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Load transfer mechanisms in 17 test piles are evaluated by means of an extensive monitoring program during full-scale load testing and are compared with behavior computed by a displacement compatibility analysis. H-piles, Raymond step taper piles, auger-cast piles, and steel pipe piles were tested, in many cases to failure. These piles were installed at a power generating station in saprolites of the Piedmont Province of Georgia. Deflection was measured at the butt of each pile and at the tip and one or two intermediate levels in most piles by means of telltales. A boring and laboratory testing program was an integral part of the program. Load transfer mechanisms are evaluated by means of a displacement compatibility analysis using results of the field and laboratory investigations. Good agreement between computed pile behavior and that determined by the monitoring program during load testing is demonstrated. The results of the monitoring program and the enhanced understanding of the load transfer mechanisms involved make a comparison of the effectiveness of the various pile types possible and allow development of rational installation criteria.
piles, load tests, shear tests, skin friction, end bearing, load transfer, geotechnical engineering
Project Manager, Law Engineering Testing Co., Marietta, Ga.