Dynamic Analysis Of Follower Driven Piles For The Venice Flood Gate Project

Rausche, Frank
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2006
Without doubt, driven piles are the most economical deep foundation element for a nearshore environment, providing for high bearing capacities and stiffness, quick installation times, assured quality by simple monitoring and inexpensive dynamic load testing during restrike testing. However, when the pile top elevation is several meters below water surface, questions often arise as to the most reliable and economical pile installation method. Frequently encountered, yet relatively expensive, solutions include driving inside a dewatered cofferdam, driving long piles that are later cut off below water surface, or using an underwater hammer. Arguably, the most economical solution is driving the piles with a follower or chaser. However, many foundation engineers shy away from this solution because of the uncertainty associated with the transfer of energy through the interface between follower and pile, the associated potential driveability problems and maybe the limited fatigue life of the follower. This paper will demonstrate how the driveability of a hammer-follower-pile-soil system should be analyzed prior to installation and how to model the pile-follower interface both for steel and concrete piles. As an example, results will be presented which were obtained for both steel pipe piles and precast concrete piles, driven by a single-acting diesel hammer through a steel follower for a pre-construction test pile program in Venice, Italy. While analysis of the steel pile-follower system was straightforward, for the concrete piles, the presence of a soft cushion material whose material properties changed continuously posed some difficulty. Pile Driving Analyzer® measurements and CAPWAP® analysis yielded not only realistic stresses and transferred energy values in the pile, but also reasonable model parameters for further use in a pure wave equation analysis. As a side note for clarity, the dynamic measurements and analysis results herein presented are based on the GRLWEAP and CAPWAP software. GRLWEAP is commonly used all around the world for the preparation of pile driving jobs. The program either yields a bearing graph that relates bearing capacity and pile stresses to blow count or set per blow or it predicts blow counts and pile stresses as a function of pile penetration. These results allow the contractor to estimate driving time and select an economical hammer and driving system for a safe and efficient installation. CAPWAP on the other hand is the analysis of choice once a pile has been installed and records of pile top force and velocity have been acquired during installation or during a restrike test. CAPWAP is a signal matching program which calculates for one particular impact (for example at the end of driving) the static and dynamic soil parameters. Its final results include the calculated resistance distribution, the complete stress history in the pile and also a simulated load set curve. The CAPWAP calculated dynamic soil parameters can also be used in a Refined GRLWEAP analysis to generate a calibrated bearing graph."
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