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Screw Pile Design Engineering Handbook

Richard Schmidt, P.Eng. Mohammed Sakr, PhD, P.Eng.

Copyright 2008 Almita Manufacturing Ltd.

Fifth Edition

Table of Contents
Introduction to Screw Piles.............................................................................. 3 History of Screw Piles ..................................................................................... 7 Screw Pile Applications ................................................................................... 8 Part 1. Part 2. Soil Mechanics ............................................................................... 15 Bearing and Uplift Capacity ............................................................. 20 Multi-helix Screw Pile ...................................................................... 20 Single Helix Screw Pile .................................................................... 27 Torque Installation Method for Predicting Capacity.............................. 30 Part 3. Calculating the Ultimate Resistance to Lateral Loads........................... 31 Lateral Ultimate Resistance of Piles................................................... 35 Deflection of Vertical Piles Carrying Lateral Loads ............................... 37 Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. Part 7. Part 8. Part A. Part B. Moments and Deflections (CFEM 2007) ............................................. 39 Buckling of Piles............................................................................. 41 Use of Screw Piles as Tieback Anchors .............................................. 44 Selection of Screw Pile .................................................................... 47 Corrosion Resistance of Galvanized Screw Piles.................................. 50 Standards and Specifications ........................................................... 52 References .................................................................................... 58

Copyright 2008 Almita Manufacturing Ltd.

Fifth Edition

Introduction to Screw Piles

A screw pile is a circular hollow steel pipe section (shaft) with one or more tapered steel plates (helixes) welded to the shaft. Each steel plate is shaped into a helix with a carefully controlled pitch. This precision allows the pile to be inserted into the ground with minimal soil disruption. The central shaft is used to transmit torque during installation and to transfer axial loads to the helical plates upon foundation loading. The central shaft also provides a major component of the resistance to lateral loading. The pile is directed toward the soil and mechanically rotated with constant downward pressure, advancing the pile into the soil. Once installed, the anchor has bearing capacity in both tension and compression in the subsurface by transferring the structures load to the bearing stratum. The pile installation angle can range from vertical to nearly horizontal.

Figure A. Multi-Helix Screw Pile

Copyright 2008 Almita Manufacturing Ltd.

Fifth Edition

Screw pile foundations are also referred to as helical anchors, screw anchors, torque piles or helical piles or piers. In this manual screw anchors will assume to be in tension and screw piles in compression. Figure A shows a typical pile configuration for pilings with shaft sizes in excess of 3-1/2 diameter. Figure B shows a typical pier configuration. Screw piles can be manufactured using almost any pipe size. Typical pipe sizes range from 2-7/8 to 16 O.D., although pipe in excess of 30 has been used. Helix sizes range from 6 to more than 42 in diameter. The helix size is dependent on the size of pipe, the soil conditions and the applied loads. In most cases, the length of a section of the screw pile is generally limited to the maximum drive head height on the installation equipment, which is typically 20 or less. In Almitas case, 33 is possible. Installation depth is limited by or controlled by the available torque and depth of targeted bearing soil. To increase the depth of a pile, additional shaft length can be either welded or bolted on.

Figure B. Multi-Helix Screw Pier / Anchor

Copyright 2008 Almita Manufacturing Ltd.

Fifth Edition

Almita screw piles and screw anchors typically consist of a round steel shaft and one or more helical plates. Spacing between any two helixes is usually three times the diameter of the smaller, lower helix and set in increments of the helix pitch. Helix size and quantity will depend upon the required capacity of the pile and the soil properties and conditions. Design Criteria The American Society of Civil Engineers defines bearing capacity as that load which can be sustained by a pile foundation without producing objectionable settlement or material movement initial or progressive resulting in damage to the structure or interfering with its use. Bearing capacity depends on the following variables: Type and properties of the soil; Surface and/or groundwater conditions; Geometry of the pile (pipe size, helix size, number of helixes, material thickness); Pile material (new steel only); Size of pile (cross-section, length); Embedment depth of pile; Position of pile (vertical, horizontal or battered); Spacing between piles (interaction of piles, group effect); Installation torque; and Type of loading (static, cyclic, step-loading, dynamic loading such as harmonic loading, impact, transient and others). Installation For piles subjected to uplift and/or frost jacking the embedment depth of the uppermost helix shall be at least five (5) helix diameters or deeper than the maximum frost penetration depth that is in the area. The leading edge on the helical plates are rounded back and sharpened to facilitate installation and to minimize disturbance of the soil during installation.
Figure C. Twin Helix Screw Pile

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Fifth Edition

The lead ends of the piles are cut to a 45 angle to aid in targeting of the pile during installation. Helixes are cut from plate steel and formed using matching metal dies. The dies are set to provide the helix with the required pitch, typically 3.00 or 6.00. The helical shape is a true flight. The helical plate shall be normal to the central shaft (within three degrees) over its entire length. The helix is shaped so that it threads into the soil much like a wood screw going into a piece of wood. Piles are installed into the ground via drive head motors using rotary hydraulics attached to a variety of equipment. Boom mounted power utility trucks, skid steers, mini and large excavators, nodwells and many other types of equipment, even handheld units are used. Torque is continuously monitored and recorded throughout the installation of each screw piling. Continuous recording chart recorders are used to measure the hydraulic pressure that is used to drive in the piling. For small shaft piles there is a direct relationship between installation torque and screw pile capacity. Continuous monitoring of torque during installation provides the installer with a profile of the underlying soil conditions.

Figure D. Foundation Installation, Benalto, AB

Copyright 2008 Almita Manufacturing Ltd.

Fifth Edition

History of Screw Piles

Screw piles were first used as foundations for buildings and bridges built over weak or wet soil. They had limited use for much of the 19th and early 20th century as installation was difficult without mechanical assistance. During the 1960s, hydraulic torque motors became readily available and the installation process became much easier.

Figure E. First Documented Use of Screw Piles in 1838

Screw piles were originally used primarily for their resistance to tensile forces. Utility companies frequently used screw piles as tie-down anchors for transmission towers and utility poles. Recent years have seen screw piles being used in many different applications. The piles strong resistance to both uplift and bearing pressure allow them to be used in situations where resistance to combinations of these forces are required. Screw piles offer many advantages over traditional pilings, such as speed of installation and immediate loading capability. These advantages have made screw piles an ideal foundation for many mainstream construction projects. Today, large truck mounted torque heads capable of delivering more than 60,000 ft. lbs or torque and excavator hoes capable of achieving torque greater than 140,000 ft. lbs. are available. These new advances in equipment have made it possible to install piles of large diameter (both helix and pipe) and high capacity.

Copyright 2008 Almita Manufacturing Ltd.

Fifth Edition

Screw Pile Applications

Screw piles and helical piers have been used on a wide variety of projects in Canada, the United States and throughout the world. Uses for screw piles include foundations for commercial and residential buildings, power transmission line towers, telecommunication towers, temporary structures, light standards, substations, oil and gas industry structures such as pipe rack support, tanks, bank retention, and retaining wall tiebacks. A screw pile can be used in virtually any situation where driven or cast in place piles are currently used. Almita currently supplies screw piles for many industries, including: Oil and Gas Industry Screw piles are ideal for many applications within the oil and gas industry. The piles are rugged, low maintenance, and mobile, which makes them ideal for use in the field. With a strong resistance to vibration and/or cyclical loading, screw piles can be placed under pump-jacks and compressor stations. Other applications include: pipe-racking, skid buildings, flare stacks, tanks, dehydrators, separators, etc. Our installation trucks are fully capable of installing piles in all climates and conditions, and our field crew is properly trained to perform in-situ modifications, if they have access to the design engineer.

Figure F. Pump Jack Foundation, near Eckville, AB

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Power Transmission Lines & Telecommunication Towers Almita provides customized turnkey solutions for the power transmission and telecommunications industry. Transmission and communication towers require a somewhat unique foundation. A typical project involves large uplift and lateral loads and often covers long distances with diverse geotechnical conditions. In many situations, power transmission lines traverse unfavourable soil conditions such as muskeg or very soft, wet soils. In such situations, screw piles are the preferred construction option as they can be custom designed for each site and the equipment required for installation is relatively small. While many screw pile suppliers provide a single worst case scenario design that works in all conditions, this approach is typically costly. Almita assesses and interprets geotechnical conditions along the route line and produces an appropriate pile for each site on the route. This results in significant costs savings for our customers.

Figure G. Transmission Line Tower Foundation, Near Fort McMurray, AB

Figure H. Cell Tower Foundation, Green Lake, SK

Copyright 2008 Almita Manufacturing Ltd.

Fifth Edition

Industrial & Commercial Construction For industrial and commercial construction projects, Almita manufactures piles that can be used in a variety of situations with a variety of loads. The main advantage of screw piles for industrial and commercial buildings is the speed of installation with minimal vibration and noise. Also, screw piles have become a very attractive foundation option for owners and contractors due to the rising price of concrete piles and difficulty of obtaining concrete within a reasonable time frame. Screw piles are a cost effective option for this type of application.

Figure I. Feed Mill Foundation, Ponoka, AB

Retrofit Applications Screw piles are used successfully for underpinning existing foundations due to the high flexibility of screwing piles adjacent to existing foundations. Almita has done retrofit projects for bridges, power lines, and schools. A commonly used method for restoring failing foundations is underpinning. Underpinning projects use hydraulic jacks to support the structure until the foundation is lifted and the screw piles are installed. While Almita does not offer an underpinning service at this time, we do design and manufacture custom screw piles for underpinning projects. We also offer a wide range of equipment for underpinning anchors that includes mini-hoes, skid steer loaders and handheld drives.
Figure J. Residential Foundation, Red Deer, AB

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Fifth Edition

Temporary Buildings Screw piles are well suited for use under mobile or temporary buildings. They can be installed in any weather and in any terrain that is accessible by truck. Screw piles are reusable, making them as mobile as the building. With no curing time, the building can be placed and welded immediately after installation. Varying shaft Figure K. Industrial Housing Foundation, Wapasu Creek, AB lengths allow the building to be installed on uneven or sloping ground. Winter heaving and surface erosion have little effect on the pilings strength because screw piles are placed well below the frost line. Optional leveling pile caps ensure the building remains level, regardless of the soil situation. Street Light Bases Our street light bases are custom-constructed to meet individual needs. Cap thickness and size, slot or hole size, cable-way position and size, shaft size and length, and helix diameter are all variables in the street light base design. The street light bases are designed for resistance to bending moments, shearing forces, uplift loads and bearing loads. They have many advantages over concrete pilings, including quick installation reduced traffic disruption, installation in any type of weather, little to no ground disturbance, easy clean up and no spoils to remove. Installation is a simple one-step process and the light pole can be set up immediately after the screw pile install. The pile can be easily removed and reused, allowing quick and easy relocation of standards. To increase product life expectancy the base is often hot-dipped galvanized for extra protection. The environmentally-friendly installation is vibration free and quiet, allowing placement in sensitive areas.

Figure L. Street Light Base, Red Deer, AB

Typical applications for the street light base include: light poles for: residential lighting, parking lots, and street and highway lighting, one or two mast arms, street signage, flag poles, building signage, bumper posts and column supports.

Copyright 2008 Almita Manufacturing Ltd.


Fifth Edition

Retaining Walls Screw piles are also designed and used for retaining walls. Vertical piles combined with structural channels and wood lagging make an effective retaining structure. Vertical piles and rows of tieback piles can be used to add more lateral resistance and wall height to a retaining wall.

Figure M. Retaining Wall, Calgary, AB

Slope Stabilization Almita manufactures anchors that can be used in a variety of situations, including slope restoration or stabilization. Once the fault line has been found, anchors can be screwed in almost horizontally into more stable soil. Once installed, an appropriate retaining wall is attached to maintain the slope integrity.

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Fifth Edition

Cathodic Protection Almita has developed and patented a new, cost effective way to install cathodic protection for underground structures. This procedure (see Figure N) is a method of placing cathodic anodes to depth without trenching or drilling. This system also allows anodes to be battered under tanks and structures. The screw pile is used as a casing, the anode is installed into the desired location, and then the screw pile backed out, leaving minimal disturbance to the site. A cable is plowed in to connect individual anodes to the rectifier.

1. The entire assembly is screwed into the ground to desired depth. (Charcoal added; enough so as to surround the anode in a bed of charcoal).

2. The outer shaft is disconnected and backed out, leaving the inner shaft and anode in place.

3. The inner shaft is hooked onto at the surface, disconnected at the base and backed out, leaving the anode and wire.

4. The wire lead to the electrode is left sticking out of the ground ready to connect to the rectifier load.

Figure N. Almita Cathodic Anode Installation Method

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Fifth Edition

General Foundation Screw pile can deal with various loadings so they can be used in a wide variety of load bearing situations. Included are the aforementioned and the following: Static loads (e.g. under buildings); Alternating loads (e.g. under pumps jacks); Dynamic loads such as vibratory loads (e.g. under compressors); Loads with high moment of overturn (e.g. communication towers); Grade beams (e.g. in conventional buildings); and Structural floor slabs. Almita is capable of completing projects of virtually any size. We have produced piles for projects requiring less than a dozen piles but we also cater to major industrial projects requiring more than 500 piles. All piles are individually designed to meet customers needs.

Figure O. Installations in Difficult Conditions

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Fifth Edition

Part 1.

Soil Mechanics

During loading, the force applied to the pile is transferred to the surrounding soil. Thus, the ultimate capacity of the pile is dependent upon the strength of the soil. In general, there are two types of soils; cohesive and cohesionless. Cohesive soils are defined as soils whose internal friction angle is approximately zero (=0) while cohesionless soils are those whose internal friction angle is greater than zero (>0). Soils can be identified in the field visually by its physical appearance, size of grains, colour, and odour. Laboratory testing is required to confirm the type of soils and to obtain design parameters. Typical laboratory testing for cohesionless soils include gradation tests, natural moisture contents, direct shear, or triaxial tests. For cohesive soils typical testing include natural moisture content, Atterberg limits, unconfined compression or triaxial testing. Field testing such as Standard Penetration Testing (SPT), Vane Shear tests or Cone Penetration Testing (CPT), or Seismic Cone Penetration Testing (SCPT) are also required to estimate soil parameters. Table 1.1 provides soil classification for cohesionless soils based on grain size diameter. Compactness condition of sand soil can be classified based on the results of SPT as shown in Table 1.2 below.
Table 1.1. Cohesionless Soil Classifications

SOIL CLASS Silt Fine Medium Course Sand Fine Medium Course Gravel Fine Medium Course Cobbles Boulders Cobbles Boulders
Table 1.2. Compactness of Sand

PARTICLE SIZE RANGE (mm) 0.002 0.006 0.006 0.02 0.02 0.06 0.06 0.2 0.2 0.6 0.6 2.0 2.0 6 6 20 20 60 60 200 >200

COMPACTNESS CONDITION Very Loose Loose Compact Dense Very Dense

SPT N-INDEX (blows per 0.3 m) 04 4 10 10 30 30 50 >50

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Cohesive soils can be classified in relation to undrained shear strength going from very soft clay to hard clay as shown on Table 1.3 below.
Table 1.3. Consistency of Cohesive Soils CONSISTENCY Very Soft Soft Firm Stiff Very Stiff Hard Very Hard UNDRAINED SHEAR STRENGTH kPa (psf) <12 12 25 25 50 50 100 100 200 200 300 >300 ( < 250) (250 520 ) (520 1045 ) (1045 2090 ) (2090 4180 ) ( 4180 6265 ) (>6265) SPT N-INDEX (blow per 0.3 m) <2 24 48 8 15 15 30 30 50 > 50 Youngs Modulus E, MPa (ksf) < 3 (< 65) 3 10 (65 210) 10 25 (210 520) 25 60 (520 1255) 60 120 (1255 2505) 120 360 (2505 3760) > 360 (> 3760)

In nature soil is rarely homogeneous. Instead, it tends to develop in layers or stratum, each with individual strengths and weaknesses. Figure 1.1. illustrates this stratification. As the pile is driven into the ground, it will pass through different stratum. Each layer has different characteristics so different torque values will be observed as the pile passes through each layer. During an ideal installation, the torque values will be increasing steadily, indicating that the pile is being inserted into more dense soil. If a drop in torque is recorded, it is most likely that a soft layer (such as soft clay) was found. The pile must continue to be inserted past the soft layer until a more dense soil (i.e. higher torque) is found.

Soft Clay

Stiff Clay Depth Dense Sand Gravel Bedrock

Figure 1.1. Soil Stratum

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During tensile loading conditions, the upward force pulls on the entire pile. In wet to moderately wet soils, a suction force develops and this suction helps to counteract the tension. The water in the soil exerts a small force, known as pore pressure, on the surrounding soil. When an upward force is applied, a low pressure area is created directly beneath the helix. This low pressure area causes inward pressure, or suction, and pulls down the helix. This phenomenon is more pronounced in clays, where the soil is unable to move to fill the void. Figure 1.2 illustrates this further.

Upward Force

Suction Force Figure 1.2. Suction Forces under Tension

Soils derive their strength and ultimately their load capacity from several characteristics. The internal friction angle,, the adhesion factor, , the unit weight of the soil, , the undrained shear strength of soil, Cu, and the lateral earth pressure coefficient, K are all factors that affect the holding capacity of soils. Although many of these variables are related, they are dependent on the type, moisture content, and location of soils.

Figure 1.3. Soil Displacements

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Fifth Edition

During installation, the surrounding soil is displaced by the rotary action of the pile. This creates a zone of compacted soil immediately adjacent to the pile, as shown in Figure 1.3. This compacted soil places pressure on the pile surface, effectively increasing the holding capacity of the pile The pressure placed on the pile also helps create a friction force between the shaft and the soil. The shaft adhesion factor is a measure of this friction force and generally varies with soil type, density, and the soils internal friction angle. This friction helps to resist the applied force, and is used in determining the ultimate capacity of the pile. The displaced soil pressure also helps to reconsolidate any soil disrupted during the installation. Soil adhesion along the anchors shaft significantly contributes to the anchors overall vertical capacity. Adams and Klym (1972) found that adhesion provides a substantial resistance to anchors installed in soft clays with shaft diameter greater than 76.2 mm. The adhesion between the pile shaft and the soil is taken as a function of the soil undrained shear strength. Each soil, based on its composition and water content, has a unique density and weight. A common way to classify soils it to determine the weight of a unit volume, known as the unit weight of the soil.
=W/V Where: W = Weight of sample V = Volume of sample Eqn. 1.1

This variable is often used to describe the force or load the soil places on the pile. During tension, the soil around the pile, especially the helix, acts like ballast and helps to resist motion. This is particularly important in the case of tensile loading. A soil with a higher unit weight will place more downward pressure on the pile, thereby increasing the uplift capacity. During the installation process, soil disruption should be kept to a minimum to preserve the soils integrity. By forming the helix to a true helical shape, the pile tends to cut through the soil, causing relatively little soil disruption and preserving the soils strength. Sufficient downward pressure (crowd) is maintained to ensure that for every revolution, the pile travels one pitch distance downward. The use of an installation torque recorder allows for the verification that the above is happening. The recorded torque values are also valuable as a quality control process and to determine the capacity of the pile. The above information is meant to introduce an individual to the field of soil mechanics and explain the terms and ideas used to explain soil behavior. All facts and figures presented are for representational purposes and are not meant to

Copyright 2008 Almita Manufacturing Ltd.


Fifth Edition

substitute for actual soil studies. A more in-depth discussion of soil mechanics is beyond the scope of this manual and a qualified geotechnical engineer should be consulted. The variables, tables and figures contained in this manual are similar to those typically found in soil reports provided by a qualified engineer and/or geologist. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
Table 1.4. Typical Soil Parameters Cohesionless Soil

Soil Description Very Loose Loose Compact Dense Very Dense

Relative Density < 0.2 0.2 0.4 0.4 0.6 0.6 0.8 > 0.8

Standard Penetration Resistance, N (blows/foot) <4 4 10 10 30 30 50 > 50

Angle of Internal Friction, (degrees) < 30 30 35 35 40 40 45 > 45

Youngs Modulus E (MPa) (ksf) < 10 (< 210) 10 20 (210 420) 20 50 (420 1045) 50 80 (1045 1670) > 80 (> 1670)

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Part 2.

Bearing and Uplift Capacity

Multi-helix Screw Pile When an axial compression or tension force is applied to a vertical pile, the load is partly supported by the shaft friction, the shear resistance along a cylindrical surface connecting the top and bottom helices and either bearing resistance below the bottom helix (compression loading), as shown in Figure 2.1 or bearing capacity above the top helix (uplift loading), as shown in Figure 2.2.
Qc Ultimate Compression Capacity Qu Ultimate Uplift Capacity

Shaft Friction Shaft Friction Depth to Top Helix, H Shaft Dia.

Uplift Bearing Resistance

Cylindrical Shearing Resistance

Helix Spacing, S Cylindrical Shearing Resistance

Compressive Bearing Resistance d Shaft Dia.

D Helix Dia. Figure 2.2. Tension Loading Forces Acting on a Multi-helix Screw Pile

Figure 2.1. Compression Loading Forces Acting on a Multi-helix Screw Pile

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Thus, in the case of compressive loading, the total failure resistance can be summarized as follows:
Qc Where: Qc Qhelix Qbearing Qshaft = Qhelix + Qbearing + Qshaft = = = = Eqn. 2.1

ultimate pile compression capacity, (kN) shearing resistance mobilized along the cylindrical failure surface, (kN) bearing capacity of pile in compression, (kN) resistance developed along steel shaft, (kN)

For a cohesive soil the ultimate compression capacity of the helical screw pile using a cylindrical shearing method as proposed by Mooney (1985) is:
Qc= Sf ( D Lc ) Cu + AH Cu Nc + d Heff Cu Where: D = = Lc Cu = AH = = Nc d = Heff = = Sf = diameter of helix, (m) is the distance between top and bottom helical plates, (m) undrained shear strength of soil, (kPa) area of the helix, (m2) dimensionless bearing capacity factors (Tables 2.1 and 2.2) diameter of the shaft, (m) effective length of pile, Heff = H D, (m) Adhesion factor (see Figure 2.3) Spacing Ratio Factor Eqn. 2.2

Table 2.1. Bearing Capacity Factor Nc Related to the Pile Diameter (after CFEM, 1992)

Pile Toe Diameter (m) Smaller than 0.5 0.5 to 1.0 Larger than 1.0

Nc 9 7 6

Table 2.2. Bearing Capacity Factors, Nc for Cohesive Soils, and Modified for Helix Selection (after ALMITA )

Helix Diameter < 0.50 m 0.51 m 0.56 m 0.61 0.76 0.91 0.97 > 1.0 m (< 20 in) (20 in) (22 in) (24 in) (30 in) (36 in) (38 in) (40 in)

Nc 9.0 8.33 7.67 7.33 7.0 6.67 6.33 6.0

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Following FHWA-IF-99-025 Use Maximum Nc = 6.50 for soft clays with undrained shear strength = 25kPa and Nc = 8.0 for firm clays (50kPa) and 9.0 for stiff to very stiff clays. Explanation of some of the terms: The prediction of the bearing resistance developed from the bottom helix is independent of the embedment depth. The bearing capacity factor Nc, proposed by Meyerhof (1976), provides reasonable predictions for screw piles loaded in compression. Values of Nc are summarized in Table 2.1 and Table 2.2. For estimation of the shaft adhesion, an effective shaft length Heff is used in the calculation, which the effective shaft length is defined as the embedment length (H) minus the top helix diameter (D). The adhesion developed along the steel shaft is considered in cases where sufficient installation depth (deep pile) is provided. For shallow condition (i.e. embedment ratio H/D < 3), the shaft adhesion is considered as insignificant, and thus, Qshaft is not included in the equation. Figure 2.3 describes the determination of the, , adhesion factor.


Adhesion Factor




0 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 Cu - Undrained Shear Strength, kPa

Figure 2.3. Reduction of Undrained Shear Strength for Anchorage Design (after CFEM, 1992)

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In the case where shaft resistance is considered negligible the compression capacity equation simplifies to:
Qc= Sf ( D Lc ) Cu + AH Cu Nc Eqn. 2.3



For predicting the total uplift capacity, a cylindrical shear model is also adopted and the ultimate tension capacity can be determined using the following equation (Mooney 1985):
Qt= Sf ( D Lc ) Cu + AHN (Cu Nu + H ) + d Heff Cu Where: Qt = = Nu H Sf AHN = = = = ultimate screw pile uplift capacity, (kN) Effective unit weight of soil above water table or buoyant weight if below water table, (kN/m3) dimensionless uplift bearing capacity factor for cohesive soils embedment depth, (m) Spacing Ratio Factor net area of the helix (area of helix shaft area), (m2) Eqn. 2.4

For multi-helix screw piles loaded in tension, the ultimate capacity is dependent upon the embedment depth. Generally there are two contributing factors to an increase in the total uplift capacity with increasing depth. First, the shaft resistance increases with embedment depth and secondly, the bearing resistance developed above the top helix is dependent on the depth that the screw pile was installed to. The uplift bearing capacity factor, Nu increases with the embedment ratio (H/D) to a limiting value of approximately equal to 9.
Nu = 1.2 ( H / D ) 9 (Meyerhof 1973) Eqn. 2.5

It is also recommended that Nu does not exceed the values recommended by FHWA-IF-99-025. Similar to the compression test, for short piles installed at a shallower depth, the term for predicting the shaft adhesion can be neglected since the result is insignificant to the total uplift capacity. The equation can be summarized to:
Qt = ( D Lc ) Cu + AHN (Cu Nu + H ) Eqn. 2.6

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2.1 COMPRESSION LOADING For a cohesionless soil the ultimate compression capacity of the helical screw pile using a cylindrical shearing method (Where H/D >=5) as proposed by Mitsch and Clemence (1985) is:
Q Q Q Qc
helices bearing shaft

Q helices + Q bearing + Q shaft

Eqn. 2.7 Eqn. 2.8 Eqn. 2.9

=1/2 Da ( H32 - H12 ) Ks tan ( Or FHWA-IF-99-025 using *- see below) = H AH Nq (Or FHWA-IF-99-025 Report using Nf- see below, If N60 is used)

=1/2 Ps Heff2 Ks tan (Or Use 0.75 recommended below) = H AH Nq + 1/2 Da ( H32 - H12 ) Ks tan+ 1/2 Ps Heff2 Ks tan ( Or Use FHWA IF-99-025 Values for each component)

Eqn. 2.10

Where: Qc Ks AH Nq Da H D1 Heff H1 H3 Ps Nf

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

ultimate compression capacity, (kN) Effective unit weight of soil, (kN/m3) coefficient of lateral earth pressure in compression loading Soil angle of internal friction, degree ( 2/3 ) Soil angle of internal friction, (shaft component), degree area of the bottom helix, (m2) dimensionless bearing capacity factor, Table 2.3. average helix diameter, (m) the embedment depth of pile, (m) diameter of top helix, (m) effective shaft length, (m) depth to top helix, (m) depth to bottom helix, (m) the perimeter of the screw pile shaft, (m) 1.5 * (1.5- 0.245[z]^0.5), where z = (H1+H3)/2 0.59 * [(N60 * 101 / )]^0.8 * where N60 is corrected

Explanation of some of the terms:

Meyerhof (1963) suggested that the bearing capacity factor Nq, can be calculated using: Nq = etan tan2(45 + /2) Eqn. 2.11

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Fifth Edition

Values of Nq are summarized in Table 2.3.

Table 2.3. Bearing Capacity Factor, Nq, for Cohesionless soils

Internal Friction Angle, Nq

0 5 10 15 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 1 2 3 4 6 8 10 12 15 18 23 29 38 49 64 85 115

Ks, coefficient of lateral earth pressure in compression loading, which can be estimated by using the following two tables (Table 2.4 and 2.5).
Table 2.4. Values of the Coefficient of Horizontal Soil Stress, Ks (after Kulhawy, 1984)

Installation Method Piles, Large Displacement ( 8-5/8 shaft) Piles, Small Displacement (< 8-5/8 shaft)
Table 2.5. Typical Values of Ko for Normally Consolidated Sand (after Kulhawy, 1984)

Ks/Ko 1 to 2 0.75 to 1.25

Relative Density Loose Medium-Dense Dense

Ko 0.5 0.45 0.35

CFEM (1990) suggested that Ks is usually assumed to be equal to the coefficient of original earth pressure, Ko, for bored piles, and twice the value of Ko for driven piles. For the shallow condition (i.e. H/D < 5), the ultimate compression capacity of a multi-helix screw pile in sand can be predicted by summing the bearing capacity of the bottom helix and the frictional resistance along the cylinder of soil between the helices without the shaft resistance. Therefore, Equation 2.10 can be expressed as follows:
Qc = H AH Nq + 1/2 Da ( H32 - H12 ) Ks tan Eqn. 2.12

2.2 UPLIFT LOADING For predicting the total uplift capacity, a cylindrical shear model proposed by Mitsch and Clemence (1985) is suggested and the ultimate tension capacity can be determined. Zhang (1999) suggests that there are two distinct failure mechanisms for screw piles loaded in tension in the cohesionless soil, namely the shallow or the deep condition. The shallow condition describes the mechanism where a truncated pyramidal shaped failure surface propagates for the top helix to the ground surface.

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Fifth Edition

The central angle of the truncated cone is approximately equal to the soil friction angle, . A cylindrical failure surface is formed below the top helix. For helical piles installed in a much deeper depth, a failure zone develops directly above the top helix. The overburden pressure confines this failure surface, and therefore the failure zone does not propagate to the ground surface. Meyerhof and Adam (1968)s theory stated that there is a maximum embedment ratio (H/D)cr, where the failure mode changes from shallow to deep and this maximum value increases with an increase in the relative density (Dr), and the internal soil friction angle, of the sand. Das (1990) expressed the ultimate bearing capacity proposed in Mitsch and Clemences theory in terms of breakout factor Fq for shallow anchor conditions and Fq* as follows:
For Multi-helix Screw Pile installed in Shallow Condition Qt = H/D < (H/D)cr Eqn. 2.13

H AHN Fq + 1/2 Da ( H32 - H12 ) Ku tan H/D > (H/D)cr

For Multi-helix Screw Pile installed in Deep Condition Qt Where: Qt Ku H AHN Da D1 Heff H1 H3 Ps Fq Fq*

= H AHN Fq* + 1/2 Da ( H32 - H12 ) Ku tan+ 1/2 Ps Heff2 Ku tan (Or Use FHWA-IF-99-025 Values stated before) Eqn. 2.14 = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = ultimate screw pile uplift capacity, (kN) Effective unit weight of soil, (kN/m3) the soil angle of internal friction, degree ( 2/3 ) Soil angle of internal friction, (shaft component), degree dimensionless coefficient of lateral earth pressure in uplift for sands embedment depth, (m) area of the bottom helix, (Area of Helix Area of Shaft), (m2) average helix diameter, (m) diameter of top helix, (m) effective shaft length, Heff = H1 D1, (m) depth to top helix, (m) depth to bottom helix, (m) the perimeter of the screw pile shaft, (m) breakout factor for shallow condition, see Figure 2.4 breakout factor for deep condition, see Figure 2.5

Explanation of some of the terms: Embedment ratio (H/D) is defined as the depth to the top helix, H divided by the top helix diameter, D.
Table 2.6. Critical Embedment Ratio, (H/D)cr for Circular Anchor (after Meyerhof and Adam, 1968)

Friction Angle, Depth (H/D)cr

20 2.5

25 3

30 4

35 5

40 7

45 9

48 11

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This coefficient, Ku is used to empirically quantify the lateral stress acting on the failure surface as the screw pile is pulled out from the soil. The lateral stress outside the cylindrical failure surface increases to a passive state due to the screw action during the installation process. The magnitude of the increase is dependent upon the amount of disturbance and the changes in stress level during the installation.
Table 2.7. Recommended Uplift Coefficients, Ku for Helical Anchors (after Mitsch and Clemence, 1985)

Soil Friction Angle, 25 30 35 40 45

Meyerhofs Coefficient for Foundation Uplift 1.20 1.50 2.50 3.90 5.30

Recommended Coefficients for Helical Anchors 0.70 0.90 1.50 2.35 3.20

Figure 2.4. Variation of Breakout Factor with Embedment Depth for Shallow Anchor Condition based on Mitsch and Clemences Theory (after Das, 1990)

Figure 2.5. Variation of Breakout Factor with Embedment Depth for Deep Anchor Condition based on Mitsch and Clemences Theory (after Das, 1990)

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Single Helix Screw Pile For a single helix screw pile, the cylindrical shearing resistance connecting the top and bottom helix for multi-helix piles does not develop. Therefore, the total resistance is derived from shaft and bearing resistance (see Figures 2.6 and 2.7). Equations used to obtain axial capacity for the multi-helix screw piles should be adjusted to not include the cylindrical component.

1.1 Qc COMPRESSION LOADING = A Cu Nc + d Heff Cu Eqn. 2.15

Following FHWA-IF-99-025 Use Maximum Nc = 6.50 for soft clays with undrained shear strength = 25 kPa and Nc = 8.0 for Firm Clays (50 kPa) and 9.0 for Stiff to V. Stiff Clays. 1.2 Qt TENSION LOADING = AHN (Cu Nu + H ) + d Heff Cu Eqn. 2.16

Following FHWA-IF-99-025 Use Maximum Nc = 6.50 for soft clays with undrained shear strength = 25 kPa and Nc = 8.0 for Firm Clays (50 kPa) and 9.0 for Stiff to V. Stiff Clays.

Figure 2.6. Various Load Tests

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2.1 COMPRESSION LOADING  H A Nq + 1/2 Ps Heff2  Ks tan Eqn. 2.17

Qc = 2.2


For Single Helix Screw Piles Installed in Shallow Condition H/D < (H/D)cr Qt =  H AHN Fq (Or FHWA-IF-99-025 Report using Nf, If N60 is used) Eqn. 2.18

For Single Helix Screw Piles Installed in Deep Condition H/D > (H/D)cr Eqn. 2.19 Qt =  H AHN Fq* + 1/2 Ps Heff2  Ku tan (Or FHWA-IF-99-025 using Nf, If N 60 is used and 0.75  recommended before)

Qc Ultimate Compression Capacity

Qu Ultimate Uplift Capacity

Shaft Friction Compressive Bearing Resistance

Shaft Friction

Uplift Bearing Resistance

Figure 2.7. Compression Loading Forces Acting on Single Helix Screw Pile

Figure 2.8. Tension Loading Forces Acting on Single Helix Screw Pile

The theory behind soil mechanics is complicated and is beyond the scope of this manual. The determination of the exact load capacity of each pile is impossible without actual load tests. A load test should be performed at each site to verify the above information. The above formulas provide guidelines that, when used with accurate soil data and appropriate safety factors, can be confidently used to design a suitable screw pile.

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Torque Installation Method for Predicting Capacity An empirical method has been derived and used in the screw anchor industry for many years. Installation torque is used to calculate the ultimate capacity of the screw anchor. The average torque achieved during the last three to five feet of installation is directly proportional to the ultimate axial capacity of the pier. A pull out test to failure is preformed with the capacity achieved recorded as the ultimate capacity. Using the ultimate capacity at the given installation torque an empirical torque factor can be calculated. (NOTE: A tension test is often performed instead of a compression test because they are quicker to set up and perform. The capacities are also generally less than the compression tests inherent factor of safety.) From the pullout test, an empirical torque factor, Kt can be calculated using the following:
Kt = Qt / T Where: T = Average Installation Torque (Ft.Lbs) Qt = Ultimate Pier Capacity (Lbs.) from load test Kt = Empirical Torque Factor (1/ft) Eqn. 2.20

Typical values for Kt range from 20 /ft to 2 /ft, with the majority of soils giving a Kt value of 7 /ft to 10 /ft. Unless load tests are preformed to provide a Kt value, a conservative Kt value should be selected when designing piles. It is important to note that the value for Kt is a combination of soil and anchor properties, primarily relating to frictional resistance along the shaft, the frictional resistance along the cylinder formed by the helixes, the soil, the top and bottom surfaces of the helixes and the passive resistance along the leading edge(s) of the helixes. As an example, Kt for dense dry sand would normally be less than for hard wet clay. Kt factor of 3 /ft is recommended in the CFEM (2007) for pipe shaft greater than 8 in diameter. The factor for 3-1/2 pipe anchors is recommended to be around 7 /ft for most soils and the factor for 2-7/8 pipe anchors is usually in the 7 to 10 range for most soils. Appropriate safety factors should then be applied (minimum S.F. = 2.0). In all cases, Almita Manufacturing Ltd. recommends field testing to verify the theoretically predicted anchor capacity and to determine allowable design loads and minimum acceptable safety factors for the specific project.

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Part 3.

Calculating the Ultimate Resistance to Lateral Loads

General Pile foundations are frequently used in situations where large lateral forces and movements must be resisted. Some examples include: tall free-standing structures such as high-rise buildings or signage subjected to wind loads; pipeline thrust blocks; bridge abutments; structures located in earthquake-prone areas; telecommunication towers and power transmission line towers. The successful design of a pile foundation subjected to lateral loads must satisfy several criteria including: acceptable lateral movements at working loads; the maximum bending moment along the pile shaft should not exceed its bending capacity; piles must resist collapse during extreme loading events; and finally, for piles installed in harsh environments such as aggressive soils, the pile material should be durable. All criteria of failure should be considered in the design. The soil resistance in soft soils may be improved by injecting grout (an Almita Patented product). Bending moment in the pipe shaft can be improved by either increasing the section of the pile shaft or filling the shaft with concrete but lateral deflection criterion is always the governing factor. Several approaches can be used for predicting pile performance subjected to lateral loads including the subgrade reaction method and the elastic continuum approach. The subgrade reaction method is usually used to calculate the lateral response of piles (e.g. Matlock and Ripperger 1956; Reese et al. 1974; and Reese and Welch 1975). In this method the pile is considered as a beam on an elastic foundation and the soil is replaced by a series of elastic and closely-spaced but independent springs. Reese (1984) considered the soil nonlinearity using the p-y curve approach. Prakash and Kumar (1996) modified the subgrade reaction method to predict the nonlinear load displacement relationship for piles embedded in sand. LPile Software, a software program developed based on the p-y curve approach, is often used to predict the lateral deflection of piles subjected to lateral loads. The lateral pile deflection is dependent on the soil types and properties in the upper 1.5 meters to 3 meters. The response of laterally loaded piles can also be evaluated using the theory of elasticity (e.g. Polous 1971; Pise 1984; Randolph 1981; Budhu and Davies 1988).

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Almita recommends the use of L-Pile to predict the lateral deflection of screw piles. In L-Pile program the pile can be modeled either as free head where the lateral force and moment are specified or as fixed head where lateral force and rotation can be specified. The pile head fixity conditions depend on the connection between the pile cap and head of the pile. A simple approach suitable for hand calculations using Broms method is explained in detail in the next section, for approximate estimate of the lateral deflection of single pile under design lateral loads. Broms Method Broms method (1964) will be used to estimate pile capacity for each case. Brom classified pile behavior into two categories: 1. Short pile failure where the lateral capacity of the soil adjacent to the pile is fully mobilized (CFEM, 2007) 2. Long pile failure where the bending resistance of the pile is fully mobilized (CFEM, 2007). Results are given for: Pile diameter, d; Embedded length, L; Lateral load capacity, HU; Yield moment of pile, MYIELD; Clay cohesion, CU; Coefficient of passive sand resistance, KP; Height of lateral load above ground, e; and Soil unit weight, . The first step is to determine whether the pile will behave as a short rigid pile or as an infinitely long flexible member. Calculating the stiffness factors R and T for the particular combination of pile and soil does this. The stiffness factors are governed by the stiffness (EI value) of the pile and the compressibility of the soil. The latter is expressed in terms of a soil modulus, which is not constant for any soil type but depends on the width of the pile and the depth of the particular loaded area of the soil being considered. The soil modulus K has been related to Terzaghis concept of a modulus of horizontal subgrade reaction. In the case of stiff over-consolidated

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clay, the soil modulus is generally assumed to be constant with depth. Tomlinson (1987) identifies those factors as:
Stiffness factor R = ( /K) (in units of length) Where: K khB 0.305k1/1.5B k1/5B
4 EI

Eqn. 3.1 Eqn. 3.2

Where: k1 is Terzaghis subgrade modulus as determined from load-deflection measurements on a 305mm square plate, and B is the width of the pile. Elson has shown that k1 is related to the undrained shearing strength of the clay, as shown in Table 3.1. Values of nh (After Terzaghi 1995) are shown in Table 3.2.
Table 3.1. Relationship of Modulus of Subgrade Reaction (k1) to Undrained Shearing Strength of Stiff Overconsolidated Clay (After Elson)



V. Stiff


Undrained shear strength (Cu) kN/m Range of k1 MN/m

3 2

50-100 15-30 3-6

100-200 30-60 6-12

>200 >60 >12

Soil modulus (K) MN/m

For most normally consolidated clays and for granular soils the soil modulus is assumed to increase linearly with depth, for which
Stiffness factor T = ( /nh) (in units of length) Where: K = nh x x/B
5 EI

Eqn. 3.3 Eqn. 3.4

Table 3.2. Values of nh for cohesionless soils (Terzaghi, 1955)

Soil Compactness Condition

nh (Above Groundwater) kN/m3

nh (Below Groundwater) kN/m3

Loose Compact Dense

2200 6600 18000

1300 4400 11000

Having calculated the stiffness factors R or T, the criteria for behavior as a short rigid pile or as a long elastic pile are related to the embedded length L as follows in Table 3.3.
Table 3.3. Criteria for Short Pile vs. Long Elastic Pile

Soil Modulus Pile Type Linearly Increasing Constant

Rigid (free head) Elastic (free head)

L 2T L 4T

L 2R L 3.5R

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Almita utilizes and recommends Broms method to determine the ultimate lateral resistance for an Almita screw type piling. These piles are most often classified as unrestrained or free-head short rigid piles. (See Broms (1964a) and Broms (1964b) in the References). ALMITA models the Pile in lateral loading using different analysis types as: Type 1 - Computations of Pile Response with User-Specified, Constant EI This analysis type performs the analysis of a laterally-loaded pile using flexural stiffness computed from the values of moment of inertia (I) and modulus of elasticity (E) . Type 2 - Computations of Ultimate Bending Moment of Cross Section (Section Design) This analysis type performs only an analysis of the piles cross-section. This type of analysis is used to compute the ultimate bending moment and the nonlinear variation of flexural stiffness with applied moment. Selection of this option activates the commands at the bottom of the Data pull-down menu. Type 3 - Computations of Ultimate Bending Moment and Pile Response using Nonlinear EI Selection of this analysis type performs an analysis of the cross section to obtain the ultimate bending moment and the variation of flexural stiffness with applied bending moment. In the second part of the computations performs an analysis of a laterally loaded pile using the nonlinear flexural stiffness computed in the crosssection analysis (using the internally-generated values obtained in the first part of computations). One special type of analysis performed with the Type 3 analysis is a pushover analysis. The purpose of performing a pushover analysis is to determine the level of loading and/or deflection that results in the development of a plastic hinge in the pile. In a pushover analysis, the displacement and moment pile-head boundary condition is specified and a number of increasing pile-head displacements are specified until a plastic hinge is developed in the pile. Type 4 - Computations of Ultimate Bending Moment and Pile Response with User-Specified EI With selection of this analysis type, we perform an analysis of the cross section to obtain the ultimate bending moment and the variation of flexural stiffness with applied bending moment. In the second part of the computations, we perform an analysis of a laterally-loaded pile using flexural stiffness computed from the values of moment of inertia (I) and modulus of elasticity (E).

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Type 5 Computation of Pile Response Using User-Specified, Nonlinear EI This analysis type allows inputting nonlinear EI vs. moment data for up to five sections along the foundation. A typical application of this option is the analysis of rock-socketed piers, in which the section above the rock is different in size and configuration from the rock socket. Lateral Ultimate Resistance of Piles For uniform cohesionless soils, Broms (1964b) has established the graphical relationships for H/KpB3 and MU/ B4 Kp shown in Figure 3.1 (For short piles) and Figure 3.2 (For long piles), from which the ultimate lateral resistance Hu can be determined.

Figure 3.1. Ultimate Lateral Resistance of Short Pile in cohesionless soil related to embedded length (after Broms)

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Figure 3.2. Ultimate Lateral Resistance of Long Pile in cohesionless soil related to embedded length (after Broms)

For uniform cohesive soils, Broms (1964) has established the graphical relationships for H/CuB2 and Mu/CuB3 Figure 3.3 (For short piles) and Figure 3.4 (For long piles), from which the ultimate lateral resistance Hu can be determined.

Figure 3.3. Ultimate Lateral Resistance of Short Pile in cohesive soil related to embedded length (after Broms)

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Figure 3.4. Ultimate Lateral Resistance of Long Pile in cohesive soil related to embedded length (after Broms)

Deflection of Vertical Piles Carrying Lateral Loads In cohesive soils the deflection behavior depends on the dimensionless length L where
= (KB / 4 EI )

Eqn. 3.5

Where Y0 is the pile head deflection for lateral load (H) in the dimensionless lateral deflection in Figure 3.5.

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Figure 3.5. Lateral Deflection of Pile Head in cohesive soil (after Broms)

In cohesionless soils the deflection behavior depends on the dimensionless length L where:
= (h / EI )

Eqn. 3.6

Where Y0 is the pile head deflection for lateral load (H) in the dimensionless lateral deflection in Figure 3.6.

Figure 3.6. Lateral Deflection of Pile Head in cohesionless soil (after Broms)

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Part 4.

Moments and Deflections (CFEM 2007)

Lateral Pile Deflections For the subgrade reaction models, it is assumed that the soil around a pile can be simulated by a series of horizontal springs, with each spring representing the behaviour of a layer of soil of unit height. When the pile is forced against the soil under the action of the horizontal loads, the soil deforms and generates an elastic reaction assumed to be identical to the force that would be generated by simulating a spring subjected to the same deformation. With the further assumption that the soil is homogenous, and that all of the springs are therefore identical, the soils behaviour can be estimated if the equivalent spring constant is known. This spring constant is called the coefficient of subgrade reactions ks (Dimension: force/volume). Coefficient of Subgrade Reaction The coefficient of horizontal subgrade reaction may be estimated by the following method. a) In cohesionless soil
Where ks = n h ( z ks = z = d = nh = /d) Eqn 4.1 coefficient of horizontal subgrade reaction (force per volume) depth pile diameter coefficient related to soil density as given in Table 4.1.
Table 4.1. Values of nh for Cohesionless Soils


nh (kN/m3) Above Groundwater 2200 6600 18000 Below Groundwater 1300 4400 11000


In cohesive soil
ks = 67 Cu / d Eqn 4.2


ks Cu d

= = =

coefficient of horizontal subgrade reaction (force per volume) undrained shear strength of the soil pile diameter

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Determination of Moments and Deflections This section considers only the most common case of piles with a rigid cap at ground surface. (CFEM 1992) The distribution and magnitude of moments and deflections in a pile subjected to horizontal forces are essentially a function of the relative stiffnesses, T, of the pilesoil system. For sand, T is given by the following relation:
4 EI

/ nh )1/5

Eqn. 4.3

and for overconsolidated clay T=( Where E I nh ks


/ ks d )1/4 = = = = elastic modulus of pile material moment of interia of pile cross section a constant as given in Table 4.1, above coefficient of horizontal subgrade reaction

Eqn. 4.4

From the value of T, the moments, Mp, in the pile and the deflections, p, of the pile cap may be computed at any depth using the following formulae: Mp = F m ( P T ) Eqn. 4.5 Eqn. 4.6

p = F ( P T 3 / E I )
Where Mp p Fm F P T = = = = = =

moment at depth z deflection at depth z moment coefficient at depth z, as given in Figure 4.2. deflection coefficient at depth z, as given in Figure 4.1. applied horizontal load relative stiffness

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5 & 10


Lp T

= 2

P z Lp

3 3

4 5 -0.2


p = F ( PT3 ) EI






DEFLECTION COEFFICIENT, F Figure 4.1. Deflection Coefficients for Laterally Loaded Piles. (CFEM 1992) 0



MP=Fm(PT) 4

4 5 & 10







MOMENT COEFFICIENT, Fm Figure 4.2. Moment Coefficients for Laterally Loaded Piles. (CFEM 1992)

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Part 5.

Buckling of Piles

Screw piles are long and slender by design. On rare occasions this design makes screw piles susceptible to buckling when placed under extreme compressive loading conditions. The buckling of piles can be caused by one of two situations. Extreme compressive forces may cause the shaft to fold and buckle. This would occur in the upper portion of the pile where the soil is weak. The more common buckling situation is when a pile is exposed to lateral loading. A pile exposed to lateral loading behaves similarly to any supporting member under lateral loading. The lower part of the pile remains stationary while the upper part starts to bend. Unless it is designed to supply resistance, a screw pile will behave similarly to that of slender deep pile with the helix supplying little lateral or bending moment resistance. (i.e. shallow condition or shallow helix embedment). This section describes various methods for determining the structural capacity of the pipe shaft portion of the screw pile. There are different ways to determine the ultimate piling shaft capacity subjected to axial loading. We have selected the Poulos and Davis (1980) method to estimate the ultimate vertical capacity (Pr) the pile can take before starts buckling. Poulos and Davis (1980) suggested the following: During loading, a partly embedded vertical pile subjected to a vertical load. The stiffness factors R and T as calculated from equations 3.1 and 3.3 and have been used to obtain the equivalent length of a freestanding pile with a fixed base, from which the factor of safety against failure due to buckling can be calculated using conventional structural design methods. For a partly embedded pile carrying a vertical load P, the equivalent height Le, of the fixed-base pile is shown in Figure 5.1b. For soil with a constant modulus:
Depth to a point of fixity zf = 1.4 R Eqn. 5.1

For soils having a linearly-increasing modulus:

zf = 1.8 T Eqn. 5.2

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The relationships of equations 5.1 and 5.2 are only approximate, but they are valid for structural design purposes provided that lmax, which is equal to L/R, is greater than four for soils having a constant modulus and provided that zmax, which is equal to L/T, is greater than 4 for soils having a linearly-increasing modulus. From equations 5.1 and 5.2 the equivalent length Le of the fixed-base pile (or column) is equal to e + zf and the critical load for buckling is:
Pcr = 2 E I 4R2 (SR + ZR)2 2 E I R 2 ( S R + ZR ) 2 For free-headed conditions Eqn. 5.3

Pcr =

For fixed- (and translating-) headed conditions

Eqn. 5.4

Where: SR = LS / R JR = LU / R LS = Equivalent free length of embedded portion of pile (Figure 5.1) LU = Unsupported pile length Eqn. 5.5 Eqn. 5.6




(a) Actual Pile

(b) Equivalent Cantilever

Figure 5.1. Partially Embedded Piles (after Poulos and Davis 1980)

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Part 6.

Use of Screw Piles as Tieback Anchors

Almita has been manufacturing multi-helix screw anchors for more than 16 years. The piles have established a consistent record of performance through extensive use in tieback applications for the electric utility and oil and gas industry. Construction application for screw anchors in retaining wall tie backs continue to grow. A screw anchors advantage is rooted in the way that it removes the performance uncertainties and costs associated with a grouted anchor when used in loose sandy soils or in low shear strength clay soils. When placed in the soil, the screw anchor acts as a bearing device. This is a fundamental difference compared to a grouted anchor formed in the soil and reliant on friction between soil and grout. Collapse of a prepared hole can change a grouted anchors dimensions. There is little opportunity to assess the problems magnitude and exact location because it is in the hole, out of sight. Protecting grout from such an occurrence adds the extra costs of installing casing. A screw anchor averts these drawbacks by requiring neither an open hole nor a casing. Screw anchors can be designed to hold large capacities. Advantages of using Almita screw anchors as tiebacks include: Competitive installing costs; Immediate proof testing and loading - no waiting time for grout to cure; Installs in any weather; Speeds excavation and construction; Removable and reusable; and No spoil to remove. Estimating the lateral loads (Figure 6.1.) acting against retaining walls as exerted by the soil requires knowledge of: Soil type and conditions; Structural dimensions of the retaining structure; and Ground water table. Every wall tieback situation is unique but some aspects merit attention. The placement of the anchor is influenced by the height of the soil backfill against the

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wall. Figure 6.2 shows this condition and a guideline for setting the location of the tieback anchor. Experience indicated that the tieback should be located close to the point of maximum wall bulge and/or close to the most severe transverse crack. In many cases the tieback placement location must be selected on a case-by-case basis. Another factor to consider is the height of soil cover over the helical anchor. Figure 6.2 also indicates that the minimum height of the cover is six times the diameter of the largest helical plate. Finally, the helical anchor must be installed a sufficient distance from the wall that the helical plate(s) can develop an anchoring capacity by passive pressure. This requires the length of installation to be related to the height of soil backfill. Based on the information above we determine the active pressure of the soil and the water pressure against the wall. Upon preliminary design of anchor rows depth, the load on each row/meter width of the wall is calculated. Almitas extensive experience with screw anchors ensures that we can select the horizontal spacing between anchors and accordingly establish the load on each screw anchor.

Figure 6.1. Earth and water pressure distribution behind retaining wall

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Figure 6.2. Typical installation depth and length for Helical tiebacks

Depending on the spacing between helices (S) / Helix diameter (D) ratio, the design method of the Screw anchors will be either: 1. Individual Plate Method Adam and Klym (1971) stated that at S/D 2, each helix plate can be assumed to behave independently of the other. ALMITA extensive tests (1999) showed that this method can be used if S/D 3 The individual bearing method assumes that bearing failure occurs above each individual helix. The total uplift resistance is the sum of the individual capacities.
Qt = Qshaft + Q I (bearing) Eqn 6.1 Where: Qt = Ultimate uplift capacity Qshaft = Adhesion developed along the steel shaft (Chapter 3) Q I (bearing) = Sum of the bearing capacity of each individual helix (Chapter 3)

2. Cylindrical Shear Method Please refer back to Chapter 3 for the design.

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Part 7.

Selection of Screw Pile

Almita screw pile shaft sizes range from 2-7/8 to 36 in diameter with varying wall thicknesses. Table 7.1 lists the most common and readily available pipe shaft sizes. The small diameter shafts are mainly used for compression and tension loads where lateral loads are minimal. Larger diameter shafts are used when the screw pile is subjected to large compressive loads and/or lateral loads and/or moments of overturn. Large diameter shafts are not always required to go to full depth embedment, the piling shaft can be reduced in size with a neck-down or smaller shaft located on the bottom end portion of the piling (see Figure 7.1). Many factors determine the selection of the pipe shaft used in a screw piling. The criteria that directly lead to the selection of the appropriate shaft size are: axial load, tension load, lateral load, moment of overturn, torque considerations, installation equipment, helix size, soil conditions and possibly others. (See Parts 3, 4 and 5 for shaft designing).

Figure 7.1. Neck-Down Pile

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Table 7.1. Common Pipe Sizes

Pipe Shaft Outside Diameter 2-7/8 3-1/2 4-1/2 5-1/2 6-5/8 7 8-5/8 10-3/4 12-3/4

Common Wall Thickness (Almita common) 0.217 0.254 0.250, 0.237 0.304 0.280, 0.250 0.317 0.264, 0.322 0.365, 0.250 0.375, 0.250

Maximum Torque (Ft.Lbs.) 8,000 11,000 21,500 20,400 45,800 53,900 64,000 67,000 81,200 +90,000 +90,000

The critical factors that dictate the helix size are axial load, tension load, torque consideration, installation equipment, soil conditions and pipe shaft size (see Table 7.2). Table 7.2 shows the helix configurations that fit various pipe shaft sizes. The minimum sizes represent the minimum physical sizes that will fit on the pipe and the maximum sizes are the maximum sizes available. (See Part 2 for more on designing helices).
Table 7.2. Helix Diameter vs. Pipe Shaft

HELIX DIAMETER (inches) 6 2-7/8 X 3-1/2 4-1/2 5-1/2 6-5/8 7 8-5/8 10-3/4 12-3/4 14 16 20 24 30 36 8 10 12 X X X X X X X X X 14 X X X X X X X 16 X X X X X X X X 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X

PIPE SHAFT O.D. (inches)















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Almita offers helix sizes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. If necessary helices can be custom designed and manufactured to specifications. Helix diameters currently range from 6 to 48, pitches are set at 3, 4, 6, 12 and 24, thickness of plate range from , 3/8, , , and 1. STEPS IN PILE SELECTION: 1. Determine applied loads on pile. What is dead load, what is the live load? What are the safety factors? 2. Determine site specific soils information. What is soil type, soil description, soil classification? What is the depth of frost penetration? Where is the water table level? 3. Compare soils information with pile load and location information. Consider pile spacing. Is there a group effect among piles? 4. Design pile and pile geometry. Determine pile shaft, helix diameter and thickness, number of helixes and spacing, embedment depth. Is an extension required? Should it be bolted on or welded? (See parts 1 through 5 of manual) 5. Estimate installation torque. 6. Evaluate the design. Is it practical? Can designed pile be installed? Do soil conditions allow for installing? What are the equipment or power requirements? Repeat Step 4 if necessary. 7. Calculate ultimate pile capacity and apply safety factors. (Minimum S.F. = 2.0). The steps are to be used as a general guide in the pile design process but other factors such as seismic considerations or soil chemistry may come into play when designing a screw pile. In some situations load tests may be carried out at the early stages of design to optimize the design or may be required as part of quality assurance.

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Part 8.

Corrosion Resistance of Galvanized Screw Piles

More than 200 different types of soils have been identified and are categorized according to texture, color and natural drainage. Coarse textured soils such as gravel and sand permit free circulation of air and the corrosion process may closely resemble atmospheric corrosion. Clay and silt soils have a fine texture and hold water resulting in poor aeration and drainage. The corrosion process in these soils may resemble the corrosion process in water. The corrosion of galvanized (zinc) coatings in clay and silts is a very complex issue with many factors affecting the expected life. The most important factors include: chloride content of water/soil, hardness, pH of soil/water and soil resistivity. These factors are briefly discussed below: As indicated by Porter in Corrosion Resistance of Zinc and Zinc Alloys p275; Of all the anions, chloride is most corrosive to zinc in water (and soil), especially if it is present in amounts exceeding 50 mg/L. The softer the water, and the lower it is in carbonate the more pronounced is the effect of chloride. Thus, a chloride content of 80mg/L in soft water causes quite severe corrosion, while in hard water no corrosion occurs even with 700 mg/L. The reason for this is hard water forms a scale of insoluble salts on the galvanized coating. This scale combines with the zinc to from a protective barrier of calcium carbonate and zinc carbonate. This protective layer significantly increases the corrosion free life of the galvanized pile. The soil resistivity is determined by the nature and concentration of the ions dissolved in the soil moisture and ground water. In most cases, the impact that resistivity will have on the corrosion of the galvanized coating is therefore limited to the chloride content, and hardness.

Figure 8.1.

The pH range of the soil/water is another important factor. Galvanized coatings displayed excellent corrosion resistance when the pH was above 4.0 and below 12.5. (See Figure 8.1).

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Fifth Edition

The National Bureau of Standards has conducted an extensive research program on the corrosion of metals in soils. Some of its research on galvanized steel pipe dates back to 1924. The results shown in Figure 8.2 are based on studies started in 1937 using 1 1/2 (38mm) steel pipe with a 5.3mil (135m) zinc coating. The expected life is based on a zinc coating thickness of 200m. The results of these tests also showed that the galvanized coating will prevent pitting of steel in soil, just as it does under atmospheric exposure, and that even in instances where the zinc coating was completely consumed, the corrosion of the underlying steel was much less than that of bare steel specimens exposed under identical conditions.
Figure 8.2.

* The expected life for a galvanized screw pile is calculated using a conservative coating thickness of 200 m. The actual measured coating thickness of Almita screw piles is usually in the 300 400 m range. If this value is used then the life expectancy would be double the values shown above.

As the above chart illustrates, the galvanized coating will provide 50 -100 years of corrosion free service in all but the most corrosive soils. The study also showed that even after all of the galvanized coating is consumed the residual zinc in the soil would reduce the corrosion on the remaining steel pile.
Prepared by Darcy Pretula, P.Eng., Daam Galvanizing Inc. 21-November-2001

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Fifth Edition

Part A.

Standards and Specifications

National Building Code of Canada Alberta Building Code ASTM A252: Welded and Seamless Steel Pipe Piles CSA G40.21-M: Structural Quality Steel CSA W47.1: Certification of Companies for Fusion Welding of Steel Structures CSA W59: Welded Steel Construction Steel construction (Metal Arc Welding) CSGB 1-GP-184: Coal Tar Epoxy (black) Coating SSPC-SP6 : Commercial Blast Cleaning ASTM A 153: Specification for Zinc Coatings (Hot-Dip) on Iron and Steel Hardware CSA G164: Hot Dip Galvanizing of Irregularly Shaped Articles Helical Plate: ASTM A36 or CSA G40.21 44W Hot Rolled Structural Steel Plate Screw Pile Pipe: 3-1/2 Diameters piers and under (includes 2-7/8 piers): Pipe meets or exceeds the minimum requirements of API 5CT Grade J55 (minimum yield strength of 55 ksi and minimum tensile strength of 75 ksi). 4-1/2 Diameter piles and larger: Minimum ASTM A252, Grade 2 or 3 Steel pipe piles, seamless or straight welded, Pipe wall thickness vary from Schedule 20 Schedule 40 Schedule 80, (minimum yield strength of 35 ksi and min. tensile strength of 60 ksi). Welding: Almita Manufacturing Ltd. is certified by the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB) in Division 2.1. The welding design and welding fabrication of structural steel will be in accordance with the CSA Standard W47.1. All welding performed in accordance with the requirements of CSA Standard W59.1, Latest Edition. Fasteners: All bolts are supplied as per customers requirements. Minimum requirements are ASTM A 325 bolts. Bolts are bare metal (black), plated or hot-dipped galvanized.

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Fifth Edition

Testing Standards: Pile Load Tests are preformed in accordance with ASTM D1143, Standard Method of Testing Piles Under Axial Compressive Loads; ASTM D3689, Standard Method of Testing Individual Piles Under Static Axial Tensile Loads; and ASTM D3966, Standard Method of Testing Piles Under Lateral Loads.

Pipe Manufacturers Specifications A252 Piling Pipe Specification

Covers nominal (average) wall steel pipe piles of cylindrical shape and applies to pipe piles in which the steel cylinder acts as a permanent load-carrying member or as a shell to form cast-in-place concrete piles. Kinds of Steel Open-hearth Permitted For Pipe Basic-oxygen Material Electric-furnace Not more than 12.5 percent under the nominal wall thickness specified. Permissible Variations in Wall Thickness Chemical Seamless and Welded Pipe: Phosphorus Max. % Requirements Open-hearth, Electric-furnace or Basic-oxygen 0.050 Hydrostatic None specified. Testing Permissible The weight of any length of pile shall not vary more than 15 percent over or 5 percent under the weight specified. Each length shall be weighed separately. Variations in Weights per Foot Permissible Shall not vary more than plus or minus one percent from the diameter specified. Variations in Outside Diameter Mechanical Tests Tensile Test - Either longitudinal or transverse at option of manufacturer. Specified Minimum yield determined by the drop of the beam, by the halt in the gage of the testing machine, or by the use of dividers. Number of Tests One tensile property test per 200 lengths. Required Lengths May be ordered in single or double random lengths or in uniform lengths: Single Random -16'-25' md. Double Random - Over 25' (minimum average of 35'). Uniform - Plus or minus 1 on length specified. Required Markings Rolled, Die Stamped or Paint Stenciled (Mfgrs. option) on Each Length Manufacturer's name, brand or trademark, heat number, method of pipe manufacture, (On tags attached to size, weight, length, wall thickness and ASTM A252 and the Grade. each bundle in case of bundled pipe) General Surface imperfections exceeding 25 percent of the nominal wall in depth are Information considered defects. Defects not exceeding 33.5 percent of the nominal wall in depth may be repaired by welding. Before welding, the defect shall be completely removed. NOTE: This is summarized information from ASTM Standards and API Specification 5L. Please refer to the specific Standard or Specification for more details. Scope

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Fifth Edition

Grade 1 Tensile Strength, min
Psi Mpa kg/mm2 Psi Mpa kg/mm2 % in 50,000 345 35.2 30,000 205 21.1 30 2 / (48t + 15)

Grade 2
60,000 414 42.2 35,000 240 24.6 25

Grade 3
66,000 455 46.4 45,000 310 31.6 24

Yield Strength, min Elongation, min Gauge Length

2 / (40t + 12.50) 2 / (32t + 1.00)

Grade J55 pipe (1) Pier Shaft: API 5CT Grade J55 pipe (API- American Petroleum Institute) Seamless Tubing Chemical Specifications (%):
Grade J55 C 0.35 0.45 Si 0.15 0.35 Mn 0.90 1.30 Cr max 0.25 Ni max 0.25 Mo Cu max 0.20 Al min 0.015 P max 0.020 V S max 0.015 Sn max 0.03

Mechanical Specifications:
Yield Strength min Psi (MPa) max Psi (MPa) 55000 (379) 80000 (552) Tensile Strength Psi (MPa) 75000 (517)

API 5CT Outside Diameter +/- 1% Wall Thickness +20 / -0%

(2) Wall Thickness: 2-7/8 diameter (0.217w.t.) or 3-1/2 diameter (0.254w.t.) (3) Torques: The maximum torques are 8,000 FT.LBS. for 2-7/8 Pipe and 11,000 FT.LBS. for 3-1/2 Pipe.

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Fifth Edition

Grade A36 Carbon Structural Steel (1) Pier Helicals: ASTM Grade A36 / A36M
Product Thickness, in.(mm) Carbon, max, % Manganese, % Phosphorus, max, % Sulfur, max, % Silicon, % Copper, min, % when copper steel is specified To 3/4 (20), incl. 0.25 ... 0.04 0.05 0.40 max 0.20 Plates Over to 1-1/2 (20 to 40), incl. 0.25 080 1.20 0.04 0.05 0.40 max 0.20 Shapes All 0.26 ... 0.04 0.05 0.40 max 0.20

(2) Mechanical Specifications:

ASTM Grade A36 / A36M

58 80 (400 550) 36 (250) 20 23

Plates, Shapes, and Bars: Tensile strength, ksi (MPa) Yield point, min, ksi (MPa) Plates and Bars: Elongation in 8 in. (200 mm), min, % Elongation in 2 in. (50 mm), min, %

CSA W47.1 deals with the certification of companies for fusion welding of steel structures. Certification requires that the company has the organization, personnel, welding procedures, welding standards, and equipment as required of the Division to which it is Certified, to produce satisfactory welds and weldments. To be certified in Division 2.1, the company must retain a part-time registered professional engineer(s) responsible to the company for: (a) welding design; and (b) welding procedures and practice.

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Fifth Edition

Figure A-1. CWB Certification

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Fifth Edition

ISO 9000 is a set of generic standards adopted in over 90 countries worldwide. ISOs goal is to develop international standards for manufacturing, trade and communications. These standards provide quality assurance requirements and quality management guidance relating specifically to the quality of a product. ISO 9000 is not a product or technical standard, it is a quality system standard. ISO Certification confirms that an organization is in control of its manufacturing or service processes. The standard assures customers that an organization has identified and defined the critical elements that need to be considered in producing a quality product.

Figure A-2. ISO 9001 Certificate of Registration

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Fifth Edition

Part B.


ASTM D 1143-81 (1981). Standard Test Method for Piles Under Static Axial Compressive Load; (Reapproved 1984). Annual Book of ASTM Standards, 1997, Vol. 04.08, pp. 95-105. ASTM D 3689-90 (1990). Standard Test Method for Individual Piles Under Static Axial Tensile Load; (Reapproved 1995). Annual Book of ASTM Standard, 1997, Vol. 04.08, pp.366-375. ASTM D 3966-90 (1990). Standard Test Method for Individual Piles Under Lateral Loads; (Reapproved 1995). Annual Book of ASTM Standard, 1997, Vol. 04.08, pp.389-399. Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (1992). Handbook of Steel Construction, 5th Edition. Universal Offset Limited, Markham, ON. pp.1-40 and 4-68 to 474. CFEM (1992). Canadian Foundation Engineering Manual. 3rd Edition. Canadian Geotechnical Society, Technical Committee on Foundations, BiTech Publishers Ltd., Richmond, B.C. Broms, B.B. (1964a). Lateral Resistance of Piles in Cohesive Soils; Journal for Soil Mech. and Found. Engrg., ASCE, Vol. 90, SM2, pp. 27-64. Broms, B.B. (1964b). Lateral Resistance of Piles in Cohesionless Soils; Journal for Soil Mech. and Found. Engrg., ASCE, Vol. 90, SM3, pp. 123-156. Das, B.M. (1990) Earth Anchors. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 241p. Meyerhof, G.G. (1976). Bearing Capacity and Settlement of Pile Foundations; Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, Proceedings of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Vol. 102, No. GT3, March 1976, pp. 197-224. Meyerhof, G.G., and Adams, J.I. (1968). Ultimate Uplift Capacity of Foundations; Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Vol. V, no.4, pp.225-244. Mitsch, M.P., and Clemence, S.P. (1985). The Uplift Capacity of Helix Anchors in Sand. Uplift Behavior of Anchor Foundations in Soil; Proceedings of ASCE, New York, N.Y. pp. 26-47. Poulos, H.G. and Davis, E.H. (1980) Pile Foundation Analysis and Design. University of Sydney, John Wiley and Sons, New York, N.Y. pp 324-327.

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Fifth Edition

Tomlinson, M.J. (1987) Pile design and Construction Practice, 3rd Edition. E & FN Spon, London, pp 205-215. Trofimenkov, J.G., and Mariupolskii, L.G. (1965). Screw Piles Used for Mast and Tower Foundations; Proceedings of Sixth International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, Montreal, Quebec, Vol. 11, pp.328332. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, (1985) Pile Construction, Field Manual No. 5-134, www.adtdl.army.mil/atdls.htm, Headquarters, Department of the Army, Washington, DC, Zhang,Diane J.Y. (1999). Predicting Capacity of Helical Screw Piles in Alberta Soils; MSc Thesis, Geotechnical Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta.

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Fifth Edition