Lateral Pile Load Testing Under Cyclic Loads
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Jan 1, 2003
This paper presents a case study of a cyclic lateral pile load testing program performed on two 18-in square prestressed concrete piles (PSC) in Savannah, Georgia. The load test program was developed to simulate the lateral behavior of a single pile under seismic loading conditions for the design and construction of a large LNG storage tank. The lateral load tests included cyclic loading to measure possible degradation in soil response followed by static loading to large displacements (around 6 inches at the loading point). The lateral load was applied through a reciprocating jack positioned to push and pull the piles against each other. The test piles were instrumented with multiple displacement transducers, downhole inclinometer, and strain gauges. This paper provides an interpretation of the test results regarding the pile performance and soil response to monotonic and cyclic lateral loading. A backfitted computational model of the soil resistance was developed to match the test results using the LPILE computer program. The load-deflection and deflection/moment versus depth comparisons suggest that this model appears to capture the behavior relatively well within the general range of suitability for design purposes. New design curves were developed based on the soil parameters derived from the lateral load test results.