Design And Performance Of Helical Screw Piles In Collapsible And Expansive Soils In Arid Regions Of The United States

Black, David R.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2002
Foundation problems due to collapsible and expansive soils are well known throughout the arid western United States. Millions of dollars are spent annually to counteract the effects of such soils for both new foundations and existing foundations suffering from settlement or heave. Over the last 20 years helical screw piles have come into wide-spread use as a permanent deep foundation element for these problem soils, especially in the arid western United States where, in some areas, they are a standard of practice. Independent research resulting in recognition by every national building code in the United States has legitimized helical screw pile technology. Once thought of in terms of light structural underpinning, helical screw piles of today are designed to take heavy structural loads, vertical and lateral, tension or compression, including seismic loads. With proper pile grouping, design capacities for column loads over 4,500 kN (1,000 kips) are attainable. This paper discusses design considerations specifically dealing with collapsible and expansive soils: soil investigation parameters, predicted settlement and long-term creep, heave in expansive soils, downdrag in collapsible soils, shaft slenderness buckling, maintaining shaft alignment during installation, refusal condition, water migration along the shaft, lateral loading, cyclical loading for seismic loads and machine foundations, corrosion, helix durability during installation, the installation torque vs. capacity equation, and design methodology. The paper concludes with several case histories where helical screw piles were used for new structural foundations and to underpin existing failed foundations in St. George, Utah, Cedar City, Utah, and Denver, Colorado, USA, sites of some of the most expansive clay and collapsible soil in North America. Soil descriptions and performance histories are presented.
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