Analysis on bearing performance of Y-shaped piles under compressive and tensile loading
2019 ICE Publishing: All rights reserved. Y-shaped piles, characterised by three concave arches, are adopted in practice as they exhibit advantages over conventional circular piles. To facilitate their practical design, eight model tests were conducted in dry sand on Y-shaped piles (Y 1 and Y 2) and circular cross-sectional piles (C 1 with the same section area A p as pile Y 2 and C 2 with larger A p but the same perimeter as Y 2). Under compressive or tensile load, the tests provided load-settlement (displacement) data and the distributions of resistance along the pile shaft and at the pile base. The tests revealed the expansion (compressive loading) and contraction (tensile loading) effects on the pile capacity for the Y-shaped sections. Pile Y 2 had a 70% larger ultimate capacity than pile C 1. It induced a shaft resistance over 100% larger than that of C 1 and 15% larger than that of C 2. The ratio of ultimate tensile capacity to ultimate capacity (about 0·15) of the short Y-shaped piles was much lower than that of in situ piles. A simple expression considering shape effects was established to estimate the ultimate capacity of a pile under compressive loading and the results compared well with the model tests. Compared with the circular piles, the Y-shaped piles showed increases of 15% and 30% in shaft and base resistance, respectively, for compressive loading.