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Pee MERC mcm UCM eu Finite Element Analysis of Pile Caps The number of piles can be determined using the procedure mentioned in step 1 of the conventional method. Pile cap bending moments can be obtained using the FEM. Such a procedure can be carried out using commercially available computer programs. It should be mentioned, however, that one-way shear and punching shear can not be obtained from such an analysis. One-way shear punching shear calculations should be made according to the procedures mentioned in the conventional method. The pile cap is modeled using shell elements while the piles are modeled using spring elements as shown in Fig, 5.32. Due to the fact that pile caps are usually thick, the use of shell elements that do not consider the effect of shear deformation is not advisable. Past experience, however, proved that the use of ordinary (thin) shell elements is adequate for design purposes. Deign moments should be calculated at the face of the column. It is a common practice to calculate the spring constant of piles based on the permissible settlement of the pile during the pile load test. In other words, the pile spring constant Kye is calculated as follows: Pile working load ee 6.48) Permissible settlement ite = Cap modeled ‘as shell elements Nodes Fig. 5.32 Modeling of the pile cap 444