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SERVICE SHEET BI-DIRECTIONAL LOAD TESTING

BI-DIRECTIONAL LOAD TESTING


The Osterberg Cell® (O-Cell®) is the premier method of static load
testing for drilled shafts and piles. Through research and hard work,
Loadtest has redefined the science of load testing with the O-cell.

No job is too big or too small to enjoy the O-CELL TECHNOLOGY


advantages of the Osterberg Cell. To date, Dr. Jorj O. Osterberg, Professor Emeritus of
Loadtest has conducted thousands of Civil Engineering at Northwestern University,
successful O-Cell tests in over 60 countries. invented and developed the Osterberg Cell, or
Numerous world records for load testing have O-Cell, to meet the construction industry’s
been set using the O-Cell including the need for an innovative, effective method for
current world record of 72,600 kips set in testing high-capacity drilled shafts and piles.
Louisville, Kentucky in 2013. Many ultra-high No longer do engineers need to rely on small,
capacity piles and mono-piles are being scaled down test shafts due to the enormous
designed today as a direct result of Loadtest’s expense of conventionally testing large
ability to verify their capacity. diameter shafts. Non-conservative scaling
errors can now be eliminated by testing the
full-sized shafts used in production.
Cage installation

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SERVICE SHEET BI-DIRECTIONAL LOAD TESTING

The O-Cell is a hydraulically driven, individually


calibrated, sacrificial loading device installed
within the foundation unit. Working in two
directions, upward against side-shear
resistance and downward against
end-bearing resistance, the O-Cell
automatically separates the resistance and
displacement data for each component of the
pile. By virtue of its installation within the
foundation member, the O-Cell load test is not
restricted by the limits of overhead structural
beams and tie-down piles. Instead, the O-Cell
derives all reaction from the soil and/or rock
system with each respective pile component
of resistance providing reaction for loading
the other.

Multiple O-Cells on a single plane.

TEST RESULTS O-Cell Load vs. Displacement Plots


With the typical O-Cell location very close to 1.0
0.8 Upward Top of O-Cell
the foundation tip, determination of side shear

Displacement (inches)
0.6
0.4
and end bearing resistance is straightforward.
0.2
Testing is performed until either ultimate 0.0
-0.2 Downward Base of O-Cell
upward or downward capacity is reached or -0.4
-0.6
the maximum O-Cell stroke or load capacity is
-0.8
reached. Use of strain gages within the -1.0
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
foundation can help to determine the Gross Load (1000 kips)
distribution of load throughout the foundation
length. Analysis of the test results is left to the Load movement plots
O-cell testing experts at Loadtest, who
prepare a complete report presenting all test Q-Z and T-Z Plots
data and analyses for immediate use by the 12 200

Unit End Bearing (ksf)


design engineer.
Net Unit Shear (ksf)

10
150
8

6 100

4
50
2

0 0
0.00 0.25 0.50 0.75 1.00
Displacement (inches)

Unit shear and end bearing plots

Loadtest
© LOADTEST 03 2015

Telephone: 800 368 1138 (US)


Telephone: 352 378 3717
Email: info@loadtest.com
www.loadtest.com

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