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because of its empirical character. For other types of piles, such as bored piles, lower bearing

capacities must be expected.

It may be clear that the pile point resistance can be computed for each depth in the cone

penetration graph (not only for one specific depth). If this is done one gets a picture of the pile

point resistance derived from the cone penetration graph as indicated in figure 38. This resembles

the outcome of the test performed by Geuze and earlier tests. For different size of pile point a

different pile point resistance curve will be obtained.

n x diameter

20

0o

=4

15

5o

10

=3

ϕ

=3 o

0

5

ϕ

5o

=2

ϕ

=0 o

ϕ

0

1

2

3

penetration of a cone or a pile point

In The Netherlands a calculation method for the pile point resistance (method of Koppejan) has

been developed based on the similarity of the soil behaviour of the penetration of a cone in a

Dutch cone penetration test and the penetration of a pile during pile installation. It is assumed that

during penetration a failure surface pattern develops around a penetrating cone as well as around

a vertically downward moving pile point (figure I). In contrary to the failure surfaces below a

shallow foundation where the failure surfaces reach the surface, the failure surfaces near a cone or

pile point extend upwards to the CPT rod or the pile shaft.

For the calculation method it is assumed that on the average the slip surfaces extend 4 pile

diameters (4D) downwards and 8 pile diameters (8D) upwards. The influence zone for a cone

with a diameter of 36 mm is therefore 150 mm below and 300 mm above the cone point. The

measured cone resistance at a certain depth is therefore influenced by the soil strength over a

height of 450 mm.

51

The method of Koppejan for the calculation of the point resistance is mainly empirical and

usually gives a good approximation of the real pile point resistance. Subsequently the calculation

method will be explained by means of an example. The empirical method consists of a sequence

of steps which are elucidated hereafter:

- if the cone resistance progressively increases below the pile point, the influence zone is

limited to 0.7D

- the contribution to the point resistance of the qc values recorded in the influence zone below

the pile point, is the lowest average qc value (qc,0) of minimal 0.7D and maximal 4D below

the point, both in a downward (qc1) and in an upward direction (qc2), whereby the used qc

values to determine qc2 must never be higher than the previous value in the upward direction;

the average point resistance below the pile point is then qc,0 = ½ (qc1 + qc2)

- the contribution to the point resistance of the influence zone above the pile point is

determined by the average qc value (qc,b) over a distance of 8d, whereby in the same way as

for qc2 the qc value used for determining qc,b must never be higher than the previous one

starting with the last value of the qc2 trajectory. For continuous flight auger piles there is an

exception the start of the qc;b trajectory should also be lower than 2 MN/m2.

- the maximum point resistance qmax and the ultimate point resistance qu is then determined as

follows:

qc ;0 + qc ;b

qmax = (13)

2

qu = α p q p (14)

where

qu [kN/m2] ultimate point resistance, with qu < 15000 kN/m2 (based on

empirical data)

αp [-] pile class factor see table I

Example: A precast pile with a shaft width of 0.40 m is driven to a depth of 6.8 m (see figure II).

This pile has an equivalent shaft diameter of:

4

Deq = 0.4 2 × = 0.45 m

π

For this foundation level the following cone penetration resistance are determined using the graph

in figure II:

- qc2 = 3000 kN/m2

- qc,b = 1500 kN/m2.

8000 + 3000

+ 1500

q max = 2 = 3500 kN / m 2 )

2

qu = α p q max = 1.0 × 3500 = 3500 kN / m 2

52

The ultimate pile point resistance is obtained by multiplying the ultimate point resistance with the

point area (0.16 m2 for a square pile with a width of 0.4 m):

Qu = qu A (15)

Qu = 3500 × 0.4 = 560 kN 2

where

Qut [kN] ultimate point resistance force

A [m2] point area.

From Dutch engineering practice it is known that the ultimate bearing capacity of the Koppejan

method can be safely used in all situations. In figure III an example of the application of

Koppejan method is given where the van der Veen method would have given an overestimation.

If the pile point level approaches (<4Deq) the bottom of a layer with high cone penetration values

the physical mechanism of punch trough can occur, instead of the type of theoretical failure

mechanism given in figure I. The Koppejan method takes good care of this punch trough

mechanism. In figure III the resulting dramatically reduction of the bearing capacity for pile point

levels near the bottom of the soil layer with high cone penetration resistance values are shown.

cone resistance

cone resistance

0 5 10 MN/m2

depth in m

5 8d = 3.60 m

lll

6.8

ll l 4d = 1.80

depth in m

10

6.8

15

Figure II Example of method of Koppejan for of Figure III Point resistance for a precast

the determination of the point resistance 0.29x0.29m2 pile according to

with the results of a CPT Koppejan method (fat line is CPT)

53

The pile type and the construction method have significant influence on the ultimate bearing

capacity of a pile point. Driving a precast pile in a sand layer leads to densification, resulting in

an increase of the angle of internal friction (φ'). Densification also leads to higher horizontal

effective stresses on the pile. Both these factors have a positive influence on the ultimate bearing

capacity as Coulomb law states τf=σ’tanφ‘. A bored pile can result in a stress relaxation as soil

will move toward the excavated space in which the pile is created. Beside stress relaxation,

loosening may occur too. Due to the stress relaxation and possible loosening of the packing of the

soil, this pile type will have a lower ultimate point bearing capacity than the driven pile. In table I

for some pile types the influences of the previous described factors are expressed in a pile class

factor (αp). The factors are based on Dutch experience in Dutch sand layers.

[-]

driven straight sided piles 1.0

steel sections and open pipe piles 1.0

continuous flight auger piles 0.8

bored pile 0.5

Tabel I Pile class factors

The ultimate point resistance is influenced by the shape of the pile base. The soil surrounding a

driven pile with an enlarged base will exhibit a lower effective stress level than surrounding soil a

driven pile with a normal shaped base. Lower effective stress results in a lower ultimate point

resistance. In figure IV the cause for this mechanism is illustrated by showing a (exaggerated) gap

above the enlargement. The ultimate point resistance can be written as follows:

qu = βα p qmax (16)

where:

qu [kPa] ultimate point resistance, with qu < 15 kN/m2 (based on empirical data)

β [-] is the factor that takes in account the influence of the shape of the pile base, see

figure V and VI.

p

54

The pile base shape factor β can be determined using figure VI. The graph in this figure shows

the relations between the effective height of the pile base (H), its equivalent diameter (Deq), and

the diameter of the pile shaft (deq) (figure V).

pile point level

(1) β = 1.0

(2) β = 0.9

(3) β = 0.8

(4) β = 0.7

(5) β = 0.6

2

A1 Deq

= 2

A2 d eq

The shape of a cross section has influence on the pile point resistance. A round and a square

shape result in a higher ultimate bearing capacity than other shapes. This influence is taken in

account by using a for shape factor (s) which can be determined by:

sin φ′

1+

s= r (17)

1 + sin φ′

where:

φ' [°] the effective angle of internal friction. In case of a pile in a densely packed sand

layer this can be taken φ' = 40°

r [-] ratio b/a; for round pile r = 1

55

a [m] the shortest side of a rectangular cross section of pile point

where:

qu [kPa] ultimate point resistance, with qu < 15000kN/m2

Cone resistance(MPa)

C. Pile driving formulae 10

0

GL = NAP - 1,25 m

capacity of a point bearing pile uses pile driving

formula. The principle is to measure the vertical -2

displacement of the pile due to the action of the

driving hammer. This is mostly done by counting the

-3

numbers of blows needed for a certain penetration

distance e.g. 0.25 m. In soft soil layers this number is

-4

very low. When the pile point encounters a hard layer

the number becomes higher. A high number indicates

-5

a soil layer with a good bearing capacity. In figure VII

an example is given of a pile driving record with 0.25

-6

m intervals.

-7

All through many very complex/advanced formulae

exist these formulae are unreliable and not suitable for

-8

design purposes. Sometimes a factor 10 exist between

the different predictions made by the various methods.

-9

-10

function of the pile penetration has proven to be very

useful for quality control. Actually in engineering

practise there is only a limited amount of CPT’s -11

-12

every pile). The dimensions of the piles in between

CPT locations are often designed using interpolated

CPT values. -13

-13

-14

56

To be able to check whether a proper pile tip level is reached (geology can be different in

between the CPT locations), the following procedure should be followed:

− pile driving should start at the location of a CPT (distance to a CPT as small as possible) It is

recommended to start at the location with the deepest pile point levels

− for a pile at the location of a CPT the pile driving record should be registered for the total pile

length

− the pile driving record should match the CPT graph; in that case the recorded blow count can

be used as a guideline for the piles, which are driven between CPT locations

− for piles, driven within a distance of 5 times the pile diameter to a previously driven pile a

higher blow count has to be recorded than the one of the previously driven pile

D. Calculation by theory

The ultimate bearing capacity of a pile is reached when the soil underneath the point is pushed

away along continuous failure lines. The critical load on the pile tip is in equilibrium with the

shear resistance mobilized in the failure lines (in fact rupture surfaces). This equilibrium is

indicated in figure 34. The shear resistance depends on the shear strength characteristics of the

soil.

τ f = c ′ + σ′n tan φ′

in which c’ and φ’ are the effective cohesion and the effective angle of internal friction. If the

shape of the failure line could be determined, it would be possible to calculate the ultimate

bearing capacity of the pile point if c’ and φ’ are known.

In another words: to determine the ultimate bearing capacity c’ and φ’ have to be determined as

well as the location of the failure line.

It is how ever not so easy to take an undisturbed soil sample from deep layers especially if the

consists of sand. Special equipment is necessary to take the sample and keep it intact for use in

the triaxial apparatus. This is the first difficulty, although it may be overcome.

63

It should be mentioned that values as low as 20 kN/m2 have sometimes been found in certain

types of sands. One must how ever be extremely careful when using average values. If no other

data is available, a high factor of safety should be used, especially in case of tension piles. In sand

the friction along tension piles may be much lower than in case of compression piles.

This is illustrated in figure 40 which gives the measured skin friction the tubes of a cone

penetrometer, both in a downward and upward direction (push and pull). in clay the difference is

less pronounced.

Figure 40

C. Field tests

The positive skin friction can also determined using the results of Cone Penetration Tests

(CPT’s). Originally CPT’s were carried out with a mechanical mantle cone. In 1952 a friction

sleeve was introduced to measure the so called local friction. Begemann established that the ratio

of local friction and cone resistance, the friction ratio, is related to the soil type. Nowadays CPT’s

are carried out with an electrical friction sleeve cone. The friction ratios of local friction and cone

resistance measured with this equipment range from approx. 1% for fine sand to approx. 4% for

clay. The friction ratio of peat can be as high as 10%.

64

It should be noted that with the mechanical cone the cone resistance and local friction are

discontinuously recorded at 200 mm intervals. With the electrical cone recording of data is semi-

continuous with extremely short time/depth intervals. Furthermore, the shape of the mechanical

cone is not the same as the shape of the electrical cone, as can be seen in figure 41. The recorded

cone resistance and local friction with the two cones at a certain depth are therefore not exactly

the same. The friction ratio for fine sand determined with the mechanical cone can be around 2%,

while the friction ratio determined with the electrical cone usually not exceeds 1.3% as

determined with the electrical cone. Differences in friction ratios determined with the two types

of cone are much smaller for clay and peat.

friction sleeve

friction sleeve

cone

cone

The positive skin friction can be derived from the measured local friction. However, it appears

that the cone resistance can generally more accurately be determined than the local friction. For

the calculation of the positive skin friction the recorded cone resistances are therefore used. The

calculation is similar to the determination of the pile point resistance. The positive skin friction is

determined as follows:

65

q s = α s qc

where:

αs [-] friction factor see table II with Dutch experience

qc [kN/m2] recorded cone resistance, where by values higher than 15000 kN/m2

that occur over a depth range more than 1 m have been limited tot

15000 kN/m2 and values higher than 12000 kN/m2 that occur over a

depth range of less than 1 m have been limited to 12000 kN/m2.

[-]

driven straight sided precast concrete pile and 0.010

close ended steel pipe piles

steel sections, open pipe piles, continuous 0.006

flight auger piles and bored piles

Table II Maximum values of αs in sand and gravely sand

where

1) The values are valid for very fine to coarse sand, (105 µm <Median<600 µm). For very

coarse sand with M> 600 µm and gravel with a M> 2 mm, reduction factors of 0.75 and

0.5 respectively must be applied to αs.

The value of αs in table II can safely used for clay and silt, in reality values for clay and silt layers

will be higher. In peat the positive skin friction should be neglected because of is unreliable

nature and there are extremely large deformations needed to mobilise this the ultimate skin

friction.

l

F + = ∑ q s × C ×∆l

0

where:

l [m] length of pile in soil that contributes to positive skin friction

C [m] circumference of pile shaft.

Safety factors

The current engineering practise in the Netherlands for compression piles, the pile point is always

calculated using the Koppejan method and the shaft resistance is also calculated by using the cone

resistance. The factor of safety is for both the same value and it depends on:

2. The type of structure and the number of piles: is the construction stiff and strong enough

to redistribute the load if one of the piles is failing?

3. The heterogeneity of the soil.

4. Type of load: constant or variable load.

66

For compression piles the range of the safety factor Fs generally in the range of 2-2.5. In very

special situations when all above 4 components are very favourable it can be even less than 2.

This lecture note considers compression piles. Tension piles behave totally different and one

should not apply the calculation method, friction factors and safety factors for compression piles

for the design of tension piles. Some examples of the differences in behaviour of compression

piles and tension piles:

1. Due to the progressive (brittle) type of failure during tension conditions the factor of

safety has to be taken higher ranging form 2.5 for static load up to 3.75 piles where the

load alternates form full compression to full tension.

2. The friction factor for tension (αt) is about 30% lower then the friction factor for

compression (αs).

3. In case of simultaneous loaded piles in a pile group the tension capacity is significantly

lower than for a single tension pile because the effective stress in between de piles is

reduced due to the upward movement of the piles in tension conditions. Furthermore,

exhibit pile groups a physical upper limit of the group capacity equal to the weight of the

soil in between the piles of the group.

D. Calculation by theory

A fourth, maybe the best method, to compute the bearing capacity of a friction pile is by theory

using the so-called slip method. In this method the maximum friction along the pile is:

τ p

f = a ′ + σ ′h tan ∂ ′ (21)

where:

σ′h [kN/m2] the effective horizontal stress exerted by the soil to the pile at any depth

∂′ [°] the angle of friction between pile material and soil

a' [kN/m2] the adhesion between pile material and soil.

This friction is developed if the loaded pile moves downwards a little relative to the surrounding

soil. This friction is called positive. Negative friction also exists and will be discussed hereafter.

The friction F in a layer of a small height dh is:

F = Ac × τ pf (22)

Ac = dh × A

where:

AC [m2] the surface of the pile in contact with the soil over the height dh

A [m2] the unit area of the cross section of the pile.

The total friction Ft is obtained by taking the sum of the friction F in each layer dh of the total

height (depth) h of contact between pile and soil.

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