Easy Static Load Tests: Expert Results

England, M.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2002
Test equipment has been developed to record automatically both the displacement of the pile head and the load applied during a conventional maintained load pile test. Some systems also have, in addition, been fitted with the facility for maintaining the applied load, as set by the operator, at very constant levels. The advantages are both commercial and technical, but a well trained operator has to be in attendance to control the test. Since typical test specifications in the UK require more than 19 hours to complete, it became inevitable that at least one equipment operator remained on site to expedite the test for its duration. Although electronic measurement and data logging of load tests may be more safe than previous direct observation of dial gauges. A single person remaining on a construction site alone is not to be recommended, even if they are just supervising the test. Further development of the testing system produced equipment which will perform the entire test specification as required without operator intervention. To achieve this, full automation is employed. The patented method particularly addresses the safety requirements and by using additional sensors, detects any uncharacteristic behaviour of the pile under test or of the reaction system and the equipment takes appropriate action in a controlled and safe manner. The quality of test data returned from these automated systems is a key element when analysing pile behaviour with models such as CEMSOLVE? and TIMESETTM. These analysis methods often indicate ground disturbance resulting from installation technique and have allowed pile design to be optimised using actual field data rather than theoretical considerations alone. An additional feature is remote access, this allows the data recorded to be transferred and the progress of the test to be viewed from practically any location. This permits experts to view the data 'live' and allows rapid diagnosis of any problems with the expected pile behaviour.
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