Volume 34, Issue 6 (November 2011)
Experimental Investigation of the Combined Load Response of Model Piles Driven in Sand
Although the load applied on a pile is usually a combination of a vertical and a lateral load, there have been few studies done on the response of piles subjected to combined loading; these studies; in addition, produce results that are inconsistent with respect to the effects of axial loads on the lateral load response of piles. In this paper, we present the results of model pile load tests performed to assess the influence of axial loads on the lateral response of piles driven in sand. Using a drop hammer, an instrumented circular model pile was driven into large-scale sand samples prepared in a cylindrical steel tank with various densities using a pluviation method. Lateral load tests were performed on the model pile subjected to different axial loads. The combined load test results showed that the presence of an axial load on a driven pile is detrimental to its lateral capacity, for the lateral deflection of the model pile head increased with increasing axial load. The bending moments at the pile head increased substantially (by 10 %, 36 % and 39 % for loose, medium dense and dense sand, respectively) in the presence of axial loads.