Bearing Capacity of Piles in Cohesionless Soils

by R. L. Nordlund,


Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1963, Vol. 89, Issue 3, Pg. 1-36


Document Type: Journal Paper

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Abstract: A method of computing the ultimate bearing capacity of a pile driven into cohesionless soils is derived empirically from a large number of load-test programs, wherein each program involves various types of piles all loaded to failure. Although the curve fitting aspect of the solution is empirical, the form of the solution is based on theoretical considerations. Consideration of such factors as pile taper, roughness and shape of the pile surface and volume of the pile, as well as those factors normally considered, differentiates this method from attempts along similar lines. A comparison of computed and observed ultimate bearing capacities reveals good agreement. The method of computation checked with some load tests reported elsewhere shows good correlation. Variations in the factors pile taper, roughness of pile surface, and volume of pile cause significant variations in the ultimate bearing capacity of a pile. For economical design of pile foundations, such factors should be considered.

Subject Headings: Load bearing capacity | Cohesionless soils | Load tests | Driven piles | Empirical equations | Failure loads | Hydraulic roughness

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