Pile Inspector's Guide To Hammers ? Introduction

Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 71
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1995
The pile inspector is a critical element in the quality control process necessary for a successful pile installation project. This guide is intended to provide the inspector with a basic understanding of only one of the many components of this process - the pile driving hammer. Pile driving hammers are used to install both bearing piles for structure foundations and sheet piles (and soldier piles) as used in retaining structures. In a single document, this guide offers a general presentation of the operation of the more common types of hammers the inspector is likely to encounter. It should make the information in the contractor's hammer submittal for the project more understandable. It should also provide an appreciation for the importance of a properly operating pile hammer. Prior to the start of most pile driving operations, the contractor will normally furnish a submittal to the engineer giving the specific pile driving equipment that he intends to use on the job. This submittal should include the make, model, and type of the intended pile driving hammer or hammers and their operating characteristics such as ram weight, rated energy, operating speed, external power requirements and, other pertinent information. Frequently, the operating characteristics are provided in the form of the manufacturer's specification sheet. The engineer will review this information and when he is satisfied, approve it and pass it on to the inspector. The driving criteria will have been determined by the engineer or others (the geotechnical engineer, consulting engineer, contractor, etc.) from the results of static analysis (for minimum penetration), driving during a test pile installation, Wave Equation analysis, dynamic formula, pile instrumentation during driving, static load test, or a combination of these or other appropriate analyses. The driving criteria can be a minimum penetration of driven pile length (embedded length), or a minimum (or maximum) blow count per unit of penetration. The pile inspector should become familiar with this information prior to the start of the job and should understand or seek help to comprehend the terminology and intent of each specification.
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