Evaluation of the Ultimate Capacity of Friction Piles


The precise prediction of maximum load carrying capacity of bored piles is a complex problem because the load is a function of a large number of factors. These factors include method of boring, method of concreting, quality of concrete, expertise of the construction staff, the ground conditions and the pile geometry. To ascertain the field performance and estimate load carrying capacities of piles, in-situ pile load tests are conducted. Due to practical and time constraints, it is not possible to load the pile up-to failure. In this study, field pile load test data is analyzed to estimate the ultimate load for friction piles. The analysis is based on three pile load test results. The tests are conducted at the site of The Cultural and Recreational Complex project in Port Said, Egypt. Three pile load tests are performed on bored piles of 900 mm diameter and 50 m length. Geotechnical investigations at the site are carried out to a maximum depth of 60 m. Ultimate capacities of piles are determined according to different methods including Egyptian Code of practice (2005), Tan-gent-tangent, Hansen (1963), Chin (1970), Ahmed and Pise (1997) and Decourt (1999). It was concluded that approxi- mately 8% of the ultimate load is resisted by bearing at the base of the pile, and that up to 92% of the load is resisted by friction along the shaft. Based on a comparison of pile capacity predictions using different method, recommendations are made. A new method is proposed to calculate the ultimate capacity of the pile from pile load test data. The ultimate capacity of the bored piles predicted using the proposed method appears to be reliable and compares well to different available methods.

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W. Elsamee, "Evaluation of the Ultimate Capacity of Friction Piles," Engineering, Vol. 4 No. 11, 2012, pp. 778-789. doi: 10.4236/eng.2012.411100.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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