Performance of laterally loaded piles considering soil and interface parameters



Publication Details

Fatahi, B., Basack, S., Ryan, P., Zhou, W. & Khabbaz, H. (2014). Performance of laterally loaded piles considering soil and interface parameters. Geomechanics and Engineering, 7 (5), 495-524.


To investigate the soil-pile interactive performance under lateral loads, a set of laboratory model tests was conducted on remoulded test bed of soft clay and medium dense sand. Then, a simplified boundary element analysis had been carried out assuming floating pile. In case of soft clay, it has been observed that lateral loads on piles can initiate the formation of a gap, soil heave and the tension crack in the vicinity of the soil surface and the interface, whereas in medium dense sand, a semi-elliptical depression zone can develop. Comparison of test and boundary element results indicates the accuracy of the solution developed. However, in the boundary element analysis, the possible shear stresses likely to be developed at the interface are ignored in order to simplify the existing complex equations. Moreover, it is unable to capture the influence of base restraint in case of a socketed pile. To bridge up this gap and to study the influence of the initial stress state and interface parameters, a field based case-study of laterally-loaded pile in layered soil with socketed tip is explored and modelled using the finite element method. The results of the model have been verified against known field measurements from a case-study. Parametric studies have been conducted to investigate the influence of the coefficient of lateral earth pressure and the interface strength reduction factor on the results of the model.

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