The authors have developed a novel, laboratory-scale testing system to study tangential heave stress acting on a steel pile during frost heave of freezing soils, and this article presents the details of the testing system, experimental procedure, and experimental results. The tangential heave testing system developed in this study consists of (1) an environmental chamber, (2) a frost heave box, (3) a constant-head water supply system, (4) the test soil, (5) the model pile, (6) a data acquisition system, and (7) an imaging system. The model pile and test soil are instrumented with strain gauges, thermocouples, moisture sensors, and displacement gauges to investigate various aspects of pile-ice-soil interactions. Experimental results demonstrate that the newly developed lab-scale testing system successfully simulates heaving of the pile and soil during the soil freezing process and provides a wealth of information on thermo-mechanical behavior of the model pile, particularly for evaluation of tangential heave stress.
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