Cyclic Axial Loading Of Offshore Piles - An Issue Of Concern?

Doherty, Paul
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 14
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2009
Expansion of the global piling industry has been coupled with significant research efforts investigating the mechanisms controlling pile capacity. Static pile design has transitioned from total stress approaches toward effective stress design, with associated improvements in predicting pile performance. As a result, the available literature is heavily skewed toward static capacity prediction. However, when considering piles offshore, the majority of loading is not static but highly variable and cyclic in nature. This paper outlines the additional factors that require consideration for cyclic pile design, including elevated loading rates, cyclic displacements and capacity degradation. A review of the literature identified a number of cyclic pile testing programs which are collated in this paper. General trends are established through comparison of the tests within the database and the conditions where cyclic loading is most likely to be a concern are identified. In particular, loading conditions which involve full plastic shear reversals are seen to cause the most extreme cyclic damage, with the degraded capacity as low as 31% of the precyclic static capacity. The underlying mechanisms which can result in cyclic damage are explored, with particular attention given to the pore pressure response, radial stresses, shear transfer and particle reorientation.
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