DFI Journal - The Journal of the Deep Foundations Institute

Volume 6, Issue 1, January 2012
DOI: 10.1179/dfi.2012.004

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Installation and Performance Characteristics of High Capacity Helical Piles in Cohesive Soils
Article Type: Research Paper

Sakr, M.


This paper presents the results of a full-scale axial compression and tension (uplift) testing program executed on large-capacity helical piles installed in very stiff to very hard clay till soils (i.e. cohesive soils). A total of ten tests including six axial compression tests and four tension (uplift) tests were carried out. The results of the axial compressive and tensile pile load tests and field monitoring of helical piles with either a single helix or double helix are presented in this paper. Helical piles are traditionally used to support light to medium loads (i.e. loads up to 500 kN or 56 tons). However the results of the present study confirmed that helical piles can support significantly higher axial compressive loads up to 2450 kN or 275 tons, which is about 5 times traditional design loads. The study also demonstrated the high tensile capacities of helical piles which was as high as 85% of their compressive capacity. Hence helical piles can provide a viable design option for foundations supporting relatively heavy loads.

full scale axial compression, helical piles, cohesive soils, tensile pile load test