Load Testing High Capacity Drilled Shafts - Summary

Osterberg, Jorj O.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 12
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2002
Until ten years ago, the largest load tests on drilled shafts (bored piles) were about 3,000 tons (27MN). These tests were made with kentledge (large weights, usually concrete blocks) stacked up as a reaction to the applied downward load of a hydraulic jack. In some cases, the jack load is resisted by a load frame held down by piles or anchors connected to the frame. When the test loads exceed 3,000 tons (27MN), these methods become cumbersome expensive and time consuming. The Osterberg (O-cell) test method does not require any reaction load. It has become the only cost effective method for static load testing of high capacity shafts. Over 650 load tests have been performed with this method, 86 of which were over 3,000 tons (27 MN) and 40 over 5,000 tons (44 MN), and the largest test load was 17,000 tons (150 MN). Tests have been made on sands below the water table, shafts ending in rock sockets, and cemented sands and gravels. Test results and details for selected load tests are discussed.
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