On The Ultimate Capacity And Radial Stress Distribution Of Driven Piles In Sands

Klotz, E. Ulrich
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2002
It is difficult to predict accurately the capacity of driven piles in sand. In practice, this uncer­tainty either leads to conservative designs if the capacity is under-predicted, or worse, if the capacity is over-predicted, it can lead to severe foundation problems. One significant possible cause of the problem is that currently available semi-empirical design methods do not capture the fundamental mechanisms that govern the load capacity of driven piles in sands. As part of a recent research project at City University centrifuge tests on a driven model pile in sands have been undertaken. A fully instrumented model pile was constructed and pushed into samples of quartz and carbonate sand thus covering a wide range of mineralogies. Tri-axial tests were used to determine the fundamental patterns of behavior of the sands. This allowed a general framework to be established, in which the in situ stress:volume relationship is shown to govern the capacity of the pile. The paper sets out with a brief introduction of the experimental techniques used in the study. The results of the pile tests are discussed in detail with particular attention given to distribution of the radial stresses along the pile shaft. Existing design methods for piles in sand are then discussed in the light of the new understanding gained from the research, highlighting their deficiencies and suggesting an improved approach.
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