DFI Journal - The Journal of the Deep Foundations Institute

Volume 6, Issue 1, January 2012
DOI: 10.1179/dfi.2012.005

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Results of Dynamic and Static Load Tests on Helical Piles in the Varved Clay of Massachusetts
Article Type: Research Paper

Beim, J. & Luna, S. C.


Helical Piles are increasingly being used to support and rehabilitate structures subjected to compressive axial loads. Traditionally, empirical correlations between installation torque and load capacity of helical screw piles are used as the field quality control. Load tests, however, are always recommended to validate the installation process and design methodology. This paper describes a test program performed on helical piles installed at the National Geotechnical Experimentation Site of the University of Massachusetts - Amherst campus (Umass-Amherst), well known for its deep varved clay deposit. Seven of these piles were submitted to Dynamic Load Tests using the Pile Driving Analyzer® (PDA), and also to Static Load Tests. Good agreements were obtained between the results of the dynamic and static load tests, encouraging the use of the former testing method as a viable alternative to the latter for determining the compressive load capacity of helical piles installed in cohesive soils. The results of the load tests were also compared to the predictions based on torque correlations, resulting in correlation coefficients which were higher than the ones traditionally used.

helical piles, compressive axial loads, static load tests, dynamic load tests, PDA