Case History: Effect Of Plastic Clays On The Behavior Of APGD Piles In Central Florida

Sallam, Amr M.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2006
In recent years, with the increase of the number of high-rise buildings that are proposed and being built in Central Florida especially in Downtown Orlando, Augered Pressure Grouted Displacement (APGD) piles became a pronounced foundation option. The APGD pile is a bored displacement pile that does not result in drilling spoil. APGD piles are mostly suited for loose to medium granular soils and slightly silty/clayey sandy materials, such as those encountered in Central Florida. The case history presented in this paper involves the APGD piles recommended for a 35-story mixed-use condominium in Downtown Orlando. The subsoil condition was typical for the region; that is loose to medium fine sands underlain by thin layer of plastic sandy clays and plastic clays followed by mixed clayey sands and sandy clays with phosphates and traces of shells transitioned to the weathered limestone. Four APGD test piles were installed and were, statically, tested. Three of the tested piles failed to support the design load. Analysis of load test results showed that the bottom half of the test piles, below the plastic clay deposits, was not effective, which was attributed to structural deficiency resulted from possible pile necking due, in our opinion, to the increase of the porewater pressure within the plastic clays. Three additional test piles were constructed with modified reinforcement cage; that is to extend beyond the plastic clays with tighter stirrups. The additional test piles were, statnamically, tested and were able to sustain the design loads. The construction of the APGD piles through subsoil conditions similar to those of Downtown Orlando, where plastic clayey deposits are encountered, should account for the high porewater pressures that mostly will be developed within the plastic clay, hence, may cause pile necking. Extending the cage to penetrate through and pass the plastic clays reduced the necking potential and improved the test piles performance.
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