Field investigation of the axial resistance of helical piles in dense sand
Gavin, K and Doherty, P and Tolooiyan, A, Field investigation of the axial resistance of helical piles in dense sand, Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 51, (11) pp. 1343-1354. ISSN 0008-3674 (2014) [Refereed Article]
This paper presents the results of compression and tension load tests performed on a single helical pile installed in dense sand. The pile was instrumented using strain gauges that allowed the shaft and base load resistance to be separated and the distribution of shaft resistance along the pile during the test to be determined. The pile was loaded first in compression, with a maintained load test, followed by a constant rate of penetration load test being performed to assess the effects of creep on the pile’s response to compression loading. The pile was then loaded in tension using a maintained load test procedure. Finite element analyses were performed using Abaqus and these helped to provide additional insights to explain the response of the instrumented pile during loading. The test showed that during compression loading, substantial bearing pressures developed beneath the pile helix, which provided the majority of axial load resistance. During tension loading, uplift pressure mobilized on the helix again provided the majority of axial resistance. The strain gauges suggested that the pile load response to compression loading was ductile. During tension loading, the pile response was brittle. Whilst load tests performed on only one instrumented pile test are presented, the use of instrumentation and finite element analyses allowed important insights into the load–displacement response of helical piles.
helical piles, field testing, finite element analysis