On The Effects Of Sand Grading On Driven Pile Performance

Hencher, S. R.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1989
Precast prestressed concrete piles designed to be end-bearing in a sand stratum at Drax Power Station met with extremely variable resistance during driving. Some piles came to virtual refusal almost immediately on entering the sand whereas others were driven to considerable penetration with very low resistance. Redriving and load tests on piles experiencing low resistance on initial drive showed that take up in strength occurred over a relatively short period of time. Investigations involving the use of pneumatic piezometers revealed the development of significant excess pore pressures during driving. Samples from boreholes showed that piles met the least resistance when the sand had a high silt content. Comparison with the original site investigation data demonstrated the difficulties in predicting detailed pile behaviour. The varied behaviour could not be related to the original borehole logs or to SPT or static cone penetrometer results. The factors controlling pile driving behaviour were essentially geological and could only be explained with reference to local soil grading.
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