DFI Journal - The Journal of the Deep Foundations Institute

Volume 4, Issue 2, January 2010

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Large Scale Lateral Testing of Pile Foundations (Young Professor Paper Competition 2010)

Anne Lemnitzer, Ph.D


Full-Scale cyclic field testing was performed on a 3x3 pile group consisting of nine cast-in-drilledhole (CIDH) reinforced concrete shafts and a comparable single-shaft in order to investigate group interaction effects. Both specimens were constructed with pile diameters of d = 0.61m (2 ft), fixed head boundary conditions, and placed in stiff clayey soil at a test site near the LAX Airport in Southern California. Internal instrumentation was installed in the single pile as well as in three piles within the pile group to obtain pile curvatures. External instrumentation controlled the lateral displacement of the specimens. A combination of experimentally and analytically obtained p-y curves for the single pile was used to simulate results for piles located in the group when field data were not available. All test specimens were tested to structural failure and excavated after test completion to investigate pile damage and plastic hinge formations. Calculated group interaction factors ranged between 1.0 at very small displacement levels of <2.5 mm (0.1 in), 0.8 at the initiation of the pile-soil-pile interaction, i.e. between 4 mm - 15 mm (0.16-0.6 in), and increased towards 0.9 near structural failure (displacement >25 mm or 1 in). A literature set of p-multipliers was found to reproduce an accurate fit to the available load displacement test data from the group.

Lateral Loads, Pile Group, Large Scale Testing