AND
MILOSNOVAK
Fnculry of Engineering Scietfce, The Utliversity o f Wesrertl Otltario, Lot~rlotl,Otlf., C C I I I N C ~ ( ~5B9
N6A
Received October 15, 1987
Accepted March 17, 1988
Dynamic experiments were conducted on largescale model piles in sand subjected to strong horizontal and vertical
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excitation. The theoretical response curves are calculated using DYNA2 and PILAY2 computer codes. and using also for the
vertical direction, the theory of nonlinear vibration. The theoretical curves are compared with the experimental results. The
dynamic behaviour of the pile is presented as frequency response curves for displacement, stiffness, dashpot constants, and
damping ratios. The influence of excitation intensity, repeated loading, and cap contact with soil on the dynamic behaviour of
single piles is investigated.
Key ~vorcls:dynamics, vibration, piles, foundations, nonlinear vibration, testing, deep foundations.
L'on a rCalisC des expCriences dynamiques sur des pieux rnodkles 2 grande Cchelle soumis B de fortes sollicitations
horizontales et verticales dans le sable. Les courbes des rkponscs thCoriques ont CtC calculCes au moyen des programmes
d'ordinateur DYNA2 et PILAY2 et en utilisant en plus, pour la direction verticale, la thCorie de vibration non IinCaire, et elles
ont it6 comparCes avec les risultats expirirnentaux. Le comportement dynamique du pieu est prksentd au moyen de courbes de
riponses pour le dkplacement, la rigidit6 et les constantes et rapports d'arnortissenient. L'on itudie ['influence, sur le
comportement de pieux simples, de I'intensitC de la sollicitation, et de la rCpCtition du chagenlent et du contact de capuchon
avec le sol.
Mots elks : dynan~ique,vibration, pieux, fondations, vibration non IinCaire, essais, fondations profondes.
For personal use only.
Introduction due to Novak (1974) and Novak ef nl. (1978, 1981, 1983)
A number of solutions have been developed in the last 20 whose application is facilitated by an efficient computer pro
years for dynamic analysis of single piles subjected to har gramme, PILAY2 (Novak et 01. 198 1). The dynamic response
monic forces or moments. These solutions are based on dis of the pilesupported foundation can be computed by a com
crete models, continuum models, and finite element models. puter programme, DYNA2 (Novak et al. 1983), which incor
However, they are usually formulated under the assumptions porates PILAY2.
that the soil behaviour is governed by the laws of linear elastic Although there have been a large number of analytical
ity or viscoelsaticity and that the soil is perfectly bonded to the studies on the dynamic response, the published record of
piles. experimental data is rather scarce. Novak and Grigg (1976)
In fact, nonlinearity in the area with high strain levels and ElSharnouby and Novak (1984) presented the results
and slippage, or even separation, in the contact area between obtained on smallscale pile groups. The dynamic response of
the soil and the piles often occur, especially for piles subjected vertically loaded smallscale piles was measured by Roesset
to strong excitation, as is the case for pile driving, offshore et al. (1986). Fullscale pile foundation field test results were
rigs, seismic environments, and other applications. A rigorous provided by Gle (198 1). A largeamplitude vertical vibration
approach to slippage and nonlinearity is extremely difficult and test of a fullscale group of piles was conducted by Blaney
therefore approximate theories have to be used. Lumped mass et al. (1987). Simulated earthquake loading tests were con
models with nonlinear discrete springs, dashpots, and friction ducted by Finn and Gohl (1987) on a model pile foundation in
elements have been in use, particularly in the petroleum indus sand. A few other experimental investigations are described in
try (see, e.g., Matlock et al. 1978). Although such models can Nogami (1987). Most of these dynamic tests of piles are lim
reproduce strong nonlinear effects, it is difficult to relate the ited to small amplitudes of vibration or to smallscale piles.
properties of the discerte elements to standard geotechnical In this paper, dynamic experiments on largescale model
parameters such as soil shear modulus and Poisson's ratio and piles with strong horizontal and vertical vibration are
to account for pile group effects. Another approximate described. The objective is to study the dynamic behaviour of
approach, which includes a weak cylindrical zone around the single piles under strong excitation and to determine whether
pile and is readily applicable to practice, was proposed by the basically linear theory can reproduce the behaviour of piles
Novak and Sheta (1980). In this approach, the stiffness and under strong excitation if suitable adjustments of the input
damping of a single pile are computed on the basis of a method parameters are made. To this end, frequency response curves
and deflection curves of piles were experimentally established
'Presently at Faculty of Engineering Science, The University of in the field for different intensities of excitation and contact
Western Ontario, London, Ont., on leave from Institute of Engineer conditions between the pile cap and the soil surface and were
ing Mechanics, Harbin, China. compared with those calculated using the computer pro
524 CAN. GEOTECH. 1. VOL. 25, 1988
Theory
Before comparing the experimental results with the theory, it
may be useful to briefly expound on the assumptions used in
the theory and to introduce the soil and pile properties
employed in it. The main assumptions are that (1) the soil is
composed of independent horizontal layers that are linearly
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and the ratio Ep/G. The coupling impedances Ku4 and Cu4 are
in which G is the shear modulus of soil, a. is dinlensionless
similarly defined.
frequency (ao = Ro/Vs, where R is the pile radius, w is the cir
With the stiffness and damping constants of the pile estab
cular frequency, and I/, is the soil shear wave velocity), D =
lished, the response of a pilesupported footing to dynamic
tan 6 = 2/3 is the material damping (/3 = the material damping
ratio), v is the soils's Poisson's ratio, and i = m; finally,
loading can be predicted. This is done using the computer pro
For personal use only.
F.. Pi*'
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FIG.2. Properties of pile and soil used in analysis (1 psi = 6.895 kPa).
TABLE
1. Pile properties (steel pipe) TABLE2. Properties of backfill soil
(medium sand)
Property Value
Property Value
For personal use only.
TABLE
3. Properties of natural deposit (hon~ogeneoussandy clay)
ments of the pile cap vary with frequency and indicate a sharp
resonance peak in all cases. The maximum displacement mea
sured on top of the cap amounts to 23 mm, the maximum
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0 5 10 15
excitation intensity. Also, the vibration amplitudes are not pro Frequency ( Hz )
portional to excitation intensity at all frequencies. These are
typical features of nonlinear vibrations. However, the inidvid FIG.3. Theoretical and experimental horizontal response of pile cap
ual response curves observed intersect each other and are not for different excitation intensities (pile cap separated from soil).
centred around a joint backbone curve, Q, as is inherent to a
system whose properties are defined by one nonlinear charac TABLE4. Magnitude of horizontal exciting force (frequency f
For personal use only.
0 0
0 5 10 15 20 25
Frequency ( H z )
For personal use only.
be applied with caution because the sand under the cap may
settle more than the piles, particularly with end bearing piles.
Unconnected Connected For embedded caps the soil reactions acting on the vertical
sides can generate a significant amount of damping and be
Measured Data quite beneficial.
Pile stifjizess arzd damping
The theoretical stiffness and damping coefficients of the pile
for the horizontal and rocking directions are shown in Figs. 6
and 7 , respectively. The subscript u indicates horizontal
translation while C$ stands for pile head rotation (rocking). The
stiffness is almost frequency independent, as would be
expected, because of low dimensionless frequencies the pile
dynamic stiffness is known to be close to the static one.
Figures 6 and 7 also show the pile damping coefficients. These
rapidly increase as frequency decreases. This is primarily due
to the conversion of frequencyindependent soil material
damping to equivalent viscous damping coefficient c = 26101.
To provide a dimensionless measure of pile damping, the
damping ratios can be evaluated from the stiffness and damp
Frequency ( Hz 1 ing coefficients as cwl(2k). These damping ratios are shown in
FIG. 5. Theoretical and experimental response curves with different Figs. 8 and 9. The damping ratios increase with frequency but
excitation intensity and contact between cap and soil (horizontal exci the rate of increase is lowest for the strongest excitation. It can
tation). also be seen from Figs. 69 that the damping coefficients and
damping ratio mostly decrease with excitation intensity and
thus with vibration amplitudes for frequencies higher than the
sity increases, from 8 = 5 " to 8 = 14", the resonant frequency
lowest resonance frequency observed (4.7 Hz). This is further
of the pile decreases and the resonant displacement increases.
illustrated by Table 5. In soils, an increase in damping with
Meanwhile, for the same magnitude of exciting forces, the
strain is usually assumed. This apparent discrepancy suggests a
resonant frequency of the unconnected situation is markedly
growth in pile separation with vibration amplitudes and the
lower than that of the connected situation and its resonant dis
weakening of the soil around the pile, as reflected in the
placement is larger than that of the connected situation. Appar
necessary reduction in the shear modulus in the weak zone.
ently, for the single pile tested, the cap contributed to the
stiffness and damping of the pile, as was also found by Novak Pile deflections
and Grigg (1976); however, in practice this observation should The measured deflections of the pile varied with frequency
528 CAN. GEOTECH. J . VOL. 25. 1988
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"
0 5 10 15 20 25"
Frequency ( Hz
FIG.7. Pile rocking stiffness and damping coefficient.
I I I I
0 5 10 15 20 25
TABLE
5. Damping parameters of the pile
Frequency ( H z 1
Excitation test FIG.8. Pile horizontal damping ratio.
Parameter B=5, B=8, B=8 0=14
Resonance frequency (Hz) 12.2 8.5 5.6 4.7
Damping ratio
Horizontal, D,, 0.163 0.1 I0 0.090 0.090
For personal use only.
0 ' 9''  I
/Or
/ 
0 '0
/ /
 o/
/
0  /O
a3 C  /
M
M
I    Calculation I
C
o Measurement
w 
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FIG. 10. Comparison of theoretical curves and measured deflections along pile shaft (excitation 0 = 14).
0
0 0.5 1.0 1.5mm 0 0.25 0.5
;
/
' ' f7
For personal use only.
   Calculation
0 Measurement
f = 6Hz
(Fx = 136 IN
1
f = 8Hz
(Fx = 2 4 2 N )
FIG. 11. Comparison of theoretical and measured deflections along pile shaft (excitation 6 = 8).
greater if no weak zone is considered. 'The maximum separa than it was under horizontal excitation.
tion is about 10 pile diameters. The separation is given in terms In the case of vertical excitation, the nonlinear features of
of diameter but: in general, the absolute depth must be a basic the measured response curves can be studied more easily
parameter because it controls the confining pressure. With the because this response can be treated in one degree of freedom
pile diameter of 133 mm the maximum separation length was (S. D.O.F.) and is, therefore, quite amenable to nonlinear
thus 1.33 m. analysis. Such analysis is employed in the next section.
Pile separation was indicated in fullscale offshore towers
Evaluation of the vertical response
where it was observed that piles loosen up during a storm,
Nonlinear S. D. 0.F. analysis
lowering the tower fundamental frequency for a period of time,
To identify the parameters of the soil pile system from the
but recover the stiffness during a subsequent period of calm.
measured response displaying nonlinear features, the inverse
Pile response under vertical excitation problem of nonlinear vibration has to be approached. This
means that the system mass, stiffness, and damping have to be
Experimental vertical response established from the experimental response. To this end, the
After the testing of the pile under horizontal excitation, ver methodology formulated in Novak (1971) is employed. This
tical excitation was applied, with all the other experimental procedure assumes that system stiffness is independent of fre
conditions remaining the same. quency; this is also usually assumed for slender piles in
The excitation intensity was increased stepwise and three medium soil in practical applications.
frequency response curves, shown in Fig. 15, were obtained. Assuming that the restoring force is nonlinear but the damp
Sharp intersecting resonance peaks are indicated like the ones ing force is linear (viscous), the backbone curve, which
shown in Fig. 5. The maximum displacement measured on the defines the undamped natural frequencies a,can be deter
top of the cap is about 1.4 mm and the maximum acceleration mined to a given response curve using the simple relation
reaches about 1.3 g. Markedly nonlinear features are again (Novak 1971)
manifested particularly by the drop in the resonant frequency
with the increase in excitation intensity (O), but this drop is less
530 CAN. GEOTECH. J . VOL. 25, 1988
Measured Data
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Max. Amplitude,
Pile Diameter x
0 5 10 15
Frequency ( Hz FIG. 14. Theoretical pile separation vs. dimensionless anlplitude.
0 10 20 30
Frequency ( Hz
For personal use only.
FIG. 15. Vertical pile response measured and backcalculated for three levels of excitation intensity (w = 2af).
TABLE
6. Dynamic parameters of pile under repeated loading
Connection
Parameter Connected Unconnected
Order of excitation 1st 2nd 3rd I st 2nd 3rd
Resonance frequency (Hz) 13.8 12.6 12.2 7.6 6.5 5.7
Stiffness
Horizontal, K, (kN/mm) 7.43 6.50 5.89 3.04 2.15 1.78
Rocking, Kd (kN.mm) 2.75 x 1 0 v . 6 4 x loh 2.59 x 1 0 N . 2 9 x loh 2.08 x lo6 1.96 x lo6
Damping ratio
Horizontal, D,,
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Rocking, D,
TABLE
7. Nonlinear vibrational parameters of single pile in vertical direction
Effective mass
Stiffness
Mass coefficient Damping ratio k
Exciting force Mass 171 (kg) < P (kN/mm)
0 = 8" 1730 3.01 0.042 23.9
6 = 14" 1350 2.05 0.060 15.7
0 = 28" 993 1.24 0.075 7.39
For personal use only.
0 Measured
Real Mass = 433 kg
Separation != 1.8rn
Weak Zone G m / G = 0.1
+
c
1.0 \ Dm=0.25tm/R=2.0
EaJ
v

0 0
n 0
.In
n
 O 0
0.5  o
.
+
0
L
8
0 Calculated i
No Separation
Gm/G = 0.5
05 10 15 ,!La
2 25
0
Frequency ( Hz
FIG. 17. Experimental pile response in vertical vibration vs. theoretical prediction calculated using DYNA2 (0 = 28).
no separation is assumed (curve A) the theoretical response is frequency range. Additional data on the vertical response
heavily damped and the stiffness is very high, bringing the analysis can be found in Han and Novak (1988).
resonance peak beyond the experimental frequency range. A
large separation of 1.80 m, a weakened zone around the pile,
and a true mass of the system yielded curve B and a reasonable Effect of limited size of test pit
agreement with the measured data. The discrepancy in the Finally, it is of interest to examine the effect of the limited
descendent branches of the response curves is due to the linear extent of the pit in which the tests were conducted. The pit was
theory employed in this case, which cannot give a perfect filled with sand whose properties differed from those of the
agreement with the actual nonlinear response over the whole surrounding soil. Consequently, an interface occurs between
HANANDNOVAK
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0
0 100 200 300
FREQUENCY O = 2 T f
FIG.20. Pile damping parameter fw2for different test pit dimensions
FIG. 18. Notations and geometry for pile in test pit. (Gm/G = 0.25, Dm = D = 0.10, p, = p , v = 0.4).
the pit.
The dimensionless stiffness and damping parametersfwl and
fw2 defined by [5] are plotted in Figs. 19 and 20. The results
are shown for three pit dimensions characterized by the ratio of
the zone thickness, t,, to pile radius, R, and the actual soil
properties of the site. Shown as solid lines for comparison are
the pile parameters corresponding to homogeneous soil
medium, that is, t,  co. The site t,/R ratio is close to 10.
The presence of the interface can be seen to have only a small
effect on pile stiffness (Fig. 19) but has a profound effect on
radiation damping. At low frequencies the damping is slightly
increased but at higher frequencies it is dramatically decreased
compared with that of the horizontally homogeneous medium.
This effect of the interface on pile damping is marked but is
much less significant than pile separation, as the response
curves plotted in Fig. 17 demonstrate.
The strong variation in the stiffness parameter fwl with fre
quency (Fig. 19) is also of interest. It is close to parabolic and
can be interpreted as k,,  where k,, is the pile static stiff
I
0 100 200 300 ness and p is the effective mass. Because the pile stiffness, like
FREQUENCY 0 = 2 7T f k,,, is assumed to be frequency independent in the S.D.O.F.
nonlinear analysis, the frequency variation of the actual stiff
FIG. 19.Pile stiffness parameter f,, for different test pit dimensions ness calls for the inertia term, ~ w " and hence for additional
(Gn,/G=0.25,Dm = D = O.lO,pm = p, v = 0.4).
mass as found in Table 7.
the two media from which waves may reflect back into the pit, Conclusions
complicating the wave pattern within the pit and creating what Dynamic experiments with largescale model piles subjected
is known in analysis as the "box effect." To examine this to strong harmonic excitation in the field were conducted. The
effect, the vertical pile stiffness and damping were reanalyzed measured response curves are compared with the theoretical
using the theory of Novak and Sheta (1980) in which an annu curves calculated using DYNA2 and PILAY2 codes. The com
lar zone is allowed for around the pile with soil properties dif parison suggests the following conclusions:
ferent from those of the outer soil. Because of the large extent 1. Pile response at large amplitudes exhibits typical nonlinear
of the pit the mass of the inner zone (sand) was accounted for, features.
whereas it is neglected in PILAY2. (A similar analysis was 2. Consideration of a weakened zone around the pile and pile
presented by Lakshmanan and Minai (1981) and Veletsos and separation is necessary for piles subjected to strong vibration.
Dotson (1986).) The geometry and notations for this analysis 3. Good agreement can be achieved between the experimental
534 CAN. GEOTECH. J . VOL. 25. 1988
and theoretical response curves when the characteristics of soil KUHLEMEYER, R. L. 1976. Static and dynamic laterally loaded piles.
are suitably chosen, without resort to truly nonlinear analysis. Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Calgary,
The excitation intensity and contact conditions between the Calgary, Alta., Research Report CE769, p. 48.
pile and soil and between the cap and soil change the stiffness LAKSHMANAN, N., and MINAI,R. 1981. Dynamic soil reactions in
and damping of piles. radially nonhomogeneous soil media. Disaster Prevention Research
Institute, Kyoto University, Bulletin 31, pp. 79 114.
4. Under repeated loading, the stiffness and damping of single
MATLOCK, H., FOO,H. C., and BRYANT, L. M. 1978. Simulation of
piles decrease, so that the resonant frequency decreases and lateral pile behavior under earthquake motion. Proceedings, ASCE
resonant displacement increases. Specialty Conference on Earthquake Engineering and Soil
5. The weak zone around the pile considered in the computer Dynamics, Pasadena, CA, Vol. 11, pp. 600619.
codes yields lower damping of the pilesoil system than that NOGAMI, T., editor. 1987. Dynamic response of pile foundations
evaluated without a weak zone. T h e damping values calculated experiment, analysis and observation. In Dynamic response
in this way are closer to the experimental results. of pile foundations. ASCE Geotechnical Special Publication 11,
6. Under dynamic horizontal deflections the effective pile p. 186.
Can. Geotech. J. Downloaded from www.nrcresearchpress.com by Duke University on 07/18/13
length is slightly longer than it is under static loading. NOVAK,M. 1971. Data reduction from nonlinear response curves.
7. Dynamic experiments conducted in a test pit may be affected ASCE Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, 97(EM4):
11871204.
by wave reflections from the interface between the soil in the 1974. Dynamic stiffness and damping of piles. Canadian
pit and the soil outside it. Damping of the test body can be Geotechnical Journal, 11: 574 598.
more affected than its stiffness. NOVAK,M., and ABOULELLA, F. 1978n. Impedance functions for
8. Further research is needed to develop criteria for pile separa piles embedded in layered media. ASCE Journal of Engineering
tion prediction and pile nonlinear dynamic analysis. Mechanics, 104(EM3): 643 661.
1978b. Stiffness and damping of piles in layered media. Pro
Acknowledgements ceedings of the ASCE Specialty Conference on Earthquake Engi
neering and Soil Dynamics, Pasadena, CA, Vol. 11, pp. 704719.
The experiments were done in China and the theoretical NOVAK,M. and ELSHAKNOUBY, B. 1984. Evaluation of dynamic
analysis was done at T h e University of Western Ontario, experiments on pile group. ASCE Journal of Geotechnical Engi
London, Canada. The first author would like to express his neering, 110: 738750.
appreciation to Canadian International Development Agency  NOVAK,M., and GRIGG,R. F. 1976. Dynamic experiments with
For personal use only.
WUSC China Programme for the support that made his stay at small pile foundations. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 13:
The University of Western Ontario possible. 372  385.
NOVAK, M., and SHETA,M. 1980. Approximate approach to contact
BLANEY, G. W., KAUSEL, E., and ROESSET, J. M. 1976. Dynamic effects of piles. Proceedings, Dynamic Response of Pile Founda
stiffness of piles. 2nd International Conference on Numerical tions: Analytical Aspects, ASCE, Florida, pp. 5379.
Methods in Geomechanics, ASCE, New York, pp. 1001  1009. NOVAK, M., NOGAMI, T., and ABOULELLA, F. 1978. Dynamic soil
BLANEY, G. W., MUSTER, G. L., and O'NEILL,M. W. 1987. Verti reactions for plane strain case. ASCE Journal of Engineering
cal vibration test of a fullscale pile group. It1 Dynamic response of Mechanics, 104(EM4): 953 959.
pile foundations. ASCE Geotechnical Special Publication 1I , pp. NOVAK,M., ABOULELLA, F., and SHETA,M. 1981. PILAY2, a
149 165. computer program for calculation of stiffness and damping of piles
ELSHARNOUBY, B., and NOVAK,M. 1984. Dynamic experiments in layered media. Systems Analysis Control and Design Activity,
with a group of piles. ASCE Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Science, University of Western Ontario,
110: 719737. London, Ont.
FINN,W. D., and GOHL,B. 1987. Centrifuge model studies of piles NOVAK, M., SHETA,M . , ELSHARNOUBY, B., and ELHIFNAWY, L.
under simulated earthquake later loading. In Dynamic response of 1983. DYNA, a computer program for calculation of response of
pile foundations. ASCE Geotechnical Special Publication 11, pp. rigid foundation to dynamic loads. Systems Analysis Control and
21 38. Design Activity, Faculty of Engineering Science, University of
GLE, D. R. 1981. The dynamic lateral response of deep foundation. Western Ontario, London, Ont.
Ph.D. thesis, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. ROESSET, J. M., STOKOE, K. H., BAKA,J. E., and KWOK,S. T. 1986.
HAN,Y. C., and NOVAK,M. 1988. Nonlinear vibration of single pile Dynamic response of vertically loaded smallscale piles in sand.
under vertical harmonic excitation. Proceedings of the 3rd Interna Proceedings of the 8th European Conference on Earthquake Engi
tional Conference on the Application of StressWave 'Theory to neering, Lisbon, Vol. 2, pp. 5.61655.6172,
Piles, Ottawa, Vol. 1. VELETSOS, A. S., and DOTSON,K. W. 1986. Impedance of soil layer
HAN,Y. C., SHOU,P. X., and LIU,D. 1987. Research in vibration with disturbed boundary zone. ASCE Journal of Geotechnical
tests of single piles. Journal of the Mechanics of Soil and Rock. Engineering, 112: 363368.
(To be published in Chinese.)
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