Performance of Precast Driven Piles in Marine Clay
The research reported is concerned with the behavior of precast reinforced concrete piles driven through soft marine clay and founded in residual soil and weathered rock of sedimentary origin; to study the load-transfer behavior of such piles, strain gages installed along the pile shafts were monitored frequently during the static loading tests and at regular intervals during and after the construction of the superstructure. Piezometers were installed in proximity to one of the piles. The dissipation of excess pore water pressures indicated that setup in the marine clay was highly significant. Hence, pile capacities calculated using wave-equation models based on stress-wave measurements during initial pile driving gave consistently lower values than those of static loading tests one week later. Long-term instrument readings indicated development of negative skin friction when the piles were in service. The downdrag increased with time, and this additional loading should be accounted for in the pile design as part of the service load on the pile.
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ABSTRACT: Piles driven into clay are often subjected to indirect loading as a result of the surcharge applied on the surrounding area. During the drained period, both the piles and the soil undergo downward movements caused by the axial and the surcharge loading, respectively. Depending on the relative movement of the pile-soil system, positive and negative skin friction develop on the pile's shaft. Negative skin friction is the drag force that may be large enough to reduce the pile capacity and/or to overstress the pile's material causing fractures or perhaps structural failure of the pile, and/or possibly pulling out the pile from the cap. A numerical model that uses the finite element technique combined with the soil responses according to Mohr-Coulomb criteria was developed for case simulation. The computer program CRISP (developed by Cambridge University) was used in this study. The numerical model was first tested against the results predicted by the bearing capacity theories for pile foundations in clay subjected to axial loading. Upon achieving satisfactory results, the numerical model was then used to generate data for piles subjected to surcharge loading. The predicted values were compared well with the field data and the empirical formulae available in the literature. Based on the results of the present investigation, design charts and procedures are presented to predict the location of the neutral plane and to estimate the drag force acting on the pile's shaft for a given pile-soil-loading conditions. In the case of excessive drag force, coating the pile's shaft with a thin layer of bitumen is advisable to eliminate or minimize the drag force. The design procedure presented herein would provide the means to establish the need and the extent of the pile coating. Furthermore, it demonstrates the role of the factor of safety on both pile capacity and the depth of the neutral plane.
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ABSTRACT: Several full-scale, long-term tests on instrumented piles performed since the 1960s and through the 1990s are presented. The results of the tests show that a large drag load will develop in piles installed in soft and loose soils. The test cases are from Norway, Sweden, Japan, Canada, Australia, United States, and Singapore and involve driven steel piles and precast concrete piles. The test results show that the transfer of load from the soil to the pile through negative skin friction, and from the pile back to the soil through positive shaft resistance, is governed by effective stress and that already a very small movement will result in mobilization of ultimate values of shaft shear. The pile toe resistance, on the other hand, is determined by downdrag of the pile and the resulting pile toe penetration. Reconsolidation after the pile installation with associated dissipation of pore pressures will result in significant drag load. An equilibrium of force in the pile will develop, where the sustained loads on the pile head and the drag load are equal to the positive shaft resistance plus the pile toe resistance. The location of the force equilibrium, the neutral plane, is also where the pile and the soil move equally. The drag load is of importance mostly for very long piles (longer than 100 pile diameters) for which the pile structural strength could be exceeded. Downdrag, i.e., settlement of the piled foundation, is a very important issue, however, particularly for low-capacity short piles. Soil settlement at the neutral plane will result in a downdrag of the pile. The magnitude of the downdrag will determine the magnitude of the pile toe penetration into the soil, which will determine the pile toe resistance and affect the location of the neutral plane. Nature's iteration of force and soil settlement will decide the final location of the neutral plane.
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