An Innovative Approach To Load Testing Of High Capacity Piles

Bermingham, P.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 5
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1989
A new approach to load testing of high capacity piles is presented. The method is mobile, inexpensive, repeatable and non-destructive allowing for multiple pile testing at a single site. A reaction mass is placed over a pressure chamber situated atop the pile to be tested. The test method is significant in that it can produce linearly increasing forces of high magnitude (over 5.0 MN) with durations of up to 80 milliseconds. This represents pulse durations an order of magnitude longer than achieved using a drop hammer. The accelerations the pile undergoes are less than one g, (conventional dynamic methods = 50 to 100 g). These effects combine to produce pile behaviour no longer dominated by the action of stress wave, instead the pile is under high levels of stress through its length during the force input. This is representative of the situation when static loads are applied, thus the method may be considered quasi-static. Further advances introduced with this method are that pile deflection and transmitted force are measured directly by means of a laser beam and load cell. This allows accurate correlation of event load displacement histories without the error associated with zero shift (acceleration integration) or non-homogeneous materials (strain measurement). The load displacement histories emulate those obtained for static load testing.
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