American Society of Civil Engineers


Settlement Ratio of Pile Groups in Sandy Soils from Field Load Tests


by Y. Xu, (Res. Asst., Dept. of Civ. Engrg., The Hong Kong Univ. of Sci. and Technol., Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong. E-mail: xuyao@ust.hk) and L. M. Zhang, (corresponding author), M.ASCE, (Assoc. Prof., Dept. of Civ. Engrg., The Hong Kong Univ. of Sci. and Technol., Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong E-mail: cezhangl@ust.hk)

Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, Vol. 133, No. 8, August 2007, pp. 1048-1054, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)1090-0241(2007)133:8(1048))

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Document type: Technical Note
Discussion: by William J. Neely, P.E. E-mail: wneely@reinforcedearth.com    (See full record)
Closure:(See full record)
Abstract: This note studies settlement ratio, Rs, of pile groups in sandy soils, defined as the ratio of the settlement of a pile group to that of a single pile at the same average load per pile. 31 cases of field pile-group load tests and the corresponding field single-pile load tests were collected for this study. More than one-half of the cases consist of 3-diameter spaced, 9-pile groups. Based on the field test data, statistical analyses of Rs at different load levels were conducted for pile groups with cap-ground contact (PGCs) and pile groups with freestanding caps (PGFs), respectively. The mean of Rs decreases with the load level for both PGCs and PGFs, whereas the coefficient of variation of Rs increases with the load level. The influence of cap-ground contact on Rs does not appear to be significant based on a comparison of the mean Rs values of these PGCs and PGFs. In addition, a comparative study on Rs and group resistance ratio Rs, which is defined as the ratio of the average resistance of a pile in a group to that of a single pile at the same settlement, was conducted to clarify possible misunderstanding between Rsand pile group efficiency factor η for driven pile groups in sandy soils. The value of Rs compares settlement at the working load and is often larger than unity. The value of η compares failure loads, which occur at different settlements for pile groups and their respective single piles. η is usually larger than unity due to soil densification and additional contributions from the cap-ground contact for PGCs.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Load bearing capacity
Pile foundations
Pile groups
Pile tests
Sand (soil type)
Serviceability
Settlement