevailing geotechnical condition at the bridge location consists of strata of soft to medium
silt/clay, poses great challenges in designing and execution of pile foundations. Pile load test, which was
conducted on 1.5 m diameter pile of 40 m long pile, proved the inadequacy of the pile to achieve the
required design capacity of 570 tons and it experienced huge settlement. Hence to meet the required
capacity without increasing the length of pile substantially, base-grouting technique was implemented
based on subsequent load tests on piles of various lengths with and without base-grout have been
conducted. The test results on the base-grouted pile were satisfactory over non-grouted piles. This paper
describes the experience gained in pile foundation with base grouting and the comparative study between
base-grouted and non-grouted piles.

Keywords: Pile foundation, base grouting

1. INTRODUCTION

Mongla port, which is the second largest seaport of Bangladesh, is gaining importance as the major port at
Chittagong has become overloaded to its maximum shipping activities. Besides, due to the geographical
advantage of the Mongla port, the port has high potential of becoming a regional port as it can handle
cargo transportation across the border to Nepal and Bhutan. Under these circumstances, Bangladesh
Government has decided to link Mongla port and Khulna city with railway line to make the port more
effective and economical. The alignment of the proposed railway line passes across the river Rupsha
which necessitates for a railway bridge near the existing road bridge.

The alignment of the railway line and the bridge crossing is given in the Fig. 1. The general arrangement
drawing of the bridge is given in the Fig. 2. The entire bridge consists of viaduct of 4413 m and the main
bridge portion of 717 m.

Sensitivity: Unclassified

270 © 2018 Deep Foundations Institute


Fig. 1. Alignment of the railway line connecting Mongla Port and Khulna city
Sensitivity: Unclassified

271
Fig. 2. Plan of the general arrangement of the bridge

2. SUB-SOIL CONDITION

In general, the subsoil profile consists soil with very poor bearing capacity in the top 15 m below the
ground level in the viaduct portion. The presence of weak patch of soil most of the stretched pose a great
challenge in designing the toe level of the pile. Table.1 give the general sub-soil profile of the entire
stretch of the bridge alignment.

Table 1. General Subsoil Profile along the bridge alignement


Depth from
Layer EGL Soil Type SPT ‘N’ Range
Portion
(m)
1 0-15 Silt/ Sandy Silt 0-9

2 15-35 Silty Sand 15-30


Viaduct
3 35-50 Silt 5-15

4 50-75 Silty Sand 35-55

1 0-15 Silty Sand 15-20


Main 15-30 Silt 5-15
2
Bridge
3 30-100 Silty Sand 35-75

Sensitivity: Unclassified

272
3. FOUNDATION

In the viaduct portion, pile of 1.5 m dia and length of 40 m is proposed as the foundation during the initial
stage of the project. The pile is designed for the capacity of 400 T to 570 T depending on the locations. In
the main bridge portion, pile dia of 2.5 m and length of 69 m is proposed. The length and the capacity of
piles proposed for piers is given in the Table 2.
Table 2. Length and the load carrying capacity of pile at various pier

Safe Load Carrying


Pier Length (m) Remarks
capacity (T)
P1 – P14 40 460

P15 – P28 40 480


Viaduct
P29 – P51 40 525

P52 – P67 40 570

P68 - P75 69 1000 Main Bridge


P76 – P91 40 570

P92 – P107 40 525 Viaduct


P108 – P128 40 480

A1 & A2 40 400 Abutments

4. PILE LOAD TEST

The vertical load carrying capacity of the piles were determined by conducting intial load test on test piles
using cyclic method and reaction for the load was obtained by kentledge method for testing. The first
initial pile load test (TP-01) was conducted on a 40 m test pile near P-65. The test result shows that the
pile load capacity of 312 T was achieved against the required capacity of 570 T.

Following the failure of the test pile to meet its required capacity, pile group configuration was changed
to 8 nos of 52 m long pile instead of the original configuration of 6 nos of 40 m long pile and the pile load
capacity is revised to 440 T. To verify load carrying capacity of 52 m pile, second load test (TP-02)
conducted near to the location of TP-01. The test result ended up in test pile achieving a load carrying
capacity of 480 T. In order to avoid the number of piles, alternative methods were looked for and base
grouted piles were proposed after studying its effectiveness in the surrounding region. Two more pile load
tests were carried out near to the first two tests – TP-03 (45 m long) and TP-04 (52 m long).

Sensitivity: Unclassified

273
5. BASE GROUTED PILES

Sleeve-Port (Tube-Á-Manchette) grout


distribution system is used in the base grouting
of the piles. Four “conduits” of 38 mm steel
pipes were installed along with the
reinforcements. General arrangement drawing of
the base grouted pile is shown in the Fig. 3.
Each conduit has openings in the bottom
horizontal portions and is covered by rubber
sleeves to prevent the closing of the orifices
during installation.
Grouting was done in stages; first stage was of
permeation grouting which is a process of
injecting cement-based grouts into a soil to
improve the strength and reduce the permeability
of the soil underneath the pile tip by introducing
grout. This is followed by grouitng in three to
four stages through each conduit separately.

Fig.3. General Arrangement drawing of base Fig.4. Arrangement of Grout pipes with
grouted pile reinforcement cage

6. COMPARATIVE STUDY OF BASE GROUTED AND UNGROUTED PILES

Four initial test piles results are analysed to understand the behavior of base grouted piles. Table 3 gives
the details of the test piles of TP-1 to TP-04.

Sensitivity: Unclassified

274
Table 3. Details of the test piles
Test Pile Length Dia.
S. No Location Remarks
Id (m) (m)
1 TP-01 Near to P-65 40 Un-grouted
Near to P-65 &
2 TP-02 52 Un-grouted
P -66 1.5
3 TP-03 Near to P-63 45 Grouted
4 TP-04 Near to P-67 52 Grouted

The load vs settlement curves of the four tests are given in the Fig. 5.

Load (T)
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600
0

20

40
Settlement (mm)

60 TP-01
TP-02
80 TP-03
TP-04
100

120

140

160

180

Fig. 5. Load vs settlement of TP-01 and TP-03


To study the improvement in the load carrying capacity of base grouted piles, the behavior of test piles
TP-01 and TP-03 are compared as the length of piles are almost of same length. A better comparative
study is made by analyzing the load vs settlement behavior of TP-02 and TP-04.

6.1 TP-01 and TP-03

The safe vertical load carrying capacity of the pile is calculate as per the IS: 2911 (Part IV) 2013. As per
the code, safe vertical load carrying capacity of the pile is minimum of 2/3 of load at which total
displacement is 18 mm or 2% pile diameter whichever is less, and 50% of final load at which the total
displacement is equal to 10% pile diameter. The Fig. 6 gives the load vs settlement curves of TP-01 and
Sensitivity: Unclassified

275
TP-03. Table 4 gives the load at 18 mm total settlement and the load at total settlement of 10 % pile
diameter.
The safe vertical load carrying capacity of TP-01 and TP-03 are calculated as 312 T and 593 T
respectively. Therefore, the improvement ratio of safe vertical load carrying capacity of base-grouted pile
TP-03 to that of un-grouted pile TP-01 is found to be 1.90. The calculated improvement ratio may be
overestimated as the length of base grouted is more than the un-grouted pile.

Load (T)
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600
0

20

40 TP-01

TP-03
Settlement (mm)

60

80

100

120

140

160

180

Fig.6. Load vs settlement of TP-01 and TP-03


Table.4. Loads at settlement of 18 mm and 10% pile diameter for TP-01 and TP-03
Load at total settlement 10% of pile
Load at 18 mm total settlement
Test Pile ID diameter
(T)
(T)

TP-01 468 770


TP-03 890 -

6.2 TP-02 and TP-04

The Fig.7 gives the load vs settlement curves of TP-02 and TP-04.Table 5 gives the load at 18 mm total
settlement and the load at total settlement of 10 % pile diameter. The safe vertical load carrying capacity
of TP-02 and TP-04 are calculated as 480 T and 890 T respectively. Therefore, the improvement ratio of
Sensitivity: Unclassified

276
safe vertical load carrying capacity of base-grouted pile TP-04 to that of un-grouted pile TP-02 is found to
be 1.438. Unlike the comparative study of TP-01 and TP-03, TP-02 and TP-04 are of same lengths.
Hence, improvement ratio of 1.438 gives a more accurate and reliable value.

Load (T)
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600
0

20

40
Deformation (mm)

TP-02
60

TP-04
80

100

120

140

160

Fig.7. Load vs settlement of TP-02 and TP-04


Table.5. Loads at settlement of 18 mm and 10% pile diameter for TP-02 and TP-04
Load at total settlement 10% of pile
Load at 18 mm total settlement
Test Pile ID diameter
(T)
(T)

TP-02 720 1230

TP-04 1335 -

6.2.1 Shaft friction and end bearing

The shaft friction and the end bearing components of the ungrounded pile TP-02 was determined from the
load v/s settlement curves obtained from the various cycles of loading. The graphical method described in
the IS: 2911(Part 4): 2013 was adopted to calculate shaft friction and end bearing components. Fig. 8a
gives the skin friction and end bearing components of ungrouted test pile TP-02.
The strain gauges were installed at the bottom of the base grouted test pile TP-04. The load measured by
strain gauges give the end bearing components and skin friction component is calculated by deducting the
Sensitivity: Unclassified

277
measured end bearing from the total load which is applied at the pile top. Fig 8b gives the skin friction
and end bearing components of base grouted test pile TP-04.

Load (T) Load (T)


0 200 400 600 800 1000 0 400 800 1200 1600
0 0
Shaft Resistance
Shaft Resistance
10 Tip Resistance
5 Tip Resistance
Total Load
20 Total Load
Settlement (mm)

Settlement (mm)
10
30

40 15

50
20
60

25
70

80 30
(a) (b)
Fig.8. Shaft friction, tip resistance and total load at the pile top of (a) ungrouted and
(b) base-grouted pile

7. CONCLUSION

The results obtained from pile load tests on ungrouted and base-grouted piles are studied and load v/s
settlement behavior of base-grouted piles are compared with that of ungrouted piles and the comparison
has proved that base-grouting technique is most effective way and which represented as an alternate for
long pile / additional pile requirement in the project.
Consequently based on the initial load tests conducted in the vicinity of P-65 location, it was concluded to
apply base-grouting technique to all working piles throughout the project, i.e., approach viaduct and main
bridge pile foundation.
However base-grouting technique in the test pile for the initial pile load test was applied by experimental
process, but considering the uncertainty of the long term Behaviour of the grout, strict quality control
monitoring was employed in the project to ensure that the grout applied for the working piles has
durability through the service life of the bridge structure.

Sensitivity: Unclassified

278
To verify the performance of the working piles, routine load test was conducted by static and dynamic
method and the test results were observed that the vertical load carrying capacity of the piles has been
increased to 1.4 times by base grouting.

8. REFERNCES

AASHTO (2012), AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications, Customary U.S. Units, 6th Edition, with
2013 Interim Revisions, Publication LRFDUS-6, American Association of State Highway and
Transportation Officials, Washington, DC, 1938 pp.
API Recommended Practice 13B-1 (2009), “Recommended Practice for Field Testing Water-based
Drilling Fluids,” American Petroleum Institute, Section 1, Fourth Edition, 91 pp.
ASTM Standard C150 (2012), “Standard Specification for Portland Cement,” ASTM International, West
Conshohocken, PA, DOI: 10.1520/C0150_C0150M-12. <www.astm.org>

ASTM Standard C204 (2011), “Standard Test Methods for Fineness of Hydraulic Cement by Air-
Permeability Apparatus,” ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, DOI: 10.1520/C0204-11.
<www.astm.org>
ASTM Standard D1143 (2013), “Standard Test Methods for Deep Foundations Under Static Axial
Compressive Load,” ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, DOI: 10.1520/D1143_D1143M.
<www.astm.org>

ASTM Standard D4380 (2012), “Standard Test Method for Density of Bentonitic Slurries,” ASTM
International, West Conshohocken, PA, DOI: 10.1520/D4380-12. <www.astm.org>

ASTM Standard D6910 (2009), “Standard Test Method for Marsh Funnel Viscosity of Clay Construction
Slurries,” ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, DOI: 10.1520/D6910_D6910M-09.
<www.astm.org>

ASTM Standard C109 (2013), “Standard Test Method for Compressive Strength of Hydraulic Cement
Mortars (Using 2-in. or [50-mm] Cube Specimens),” ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA,
DOI: 10.1520/C0109_C0109M. <www.astm.org>

ASTM Standard C476 (2010), “Standard Specification for Grout for Masonry,” ASTM International,
West Conshohocken, PA, DOI: 10.1520/C0476-10. <www.astm.org>

Sensitivity: Unclassified

279