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ENCE 461
Foundation Analysis and

Lateral Loading of Piles

Design of Deep Foundations
Sources of Lateral Loading
z Earth pressures on z River current and mud
retaining walls movement loads in
z Wind Loads alluvial settings
(foundations subject
z Seismic Loads to scour)
z Impact Loads from z Ocean wave forces
Ships (Berthing, Pier
Collision, etc. z Slope movements

z Eccentric Loads on z Cable forces on

Columns transmission towers
Axial and
Lateral Loads
Batter Piles
z Basically turn lateral
loads into axial loads
z Present challenges in
driving and testing
z Form a very stiff
system than can pose
problems in seismic
z Very common
solution to lateral
Analytic Methods for Lateral
z Rigid Methods (Broms)
z Used for light weight short foundations
z Same limitations as rigid methods for mat foundations
z Depth to Fixity Methods (Davisson)
z Only considers a certain depth as flexible
z Structural engineers could analyse the foundation as a
structure once the depth of fixity was known
z Too simplistic
z Finite Element Analysis
z p-y curves
Lateral Failure
Short vs. Long Foundations

Dividing Line:
Timber D/B = 20
Steel or Concrete D/B = 35
Long Foundations

Short Foundations (Rigid)

Compression of Soil in Lateral

Suction on the load side

Additional stress on the far side
p-y Curves
Take into
nonlinear soil
characteristics (as
opposed to Winkler
Properly require a
computer solution
solutions available for
common problems
Development of p-y Curves
z Empirical Data
z Based on actual lateral load tests, either on the job site
itself or on controlled field tests
z Computer Programs
z Model the lateral deflection of the pile as a function of
z Take into consideration non-linear soil response
z Can be difficult to use
z Non dimensional methods based on computer
results or empirical data
z Not as accurate as program, but suitable for estimates
or smaller projects
Typical p-y Curve

Evans and Duncan Charts
z Based on the COM624G program
z Reduce the variables to nondimensional form
z Advantages
z Analyses can be done quickly and simply
z Can determine load-deflection characteristics directly
z Assumptions
z Constant EI, su, or , and for depth of pile
z Foundation is long enough to be considered fixed at
the toe ("long foundation" criterion)
Evans and Duncan Equations
z Characteristic shear and moment equations
p n
V c = B ER I
p n
M c = B ER I
Evans and Duncan Equations
Stiffness ratio RI I
RI = 4
z R = 1 for circular cross-sections
I 64
z RI = 1.7 for solid square cross sections
z (based on soil's stress-strain behaviour)
z 1 for plastic clay and sand
z 0.14n for brittle clay (residual strength << peak
Evans and Duncan Equations
z Vc = characteristic shear load
z Mc = characteristic moment load
z B = diameter of foundation
z E = modulus of elasticity of foundation
z p = representative passive pressure of soil
p = 4.2 s u (clay )
(sand )
p = 2 C p B tan 45 +
Evans and Duncan Equations
z 50 = axial strain at which 50% of the soil
strength is mobilised
z Soft clay, 0.02
z Medium clay, 0.01
z Stiff clay, 0.005
z Medium dense sand with little or no mica, 0.002
z I = moment of inertia of foundation
z su = undrained shear strength of soil
z ' = effective friction angle (degrees)
z Both su and ' from ground surface to a depth of 8B
Evans and Duncan Equations
z Cp = passive pressure factor = '/10
z = unit weight of soil from ground surface to a
depth of 8B
z Use a weighted average of both wet and buoyant
z m, n = exponents
z Vc, clay: m = 0.683, n = -0.22
z Mc, clay: m = 0.46, n = -0.15
z Vc, sand: m = 0.57, n = -0.22
z Mc, sand: m = 0.40, n = -0.15
Evans and Duncan Example
z Given z Solution
z Concrete Pile
z Restrained head z = 1 (sand); RI = 1.7
60' long, 12" square
(square pile)
z f'c = 6000 psi
z Shear load = 20 kips z Cp = 36/10 = 3.6
z Soil: Sand, ' = 36 deg., = 120
pcf z
Groundwater table at depth of 40' '
(sand )
p = 2 C p B tan 2 45 +
z Find 2
z Lateral deflection of the pile top p = 23.1 psi
z Maximum moment at pile top
z E = 4,400,000 psi
(concrete @ 6000 psi)
Evans and Duncan Example
z Compute characteristic shear force and moment
p n
V c = B ER I
23.1 0.22
V c = 1 12 2 4,400,000 1.7 0.002
4,400,000 1.7
V c = 3,056,000 lbs.
V 20,000
= = 0.0065
Vc 3,056,000
Evans and Duncan Example
z Charts for Evans and Duncan Method
z Shear Load vs. Lateral Deflection Curves
z Clay, Free Head Condition
z Clay, Restrained Head Condition
z Sand, Free Head Condition
z Sand, Restrained Head Condition
z Moment Load vs. Lateral Deflection Curves for Free
Head Condition
z Clay, Free Head Condition
z Sand, Free Head Condition
Evans and Duncan Example
z Charts for Evans and Duncan Method
z Shear Load vs. Maximum Moment Condition
z Clay, Free Head Condition
z Clay, Restrained Head Condition
z Sand, Free Head Condition
z Sand, Restrained Head Condition
Evans and Duncan Example
z Using Shear Load vs. Lateral Deflection chart,
compute pile head deflection

V/Vc = 0.0065

yt/B = 0.015
yt = (0.015)(12) = 0.18"
Evans and
Duncan Example
V/Vc = 0.0065

M = (0.0041)(205,200,000) = 841,000 in-lb

M/Mc = 0.0041

z Compute characteristic
pile head moment
p n
M c = B ER I
23.1 0.15
M c = 1 12 3 4,400,000 1.7 0.002
4,400,000 1.7
M c = 205,200,00 0 in - lb
Group Effects with Lateral Piles
z Group effects are important with laterally loaded
piles as they are with axial ones
z The effect is usually called the PSPI (pile-soil-
pile-interaction), or shadow effect
z The soil stress created by lateral loads around one pile
will extend to the pile's neighbours, depending upon
the distance between the piles and the level of stress
z The lateral capacity of each pile is generally degraded
by this effect
z Methods of solution use p-y curve methods and
consider spacings and pile deflections
Lateral Load Verification
z Full-scale lateral load tests
z As with axial tests, slow and expensive, but the best
way to determine lateral load capacity
z Always a reaction test
z Can be used to back calculate p-y curves
z Model lateral load tests
z Conditions are controlled, but extrapolation is difficult
z Lateral Statnamic Tests
z Only used as an impact load test
Improving Lateral Load
Design of Deep
Service loads and allowable
Subsurface investigations
Type of Foundation
Lateral and Axial Load Capacity
Structural Design
Seismic Design
Verification and Redesign
Integrity Testing
Service loads and allowable
z Most important step
z Loads can include
z Axial loads (live or dead, tensile or compressive)
z Lateral loads (live or dead)
z Moment loads
z Should be combined both as unfactored loads
(ASD) or factored loads (LRFD)
z Allowable settlements should be determined by
structural engineer
Subsurface investigations
z For deep foundations, the subsurface
investigations are generally more intensive and
z Exploratory borings must extend well below the
toe elevation, which may have to be altered after
initial calculations
z Investigations assist in determining the type of
foundation that should be used
z Use data from deep foundations that have already
been installed in the vicinity (capacity and
Type of Foundation
z Type of Foundation is influenced by:
z Design Loads
z Subsurface Conditions
z Constructibility
z Reliability
z Cost
z Availability of materials, equipment and expertise
z Local experience and precedent
Lateral and Axial Load Capacity
z Lateral Loads
z Frequently dictate the diameter (section modulus) of
the foundation, so should be considered first, if present
z p-y curves are the best way of determining lateral
z Large diameter piles may also be necessary for scour
z Batter piles are also a typical way of dealing with
lateral loads, but can pose rigidity problems in seismic
z Seismic retrofits are a common application of laterally
loaded piles
Lateral and Axial Load Capacity
z Axial loads
z Analytic methods should be performed first, although
their limitations should be understood
z Analysis should include considerations of allowable
load, allowable settlement, and group effects
(including block failure)
z Ideally, a static load test on test piles should be done;
however, if economic or other factors make this
impractical, other methods such as Osterberg Tests,
CAPWAP, or Statnamic should be considered
z Blow count specifications using a wave equation
analysis are acceptable on smaller projects
z Piles that cannot be driven cannot be used to
support loads; thus, drivability is an important
consideration with driven piles
z Wave equation methods are ideal to use for
drivability studies
z Deep foundations must be designed and analysed
to meet criteria for
z Reasonable cost
z Sufficient capacity
z Possible drivability
Structural Design
z Once the geotechnical analysis is done, the
structural engineer can proceed with the
structural design
z Structural design involves both the structural
capacity of the deep foundations themselves and
the pile caps and connecting members that are
above these members
z Plans and specifications presented for bid should
be complete and unambiguous
Seismic Design
z In seismically active areas, earthquake
occurrence must be taken into consideration
z Liquefaction of soils is a major cause of failure
during seismic events
z Deep foundations can be installed beyond liquefying
soils in some cases
z Soil improvement is necessary in others
z Most direct seismic loads on foundations are
lateral ones so lateral load analysis is important
for seismic resistance
z Batter piles tend to be too rigid for seismic loads
Special Considerations
z Scour
z Scour is an important consideration for bridges over
rivers or other bodies of water with consistent currents
z Loss of supporting soil at the head of the deep
foundation must be considered when designing for
z Downdrag
z Compression of soil by overburden around piles
creates downdrag on piles
z This is dealt with either by design or by treatment of
the surface of the pile
Verification and Redesign
z Redesign during construction is to be avoided but
is sometimes necessary due to differences in the
subsurface conditions between what was
estimated and what actually takes place
z Dynamic testing (Case Method, CAPWAP) is a
useful tool to evaluate the need for redesign but
must be used with good judgement
z Drilled shafts and the cuttings from boring
should be inspected before and during the
placement of concrete
Integrity Testing
z Integrity testing includes methods such as
z Sonic logging
z Nuclear logging
z Vibration analysis
z Stress-wave propagation (PIT)
z Tomography
z Especially important with drilled shafts where
quality control is critical