Torque Correlation Factors For Round Shaft Helical Piles

Deardorff, Donald A.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2007
The capacity of a helical pile can be determined analytically using the individual bearing or cylindrical shear methods which are dependent on soil strength parameters and helical bearing area. The torque correlation method is widely used in the helical industry to determine the capacity during installation by monitoring torque during the final seating of the helicals. This method has been shown to be a better predictor of strength than the individual bearing or cylindrical shear methods. To determine capacity using the torque correlation method, the final average installation torque (ft-lbs) is multiplied by an empirical torque correlation factor (Kt, ft-1). Kt values have been well documented for square bar shaft helical products and can vary from about 3 to 20 ft-1 depending on pile geometry and soil type. A default value of 10 ft-1 is generally used for all square shaft sizes and soil conditions. Less research has been done on determination of Kt for round pipe shaft helical products. Studies have indicated that factors which affect Kt include soil type/strength, number of helical plates, helix spacing, helix pitch, depth of embedment, downward pressure (crowd), shaft diameter (round pipe) and load application direction while other studies have discounted some of these factors as inconsequential. This paper reviews past research findings regarding Kt determination for square and round pipe shaft helical products and presents a case history of round shaft helical pile installations in Chicago clay which resulted in much lower than expected Kt values.
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