Dynamic Load Testing Of Augered Cast-In-Place Piles

Rausche, Frank
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 11
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2001
The more widespread use of Augered Cast-in-Place (ACIP) Piles has generated increased demand for improved quality control measures. These deep foundation elements are often relatively long and slender and their structural quality depends on the experience of the installers, the adequacy of their drilling and pumping equipment, and of course, the properties of the soil. Since the concrete of ACIP piles is pumped under pressure into the borehole, the piles may achieve a very high unit shaft resistance if conditions are favorable and the piles are well constructed. Three types of methods can help assure that the piles are properly executed. During construction, monitoring the volume of concrete pumped and the pressure applied helps avoid structural defects. After installation, and once the concrete has hardened, the Pulse Echo Method allows for a check of the structural integrity of the shaft. Finally, a load test, performed some time after installation, yields a check of both bearing capacity and structural integrity of an individual pile. Because of their expense and associated construction delays, static load tests are normally done for only a few piles. However, at large construction sites, it may be necessary to perform many load tests either as a planned construction control activity or as a means of spot checking or verifying suspect piles. For smaller sites, however, static load testing may be prohibitively expensive. In such situations, dynamic load testing, originally developed for driven piles, has frequently been employed for drilled shafts and ACIP piles. In the latter case special consideration must be given to the ACIP pile slenderness and their often relatively low concrete design strength, which may not tolerate high dynamic loading stresses even though their unit resistance along the shaft is relatively high. Lately, the dynamic load test has become more feasible with the availability of loading systems that are custom tailored to this particular pile type. These systems produce a low velocity, low stress and high energy impact. Recent developments have also made the instrumentation process simpler: force measurements are now made on the ram rather than on the pile for increased reliability and simplicity. This presentation describes the requirements for successful dynamic load testing of auger cast piles and summarizes results from several projects where the new loading system and newly developed instrumentation was employed. A few cases are presented correlating static load test results with dynamic predictions, calculated by CAPWAP®.
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