Application Of Electro-Kinetics To Expedite Pile Setup In Kaolinite Clay
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Jan 1, 2008
A significant increase in the side shear capacity over a period of time is often observed in case of driven piles. This phenomenon is referred to as ?setup? or ?freeze?. This phenomenon cannot be predicted based on the knowledge of the engineering properties of soil. Different kinds of mechanisms have been proposed in order to explain set-up in cohesive soils. In engineering practice, set-up is incorporated in design on the basis of empirical formulae and depends to a large extent on personal experience and judgment of the design engineer. Set-up is a natural process which cannot be accelerated by any existing practice. A research was initiated to investigate the mechanism of pile set-up in clayey soils and explore the possibility of accelerating the set-up process by an electro-kinetic method. The system chosen for the present study consists of a prototype steel pile driven in kaolinite clay. A laboratory test program was developed at Cleveland State University in order to meet the goals of the proposed research. Results obtained from these tests are very encouraging and show pile capacity increase of 200% within the first 5 days of electric gradient application versus those that experience natural set-up. In this paper, theoretical considerations and laboratory test results are presented and discussed.