Downdrag on Bitumen-Coated Piles

by Mohsen M. Baligh, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Massachusetts Inst. of Tech., Cambridge, Mass.,
Heinrich Figi, Research Asst. in Civ. Engrg.; Massachusetts Inst. of Tech., Cambridge, Mass.,
Vitoon Vivatrat, Supervising Geotechnical Engr.; Brian Watt Assocs., Inc., Houston, Tex.; formerly, Research Asst. in Civ. Engrg., MIT, Cambridge, Mass.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1978, Vol. 104, Issue 11, Pg. 1355-1370

Document Type: Journal Paper


The performance of bitumen-coated piles in a number of case histories shows that bitumen coatings can be used effectively to reduce negative skin friction on piles. The shearing behavior of coated steel piles subjected to downdrag loads is investigated by means of laboratory tests. Based on the test results, a method for predicting downdrag loads on bitumen-coated piles is developed, and the important factors controlling coating effectiveness are identified. Predictions are than compared to field measurements.

Subject Headings: Steel piles | Pile tests | Load tests | Load factors | Piles | Case studies | Coating | Asphalts

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