Volume 35, Issue 4 (July 2012)
Estimation of Ultimate Lateral Load Capacity of Piles in Sands Using Calibration Chamber Tests
Current practice for the estimation of the ultimate lateral load capacity of piles is typically based on the vertical effective stress σ′v, while the effect of the lateral effective stress σ′h is not specifically considered. In the present study, calibration chamber lateral pile load tests are conducted to investigate the load response and ultimate lateral load capacity Hu of laterally loaded piles under various soil and stress conditions. In order to determine Hu from load-deflection curves, different criteria are explored and analyzed. From the test results, it is shown that Hu increases significantly with increasing σ′h for a given σ′v. It is also found that lateral deflection of pile at ultimate state tends to increase as the relative density and lateral stress increase. On the basis of the test results, the lateral stress correction factor reflecting the effect of the lateral effective stress σ′h on Hu is proposed. From the test results, it is seen that the proposed procedure using the lateral stress correction factor produces more realistic estimation of Hu. Case examples are selected from the literature and used to compare results measured and predicted using the proposed approach.