Reducing Downdrag Loads With Bitumen

Briaud, J.-L.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 3
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1991
This presentation shows the results of laboratory and field tests to date for the NCHRP project entitled "Downdrag on Bitumen-coated Piles". This project required to test a variety of bitumens in the laboratory to determine their properties and then to establish a field testing program to verify the bitumens effectiveness. Figure 1 shows an organizational chart that gives an overview of the agencies involved in the project. The first part describes the laboratory testing program in which bitumen samples of various types were obtained from a variety of manufacturers. Initially, classification tests were performed to verify the manufacturers' specifications. Additional tests were then developed and performed to determine the bitumens behavior under the various conditions that they may be exposed to in the field. The test results were analyzed and their usefulness for design purposes were determined. The test results are presented in either graphical or tabular form. The second part describes the field testing program which was designed to test the effectiveness of various bitumens under a wide range of soil, temperature, and construction conditions. The first site was in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where a construction project was to take place in the winter of 1989-90. This was ideal for the cold temperature extreme that was needed. The soil conditions were conducive to downdrag problems: an embankment placed over soft clay underlain by dense sand resulting in end-bearing piles. The other site was in New Orleans, Louisiana. The part of the project involving this downdrag study was to be carried out in the summer of 1990. The hot summer temperatures and extremely soft soil conditions (resulting in friction piles) gave the other extreme needed for this study. Each site is discussed in
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