American Society of Civil Engineers

Improved Evaluation of Interface Friction on Steel Pipe Pile in Sand

by Feng Yu, (corresponding author), (Associate Professor, School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Zhejiang Sci-Tech Univ., Hangzhou 310018, China. E-mail: and Jun Yang, M.ASCE, (Associate Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering, The Univ. of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, China. E-mail:

Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, Vol. 26, No. 2, March/April 2012, pp. 170-179, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Special Issue: Performance of Transportation Infrastructure
Abstract: Open-ended steel pipe piles are now widely used as the foundations for offshore structures. The pile-soil interface behavior is of particular interest in sands where shaft friction plays an important role in resisting the applied load. The rational design of the shaft capacity depends on a good understanding of the mechanisms of interface friction during pile installation and static loading. There are two new methods on the basis of the cone penetration test results that take into account the effect of friction fatigue arising from pile installation. An improvement is made in this study to account for the influence of plugging degree, which is a key issue for open-ended piles. The significance of the modified design framework lies in that it allows for the role of plugging in a more rational way by using the soil-squeezing ratio that is closely related to the radial effective stress and, consequently, the shaft capacity. The performance of the improved method is assessed against the existing methods in terms of evaluating the shaft resistance of two full-scale offshore bridge piles.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Pipe piles
Steel piles
Sand (soil type)
Cone penetration tests
Case studies

Author Keywords:
Steel pipe piles
Cone penetration test
Shaft capacity
Friction fatigue
Case history