Axial Load Tests In Drilled Shafts And Piles In A Refinery: Comparison Between Design And Experimental Results

Paniagua, Walter I.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2007
Drilled shafts and precast concrete piles were installed for the foundation of several structures in a reconfiguration project of a refinery in Minatitlan, Veracruz, in the Gulf of Mexico. The soils are alluvial deposits of flat land from the Coatzacoalcos River, which are embedded with layers of sand, soft clay, and peat. As part of a QC/QA program, load tests, both static and dynamic, axial and lateral, were performed. In this paper results of 32 axial tests are presented, in which typical load-displacement curves were measured at the top of the foundation elements; from the interpretation of these plots, data were recorded for ultimate side shear and in some cases for end bearing capacities, which are compared with the theoretical results of the final stage of the foundation design. The comparison shows that under allowable loads, side shear determines the bearing capacity of piles, even when the tip is embedded in a hard layer. Underestimation of the side shear is evident; therefore design criteria, as well as the methods used for obtaining soil parameters, should be reviewed.
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