Learning From Pile Driving Failures: Out of Sight Can't be Out of Mind

by Don Brown, P.E., Ph.D., (M.ASCE), senior principal engineer at Dan Brown and Associates, PC, specialists in deep foundations and earth retention, located in Sequatchie, TN, dbrown@dba.world,
, D.GE

Serial Information: Geo-Strata —Geo Institute of ASCE, 2020, Vol. 24, Issue 3, Pg. 48-53

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: The design of driven pile foundations for static service and strength limit state loading conditions is meaningless if the piles cannot be driven to the required depth and nominal resistance without sustaining structural damage. To be drivable, piles must have sufficient stiffness to transmit large enough driving forces to overcome soil resistance, and they must have sufficient structural strength to withstand driving forces without damage. To mitigate most structural pile failures due to driving stress during installation, engineers use wave equation modeling, coupled with dynamic measurements during driving. However, some structural failure modes of piling due to overstress are not evident using these tools. This article presents some case history examples and provides foundation engineers with insight on the design of driven piles for driving stress.

Subject Headings: Pile foundations | Foundation design | Driven piles | Load and resistance factor design | Structural strength | Pile driving | Failure analysis | Soil strength


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