The Aged Reloading Response Of Piles In Clay

Doherty, Paul
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2011
It is known that the axial capacity of a displacement piles installed in clay varies with time. Consolidation theory suggests that dissipation of porewater pressure set-up during pile installation would lead to increased effective stress and hence higher pile resistance. In recent years a number of case histories have reported time dependent capacity increases for piles installed in sand. Although there is some debate regarding the physical mechanisms controlling this phenomenon, known as ageing, it is unrelated to pore pressure dissipation as piles in sand are installed in primarily drained conditions. A series of field tests designed to investigate ageing effects in soft clay are presented in this paper. Full-scale load tests on 6m long 250 mm square concrete piles, which were driven into soft clay are described. The piles were first tested approximately 100 days after installation, at which stage full equalization of the excess pore pressures had occurred. Static load tests were then performed up to 10 years after pile installation. The piles exhibited significant ageing, with their shaft resistance increasing by up to 66% over a 10 year period. Possible mechanisms for such aging characteristics are explored.
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