Large Diameter Steel Tubular Piles For Optimum Seismic Performance

Gerwick, Ben C.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 3
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2013
Large diameter steel tubular piles installed vertically or on a slight rake, offer many advantages as the foundations of major overwater bridge in regions of high seismicity. By proper selection of diameter and wall thickness, an optimum balance between stiffness and strength can be achieved. Under strong seismic motion, the piles will deflect and bend so as to reduce the acceleration forces transmitted to the superstructure, while still limiting drift. A major advantage of this concept is that the mass of the footing block is significantly reduced from that of the conventional pier. The design of the footing block requires great care in order to transfer the high shears and moments. Where the soils consist of significant depths of sediments, the kinematic interaction of soils, piles and structures must be considered. Moments will be a maximum just under the footing block. Filling the top portion of the pile with concrete will prevent local buckling and assure ductile behavior even under overload. Typically the piles will be long, with most or all of their support furnished by friction and will require the use of very large pile hammers to achieve the required capacities. Where the piles are founded on rock or in hardpan, sockets will be drilled and filled with reinforced concrete. For these piles, high moments can occur both at the head and just below the rock surface, so the concrete infill should extend the full length. This paper describes the use of tubular piles driven through the deep silty sands of the Jamuna River, Bangladesh, and also where socketed into the near-surface rock for the mail pylon pier of the new San Francisco-Oakland East Bay Bridge in California.
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