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 June 2007
Tech News

Extensive Revision and Proposed New Standard Among Latest Soil and Rock Committee Activities

An extensively revised standard and a proposed new standard are among the latest activities pursued by ASTM International Committee D18 on Soil and Rock. Subcommittee D18.11 on Deep Foundations has completed revisions to D 1143, Test Method for Testing Piles Under Static Axial Compressive Load, while Subcommittee D18.25 on Erosion and Sediment Control Technology is now working on proposed new standard WK13229, Test Method for Determination of Hydraulically Applied Fiber Matrix Performance in Protecting Hill Slopes from Rainfall-Induced Erosion.

Load test of auger cast pile using adjacent piles for reaction in Gainesville, Fla.

ASTM meeting and staff manager contact information for Committee D18 can be found at the end of this article.

D 1143, Test Method for Testing Piles Under Static Axial Compressive Load

D 1143 covers procedures for testing vertical or inclined deep foundations individually or in groups to determine the axial deflection in response to a static axial compressive load. Subcommittee D18.11 has recently approved an extensive revision of D 1143 that reflects the latest technology used for these purposes.

“The test apparatus used in this practice has improved significantly in accuracy and capability, but D 1143 had not reflected this,” says Paul

Bullock, Ph.D., senior engineer, GRL Engineers, and D18.11 chair. “Deep foundation elements have also gotten bigger and may now support loads in excess of 1,000 tons for larger structures. So the standard of care needed to obtain good test results for design purposes has also been elevated. The previous version probably contemplated maximum loads in the range of 500 tons. Also, we needed to maintain backward compatibility with these lightly loaded foundations that likely still comprise the bulk of the tests performed.”

Bullock notes that the new version of D 1143 has been thoroughly updated, with paring of outdated information, inclusion of newer instrumentation, consideration of SI units, and reorganization to the current D18 format and caveats.

The following are the biggest changes to D 1143, according to Bullock:

• Requirement for the use of a load cell instead of relying solely on a jack pressure calibration for loads above 900 kN (100 tons);
• Strong encouragement to obtain a failure load, which helps economize the foundation design, rather than just testing to twice a conservatively computed estimate of the design load; and
• Extension of method to include newer types of deep foundations like auger cast piles and any type of foundation that behaves similarly to a driven pile.

Geotechnical and structural engineers, building code officials, and state, military and federal agencies are among those who regularly use D 1143.

“This test provides the ‘ground’ truth for deep foundation capacity,” says Bullock. “There are other tests that provide similar results for design purposes, but they provide only estimates of static capacity, not the actual value. This test checks the veracity of the design process.”

In addition to the D 1143 revision, Bullock says that D18.11 is working on a revision of D 4945, Test Method for High-Strain Dynamic Testing of Piles, as well as proposed new standards on the statnamic test and the Osterberg cell.


Technical Information: Paul Bullock, GRL Engineers, Gainesville, Fla.
Phone: 352/372-9905

WK13229, Test Method for Determination of Hydraulically Applied Fiber Matrix Performance in Protecting Hill Slopes from Rainfall-Induced Erosion

Subcommittee D18.25 is seeking participation in the ongoing development of WK13229, particularly from testing laboratories and tackifier manufacturers/importers.

WK13229 covers the guidelines, requirements and procedures for evaluating the ability of hydraulically applied fiber matrix to protect hill slopes from rainfall-induced erosion. For this protection to happen effectively, the fiber matrix needs to be able to:

• Absorb the impact force of raindrops, thereby reducing soil particle loosening through splash mechanisms;
• Slow runoff and encourage infiltration, in order to reduce soil particle displacement and transport through overland flow mechanisms;
• Absorb shear forces of overland flow; and
• Trap soil particles.

“Some manufacturers of hydraulically applied fiber matrix products are comparing performance and properties of these products to that of rolled erosion control products without any common testing protocols,” says Lee Johnson, a member of D18.25 and an erosion and sediment control specialist at Bowman Construction Supply. “This is causing a lot of confusion by specifiers between these two types of products as well as the inability to compare hydraulically applied fiber matrix products themselves.” WK13229 will help to alleviate this confusion by providing a test that can be used exclusively with hydraulically applied fiber matrix products. //


Technical Information: Lee Johnson, Bowman Construction Company
Phone: 303/389-9534

ASTM Staff: Robert Morgan
Phone: 610/832-9732

Upcoming Meeting:
June 24-27
June Committee Week
Norfolk, Va.