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Piling and Deep Foundations 2010

Understanding Load Transfer Behaviour (and the geotechnical design) of Rock Socketed Bored Piles Dr. Gary Chapman, Principal, Golder Associates

Geotechnical Design Rock socket behaviour -base and shaft Socket Design Methods
load capacity

settlement performance Required geotechnical design inputs Construction issues and costs associated with various design methodologies Specifications for rock socketed piles Testing and compliance issues
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Field Tests for Base Resistance

Zhang and Einstein (1998) Embedment > 3 pile diameters. Pile diameters from 0.3 to 1.9 m Rock strengths 0.5 to 30 MPa q b = 3.0 to 6.6 x (UCS) 0.5
qb / UCS 12


Large displacements are required to mobilize base resistance

2 fragmented 0 0 5 10 15 settlement / diameter (%)

Field Tests in Melbourne Siltstone

Melbourne Siltstone tests by Williams, 1988
Diameters from 0.1m to1 m
qb / UCS

qb > 5 UCS for surface footings

Stanley Avenue - UCS = 0.4 to 0.7 MPa


qb > 10 UCS for Road - UCS = 1.1 to embedment > 5 dia. Middleborough piles with 2.7 MPa May be lowerfracturedextremely fractured rock extremely for
West Gate, Eastern Freeway - UCS = 4 to 8 MPa,


Ultimate not achieved for embedment > 2 dia.


Solid points are for > 10 % of diameter displacement




0 0 5 10 15 20 25

Embedment/footing dia.

Shaft Resistance Test Data

Log Log plot

Clear correlation with UCS and Adhesion factor aranges from0.02 to 1.0 x UCS Order of magnitude scatter in data For UCS < 5 MPa is greater than 0.1

Effective upper limit

Adhesion Factor

4 3 2


Effective lower limit

4 3 2

Factors other than UCS are at play

Piles in Clay (after Kulhawy & Phoon, 1993) Piles in Rock (after Kulhawy & Phoon, 1993)


4 3


3 4


3 4

3 4


3 4


Unconfined Compressive Strength (MPa)

Rock Socket Behaviour

Resistance (frictional, base/passive)
1% of diameter

(Serviceability limit)

> 10% of diameter

base/passive resistance (non-linear)

Displacement at ultimate frictional resistance (elasto-plastic) >10 % of dia. Serviceability requirement : usually less than 1% of pile dia. Bearing capacity is unlikely to control design of socketed piles Displacement

Settlement at Serviceability Rules !!!!

(and is dominated by shaft resistance)

Factors affecting shaft friction

Socket roughness
Shaft resistance (kPa) Shaft resistance (kPa) Shaft resistance (kPa)


Pile Increasing roughness diameter Initial normal stress

(concrete placement)


Increasing 800 diameter

15.0 17.5

Annotations denote mean absolute asperity angle in degrees






Increasing normal stress 0.6 12.5

0.9 7.5 1.5 5.0 2.0
2.5 10.0

400 400 900

600 300


200 200 0
100 0


Increasing roughness Annotations denote diameter of shaft in (m)

30 Annotations denote initial normal stress10 kPa 0 0 5 5 10 in

15 15

0 0

Displacement (mm)(mm) Displacement

5 10


Shaft displacement (mm)

Clean sockets

We know that shaft resistance

Shaft resistance of a clean socket: increases with increased rock (intact)strength increases with increased rock (mass) modulus increases with increased initial normal stress (e.g. grouting pressure & expansive concretes) increases with increased interface roughness decreases with increased pile diameter

Why is it so?

Because of Socket Dilation

Pile and socket diameter D
. . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . .. . .

Vertical Socket diameter D+DD Pile diameter D displacement of pile

. . . . . .. . .. . . . . . . .. . .. .

Normal force

Pile . shaft

Rough wall rock socket Normal force

Increased normal force Shear force

. . . . . . .. . .

Shear.. .. force. . ..

. . .

(a) Pile before displacement

(b) Pile after displacement

Constant Normal Stiffness Increase in normal stress Em r = n (1+ ) r m

It rock mass Youngs modulus Em = is the interplay between

interfacer roughness, pile diameter and rock mass stiffness that m = rock mass Poissons ratio defines shaft resistance in a clean socket r = D/2 = radius of socket
r = dilation of socket n = change in normal stress K = normal stiffness

Em n K= = r (1+ m).r

What Role does Rock Strength Play?

There is a clear correlation between UCS and E and Interface behaviour

Sliding and shearing of roughness asperities

g earin Sh n ectio dir

Friction angle of interface (residual friction angle) and intact (not mass) strength of asperities control interface behaviour

Design Methodology

What does a traditional designer do ?

Adopts lower bound design parameters to account for variability and risks (ground and construction).

What does the client get ?

A (usually) safe and over-designed foundation but at a potentially higher cost.

Starting Point for Socket Design

Determine ultimate load for pile Select trial diameter of pile considering Concrete strength available Ductility additional confining steel if > 60 MPa Out of position bending moments Ability to clean base effectively Usually most economic to make shaft work as hard as possible Proceed with socket design to satisfy both settlement (controls) and ultimate capacity

AS 1170 Design Loadings

Load combinations 1.35 G or 1.2 G + 1.5Q or 1.2G + Wu +yc.Q yc = 0.4 0.6 G + Equ +yc.Q Determine maximum design action effect (Ed) Ultimate wind = 1.5 x working wind Ultimate Eq = 1.4 x working Eq Design pile/s for Fg. Rug > Ed Select Fg from Pile Code AS 2159
G = dead load, Q = live load, Wu = ultimate wind, Equ = ultimate earthquake

Design Inputs and Process

Given service settlement limit and SLS & ULS load We then need rock modulus and rock UCS values over the proposed socket length Calculate geotechnical strength reduction factor Fg considering: Construction process and controls Basic Fg factor and testing benefit factor Then adopt a trial shaft diameter and socket length Estimate pile ULS capacity Estimate pile head service settlement
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Available Design Methods Code based allowable strength methods Strength based methods Williams / Vicroads non linear elastic method Pells - Elastic design method Pells - Rowe & Armitage side slip methods RATZ and other load transfer methods Golder GARSP method & Rocket - Monash University program

Strength Based Methods Q ultimate = Ultimate shaft + Ultimate base Q allowable = Qult/FOS or Q allowable = allowable shaft + allowable base Prescriptive methods such as Q base = 1.5 UCS or RQD correlations for base and shaft resistance. Building Code values


But in Strength Based Design Load will be shared between base and shaft according to pile & rock shaft and toe stiffness In rough sockets (grooves>1-4mm @ 50 -200mm) shaft displacement is elasto - plastic Peak shaft is mobilized well before peak base Allowable side and base resistances are not additive Settlement is not considered and is (hopefully) allowed for by use of suitable Factors of Safety


Williams-Vicroads Method 1980s

Method was developed for Westgate Freeway Used for settlement sensitive structural design of elevated Westgate Freeway in Melbourne Large diameter bored piles into Silurian rock at around 30 m depth Design uses a Factor of Safety on Settlement Allows for non linear elasto-plastic socket behaviour Proven with static load tests on sockets


Williams Method -Design steps

Select pile diameter (structural or construction related) Determine shaft and base modulus and UCS Select trial socket length (L) Design load Ql and allowable settlement Pile properties : Modulus, diameter L

Rock properties : Shaft and Base E & UCS



Williams Method
Select pile diameter and socket length Calculate fictitious elastic load for design settlement Determine base and side components of elastic load Determine ultimate side resistance Calculate fse/fsu then fsp/fsu Calculate actual stress ratio Calculate actual side and base resistances Determine pile load Compare to design load and repeat until agreement Check overall capacity


Elastic Load for a given settlement

Calculate a fictitious elastic load Qe = x Es x D /FOSr x I r

= design settlement


Calculate elastic load distribution

Given L/D find Qbe / Qe Calculate Qbe and Qse = QQbe Then calculate base and shaft elastic stresses


Peak Shaft Resistance

Peak shaft resistance fsu = x x UCS is related to UCS is related to jointing of the rock mass


Rock Mass Effects

Effect of rock jointing on shaft resistance


Normalize Shaft Resistance

How to normalize shaft load settlement curve


Elastic and Plastic shaft ratios

Given a value fse / fsu this curve will yield a plastic stress ratio fsp / fsu


Calculate plastic stress ratio

Given a value of elastic stress ratio fbe / fbl this graph will yield a value for plastic stress ratio fbp / fbl


Relax Side Resistance

Calculate peak side resistance using fsu = x x UCS Calculate elastic stress ratio fse / fsu Calculate plastic stress ratio fsp / fsu Calculate actual side load Qs Actual stress ratio fs/fsu =fse/fsu fsp/fsu We now have values of fse, fsp, fsu so we can Calculate fs, the actual shaft resistance


End Bearing Calculation

Determine ultimate end bearing


Finish Design Total load = Qs + Qb Repeat until Total load ~ Design load Then check FOS for Capacity peak shaft load = Qsu Peak base resistance >= 5 x UCS FOS = (Qsu+Qbu)/ design load



Actual pile load test showing accuracy of Williams/Vicroads method


Pells - Elastic Method Design Inputs Socket diameter and length Socket shaft and base modulus values Average UCS for socket shaft and base Average roughness of socket walls
Documented in Hobart ANZ Geomechanics Conference


Design Step - 1 Calculate peak side shear av. peak using 0.45 x UCS sockets <R3 roughness 0.6 x UCS sockets R4 or more or x x UCS


Determine Peak Side Shear


Construction effects on side shear


Design Step 2 Calculate max socket length (Lmax) using peak side shear av. peak Calculate Lmax/D Select appropriate design chart for Er/Ep and Er/Eb Draw line on chart from L/d=0, 100% base to Lmax/D 0% base

Design Step 4
Dotted line shows all elastic solutions which satisfy tav. Peak Select intersection on dotted line with relevant Epile/Erock line Determine L/D and % Pbase/Ptotal for intersection point


Pells Elastic Method Chart


Design Step - 5
Calculate settlement d = swl x I /(Er x D) using influence factor for revised L/D Er is the average factored shaft modulus Calculate base load at serviceability using % base load for revised L/D, and check that this load is within the elastic range for the base For intact rock 2 - 4 times UCS For jointed rock 75 -125 % UCS Check that settlement is typically less than 1% diameter (include shaft settlement if significant)

Rowe & Armitage - Side Slip Draw Lmax/D line Calculate elastic base load Calculate % Pbe/Pbt Draw horizontal line on chart for % Pbe Intersection of 2 lines gives L/D and I Calculate settlement d = SWL x I /(Er x D) Check ultimate geotechnical strength

Side Slip Allowed


RATZ & Load Transfer Computer Analysis Input Parameters Pile data Socket layer shear modulus Load transfer parameters deflections to fully mobilize base and shaft cyclic load parameters (if any) peak and residual skin frictions displacement to achieve residual shaft strain softening parameter


Rocket Program Capabilities

Can handle multi layered sockets Varying base properties and base debris Socket roughness Socket diameter effects Insitu stresses from concrete head Based on Melb mudstone (1-10 MPa UCS) but applicable for UCS 1-100 MPa Requires detailed strength data


Rocket Design Parameters

Input data required Layers Pile properties Layer properties Layer stress conditions Layer geometry Pile base properties Load Transfer Parameters Input parameters depth Ep, L, diam Er, c ,F insitu horiz stress thickness Eb, c , F, debris segment length, height


Rocket Inner Workings

Load from structure

Layer 2 Soft overburden Layer 3

Base displacement

Layer 1

Calculates load displacement response for each layer and the base

Layer 1 HW


Layer 2 MW

Sum layers and base to obtain full pile response curve



Layer 3 HW

Is there a better way ? The Golder Approach : GARSP

Golder Associates ROCKET field Socket Procedure Serviceability based design process for bored piles socketed into weathered rock Allows final design in real time during logging of the sockets Developed in house using state of the art software package ROCKET Extensive experience in Melbourne

Stage 1 : Site Investigation

sufficient boreholes to assess variation across site and with depth insitu testing
pressuremeter tests every 2m to 3m

laboratory testing
moisture contents at 1m intervals UCS tests at pressuremeter test locations point load index tests (for stronger rocks) CNS direct shear tests (keep core moist and tests ASAP)

Stage 2 Preliminary Sizing

60 For estimating purposes only. Actual socket lengths to be assessed based on ground conditions at pile locations 50 Upstream end Downstream end socket diameter = 1.8m

preliminary sizing for costing (increase socket lengths by 10% to allow for variations in the field) final design done in real-time during logging of sockets

40 1.5m Allowable Socket Load (MN)

1.2m 30 1.8m



1.2m 1.2m 10

0 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 Socket Length (m)

Stage 3 : Pre Construction


1. ROCKET analyses
Developed specifically for ground conditions at Freshwater Place. Not to be used for any other site.

3. Factors of Safety 4. Field Staff Briefing

Disp (mm) Base (MN) Max All. Shaft Residual 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.2 3.4 3.6 HW 14.2 1.15 1.44 0.00 0.08 0.16 0.25 0.33 0.42 0.51 0.54 0.57 0.61

settlement : 1.5 or 2 ultimate load : 2.0 shaft only

Load (MN/m) HW-MW MW MW-SW SW<RL-35m SW>RL-35m 26.9 33.4 66.3 114.6 114.6 1.64 2.65 5.05 5.92 10.40 2.05 3.32 6.31 7.40 13.01 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.19 0.35 0.50 0.47 1.12 0.36 0.67 0.95 0.90 2.14 0.53 0.95 1.37 1.31 3.06 0.68 1.19 1.75 1.68 3.89 0.82 1.41 2.10 2.03 4.64 0.95 1.60 2.42 2.36 5.31 1.00 1.67 2.54 2.49 5.56 1.05 1.73 2.66 2.61 5.80 1.09 1.79 2.77 2.73 6.02

2.5 shaft and base

Stage 4 : Construction
1. Socket Logging: Golder Associates Geotechnical Engineer on site - to optimise socket lengths, confirm design assumptions (insist on good construction practices), keep the piling contractors honest and control risk 2. Roughening : To obtain minimum roughness levels (design assumption) 3. Cleaning : To obtain clean sockets (design assumption) 4. Moisture Contents : To confirm logging 5. ROCKET check : To confirm pile performance 6. Certification : pile sign-off

GARSP In summary State of the art technology Optimises socket dimensions Controls risk (e.g. dykes) Design considers construction practice Promotes good construction practice Requires detailed site investigation Net gain = Confidence + Savings

Conclusions for Socket Design

Need socket UCS and Modulus for rational design Consider using pressuremeter tests to get modulus data Pells elastic or Armitage side slip method is easy and quick to use For complicated sockets and good data consider using Rocket/GARSP For down drag and cyclic loads consider using a load transfer program such as RATZ



Intact rock modulus Drained rock mass modulus (Es, Eb) Rock unconfined compressive strength (qus qub) Residual friction angle (F) Intact cohesion and friction angle (c F) Socket roughness (segment length & height) Load transfer function


Estimating Rock UCS and Modulus

Ideally we will have lots of boreholes to below socket depth with UCS tests and pressuremeter tests - a Platinum Class investigation Or UCS and some UCS with modulus measurement and/or pressuremeter a Platinum/Gold Class investigation Or point load index tests and hopefully moisture contents over socket length (if in Melbourne where we have good correlations between E and UCS and mc in Silurian rock) a Silver Class investigation Or bore holes and coring with visual strength & weathering assessment only often not over the full depth of socket a Bronze class investigation
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UCS Estimation From direct tests Inferred from Point load tests with some UCS correlations . But UCS can vary from as low as 5 times Is50 to as much as 30

December 6, 2010


Intact Rock Strength and Modulus

Point Load Strength Index Quick and inexpensive Large scatter Tensile test (?) Axial vs diametrical Failure mode No reliable relationship with UCS Siltstone Unconfined Compressive Strength Strength
Failure mode


10 UCS (MPa)

Point Load Index - Is(50) (MPa)


25 Is(50) 1

0.01 0

Preparation, saturation, test rate Modulus End platen measurement - compliance effects, soft rocks only, max. tangent modulus local measurement 0.1 2 4 6 10 12 16 18 20 0.01 0.10 Drained or 8undrained 14 Moisture Content (%) Triaxial tests Softer rocks Multi-stage ? Drained or undrained ? Moisture Content Correlations/Empirical Correlations

5 Is(50)

Melbourne Siltstone

1.00 Is(50) (MPa)



Modulus moisture content correlations Correlation of modulus with in situ moisture content is possible for sedimentary rocks e.g. Melbourne Mudstone


Intact Rock Strength Correlations

In the absence of insitu pressuremeter of UCS test data strength can be correlated to: moisture content RQD core logs

Rock Modulus vs. UCS

E rock ~= 350. UCS


Construction Issues
Serviceability is usually critical (not ULS) Shaft resistance usually dominates settlement Construction processes are critical shaft integrity how rough and clean is the shaft? base cleanliness


Side resistance



Base resistance

Possible Construction Options

Longer Shaft and not a so clean base Roughen sides of sockets to increase shaft resist. Allow for a reduced % of base area cleaned Consider additional geotechnical investigation with UCS and pressuremeter tests to refine design A 30 m borehole with pressuremeter testing would roughly equate to about 15 to 20 m of rock socket

December 6, 2010


Rock Socket Specifications

Should be settlement based and state of the art No need for down hole inspections (OHS issues) Can design for the use of drilling fluids with experienced contractors and appropriate on site supervision Consider using the socket excavation as a design tool e.g. GARSP Should be aimed at producing durable & intact pile shafts Allow the use of appropriate tremie concrete
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Testing and Compliance Issues

Specifications should consider integrity testing CHS and high/low strain PDA particularly for heavily loaded piles close to structural capacity Consider high strain PDA or O cell tests for critical designs, highly variable sites or where cost of testing can be offset by potential savings in sockets Consider engagement of an independent geotechnical engineer to log sockets and confirm capacity and construction methodology compliance Consider settlement monitoring
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Why Review Socket Designs? Consultants are generally conservative because they dont know who will construct the piles Structural consultants often only quote allowable loads Rarely is settlement considered in detail Socket length is usually very expensive Often there is scope for alternative designs

Thank You!!

Questions (?s) and Answers (!!!s)