Case History: Multiple Axial Statnamic Tests On A Drilled Shaft Embedded In Shale

Axtell, Paul J.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2006
Two new railroad bridges in Kansas City, Missouri are founded on drilled shafts embedded into the soil and underlying shale. The uncertainty arising from the non-homogeneous, anisotropic nature of most shales, and the variability of shales across the U.S., makes it a difficult material to assign appropriate design properties. As was the case on this project, the uncertainty of foundation performance in shale can lead to overly conservative designs, particularly with drilled shaft foundations. An extensive Statnamic axial testing program was performed to verify that the load-settlement behavior of the drilled shafts would be acceptable for the intended railroad traffic. Axial Statnamic testing was applied in three increasing cycles of 927 kips, 1007 kips, and 3177 kips, respectively. The maximum movements recorded at the shaft head during each of the loadings were 0.052 inches, 0.062 inches, and 0.257 inches, respectively. The loads applied in each of the respective Statnamic tests were not sufficient to reach the capacity of the shaft; so direct comparison of measured and calculated capacities is not possible. However, evaluation of the estimated design capacity can be accomplished based on results from the Statnamic testing program by utilizing normalized load transfer relations presented by O?Neill and Reese (1999). Such comparisons necessarily require extrapolation of the data measured in the Statnamic tests following typical load-displacement response. Results indicate the Kulhawy and Phoon (1993) method for estimating side resistance in Pleasanton shale rock sockets, assuming a smooth socket, appears to agree well with observed behavior during Statnamic testing. Accordingly, the O?Neill and Reese (1999) method for estimating the toe resistance in intermediate geomaterials, assuming cohesive rock with Rock Quality Designation (RQD) between 70 and 100, appears to agree well with observed behavior during Statnamic testing. Finally, based on Statnamic testing at varying load magnitudes and normalized curves developed by O?Neill and Reese (1999), the contribution of side resistance to the capacity of a deep foundation can be determined assuming no load is transferred to the base of the foundation during lower magnitude testing. Furthermore, higher magnitude testing can provide a means to evaluate the accuracy of design end bearing calculations.
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