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The vertical load applied to a pile raft foundation is assumed to be transmitted to the ground by both

the raft and piles, which differentiate the design of a piled raft from a pile group. The percentage of
load taken by each element depends on a number depends on a number of factors, including: the
number and spacing of piles, subsoil condition, and the raft thickness. A piled raft design offers some
advantages over the pile group design in terms of serviceability and efficient utilization of materials.
For a piled raft, the piles will provide sufficient stiffness to control the settlement and differential
settlement at serviceability load while the raft will provide additional capacity at ultimate load. The
raft in a piled raft design transmits 30% to 50% of the applied load to the soil (Clancy and Randolph,
1993). Several studies of analyzing piled rafts have been reported in the literature. The approaches can be
divided into simplified analytical methods and numerical methods such as finite element methods, boundary
element methods or hybrid methods, all with various assumptions and constitutive laws.
Randolph (1994) presented new analytical approaches for the design of pile groups and piled raft
foundations to focus on the settlement issue rather than the capacity. An equivalent pier analogue of pile groups
and piled raft was proposed as the most direct method of estimating the stiffness of the foundation. Design
principles were introduced for piled rafts with the aim of minimizing differential settlements by optimal location
of the piles beneath the raft.(singh.B 2011) Poulos (2001) demonstrated three different stages of design for piled
raft foundation. In the first stage, the effects of the number of piles on load capacity and settlement are assessed
through an approximate analysis. The second stage is a more detailed examination to assess where piles are
required. The third is a detailed design phase in which a more refined analysis is employed to confirm the
optimum number and location of the piles. Procedures for estimating the necessary geotechnical parameters are
also described.
Baleshwar Singh et al. / International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology (IJEST)

Effect of raft thickness Poulos (2001) have said that the raft thickness affects
differential settlement and bending moments , but has little
effect on load sharing mechanism Maharaj (2004a) have said
that for same length of pile, the increase in size of raft
increases the load carrying capacity of piled raft foundation
Singh and Singh (2008) have said that for a piled raft,
increasing raft thickness does not always improve the
behavior of the foundation, and the optimum raft thickness
can be determined from a parametric analysis.
Balasurbamaniam and Oh (2008), Rabiei (2009) have said
that the raft thickness affects differential settlement and
bending moments, but has little effect on load sharing or
maximum settlement. It can be concluded that increasing
the raft thickness do not influence the bending moment in
the pile, However it may be beneficial in resisting the
punching shear resulting from the piles and the column
loadings.From the results presented herein, it can be concluded that increasing the raft thickness is
effective primarily in reducing the differential settlement. However, it should also be noted that
increasing the raft thickness may be very beneficial in resisting the punching shear from both piles
and column loadings. The maximum column loading which can be supported by the raft without pile
support beneath the column therefore increases with increasing raft thickness. This matter has been
explored in greater detail by Poulos (2000).
Brown (1969) evaluated the foundation flexibility using finite element analysis. He proposed a
relationship between the
thickness of the raft and its flexibility, given by:

Where Ef = Young's modulus for raft; Es= average soil elastic
modulus; t= raft thickness; and s= spacing between piles.
Thin or flexible rafts tend to deform more than rigid or thickthe raft can be characterized according to
the following
conditions: (i) perfectly rigid if Kf > 10; (ii) perfectly flexible
when Kf < 0.01; and (iii) intermediate flexibility at Kf varies
between 0.01 to 10 (Mayne and Poulos 1999).
Effect of raft size
The raft width contributes to the bearing capacity of the raft. As the raft width increases, the contact
area with the subsoil increases and hence the load carried by the raft increases. The load carried by the
piles was evaluated for different raft widths varying from 4 m to 7 m with the same pile diameter
(0.5m), spacing ratio (4D) and raft thickness (1.25 m) (i.e. relativelyFigure 6 shows that the load
transmitted by the piles was reduced as the raft width increased. It is noted that the piles load
decreased sharply until it reached a constant value at about 18% of the total displacement.
Effect of pile diameter.
The pile diameter has a significant effect on its load carrying capacity and stiffness, which can affect
the performance of the piled raft. To examine the effect of pile diameter on its load share in piled raft
design, a raft with width, B = 7.2 m and piles spaced at S/D =4 is considered with pile diameter
varying from 0.3 m to 0.9 m. Figure 7 demonstrates the percentage of load carried by the piles as the
pile diameter changes. The load transferred by the piles increased from 18% to 33% of the total
load as the pile diameter increased from 0.3 m to 0.9 m. The increase occurred because the piles
started to interact with the soil across a larger surface area and thus more load carried by the piles.
However, the effect of the pile diameter on the piles load share diminishes as the diameter reaches the
higher end of the range considered.
Pile spacing Maharaj (2004a) have said that it affects greatly the maximum
settlement, the differential settlement, the bending moment
in the raft, and the load shared by the piles Balasurbamaniam
and Oh (2008), have conclude that Piles spacing plays an important role on the performance of piled raft
The maximum settlement of the piled rafts depends on the
pile spacing.

Figure 9 shows the effect of pile length on the load settlement curves of piled raft foundation whose raft diameter is
20 meter. A significant improvement in load carrying capacity due to increase in length of pile can be seen in Figure
9(maharaj.d 2014). Maharaj (2004a) have said that the effect of pile of length
even equal to the diameter of the raft is found to reduce
settlement of raft foundation significantly and also to
increase load carrying capacity. Such piles of smaller length
can be used successfully as settlement reducing piles in
piled raft. For the same length of piles below raft, the
improvement is more for smaller raft than that of the larger
raft. Balasurbamaniam and Oh (2008) have said that, to reduce
the maximum settlement of piled raft foundation; optimum
performance is likely to be achieved by increasing the length
of the piles involved As would be expected, the settlement, differential settlement and maximum
moment all decrease with increasing pile length, while the proportion of load carried by the piles
increases. By comparing Figures 10 and 11, it is clear that increasing the length of the piles is, for this
case, a more effective design strategy for improving foundation performance than increasing the
number of piles.

Effect of number of pilesFigs. Poulos (2008) have said that increasing the number of piles
while generally of benefited does not always produce the
best foundation performance and there is an upper limit to
the number for piles beyond which very little additional
benefit is obtained. Maharaj (2004b) have discussed that it
is found that the addition of even a small number of piles
increases the load-carrying capacity of a raft foundation.
The axial load distribution shows that the piles reach their
ultimate capacity earlier than the raft. Singh and Singh (2008)
have observed that the addition of even a small number of
piles increases the load-carrying capacity of the raft
foundation, and this enhancement effect is greater for higher
soil stiffness. Balasurbamaniam and Oh (2008) have said
that have said that the maximum settlement of the piled rafts
depends on the number of piles. Rabiei (2009) have observed
that maximum bending moment in raft increases, decrease
pile number.
816 show the load-average settlement curves for all thestudied cases of unpiled rafts and rafts on
settlement reducing piles.As shown in these figures, the load carrying capacity of piled raftincreases
as the number of settlement reducing piles increases, forall the studied cases. This increase is mainly
due to the increase inthe portion of load carried by the central piles due to the increaseof the number
of piles. One of the important uses of a piled raft analysis is to assess how many piles are required to
achieve the desired performance. All of the analyses considered above are able to fulfil this function.
For the present purposes, two analyses have been employed, the GARP computer analysis and the
Poulos-Davis-Randolph (PDR) analysis. Figure 9 shows the computed load-settlement curves from
each of these analyses, for various numbers of piles, ranging from 3 to 15. There is generally good
agreement between the two analyses over the whole range of load. It can be seen that the law of
diminishing returns appears to apply here, in that the addition of a relatively few piles has a
significant effect in reducing the settlement of the raft, but beyond about 15 piles, the additional
reduction in settlement is very small. Clearly then, there is scope for economy in foundation design by
carrying out analyses to assess the minimum number of piles to achieve the required settlement

Construction of pile raft
As stated by Poulos (2001), the behaviour of a piled raft foundation is affected by
some factors like; the number of piles, the nature of loading, raft thickness and
applied load level. Some researches have been made on piled raft foundations giving
special attention to these effects. When the number of piles is considered, it can be seen that
increasing the number of piles not always brings the best solution and best performance.
Thus, with an optimum number, the system will be more efficient. Increasing number beyond
anoptimum number does not always generate a big difference (Poulos, 2001).
The design of a piled raft foundation has three main stages as preliminary stage, detailed
examination phase and detailed design phase (Poulos, 2001).
In a preliminary stage, usually the effects of pile number on load carrying capacity
and settlement is observed. In order to see these effects, the performance of a raft
foundation without piles needs to be analyzed. Using this analysis, it can be known if
the raft alone satisfies the ultimate load capacity or not. This stage helps us to decide
on the design philosophy.
In the detailed examination phase, the pile locations and some requirements are decided. In
order to locate the piles, the load distribution under the raft with no piles underneath should
be known. Generally, detailed analysis is not done for the load distribution, but it is accepted
as uniform over the raft area. However, for this step, a detailed analysis needs to be done and
the maximum loads under columns should be found. Then it can be decided under which
columns, a pile is needed. This is decided by considering the exceedence of maximum
moment, maximum shear in the raft or the maximum contact pressure below the raft.
Finally, in the third stage, a detailed analysis and confirmation is done for the
location and number of piles, i.e optimum number and locations are decided. There
are several methods for analysing the pile raft systems as stated by Poulos, 2001.
These methods can be classified as follows:
1) strip on springs approach: Raft is modeled as a series of strip footings and
piles are modeled as springs.
2) plate on springs approach: Raft is modeled as plate and piles are modeled
as springs.
3) Boundary element methods: Both raft and piles are discretised and elastic
theory is used.
4) Combined methods: Uses boundary element analysis for piles and finite
element analysis for the raft.
5) Simplified finite element analysis
6) 3-D finite element analysis

Advantages of using a piled raft foundation can be listed as given by El-Mossallamy
(2002) :
Heave will be minimised
The required limits for differential settlements, settlements and tilting will be
If some regions of the foundation is subjected to different loads, this system
will minimize the differential settlement
If eccentric loading or difficult subsoil conditions arise a risk of foundation tilting, piled raft
foundation system will decrease this tilting
Since the new design requires placing piles at strategical locations, the raft
stresses and moments will be reducted.
1. In comparasion to fully pile foundation, a significant reduction in the required number or
length of piles.
2. Improvement of the serviceability of a shallow foundation by reduction of maximum and
differential settlement.
3. In an economic way, reduction in the internal stresses and bending moments in a raft by an
optimal arrangement of pile beneath the raft.
4. Improvements of the bearing capacity of a shallow foundation using the load share between
raft and piles.
5. Reduction of the heave inside and outside the pit during excavation work, as piles installed
before excavation hinder the relaxation of the ground in the course of excavation.
6. For eccentrically loaded rafts, centarlisation of the resistance of the foundation by
concentrating piles under the eccentrically loaded area of the raft.

Design methodology
The foundation concept of piled rafts differs from traditional foundation design, where the
loads are assumed to be carried either by the raft or by the piles , considering the safety factors in
each case. Several methods of analyzing piled rafts have been developed. Three broad classes of
analysis method have been identified:
1. Simplified calculation methods
2. Approximate computer-based methods
3. More rigorous computer-based methods.

1.Simplified methods include those of Poulos and Davis (1980), Randolph (1983,1994) (PDR
methode), van Impe and Clerq (1995), and Burland (1995). All involve a number ofsimplifications in
relation to the modelling of the soil profile and the loading conditions on the

2.The approximate computer-based methods include the following broad approaches:
a) Methods employing a strip on springs approach, in which the raft is represented by a
series of strip footings, and the piles are represented by springs of appropriate stiffness
(e.g. Poulos, 1991)
b) Methods employing a plate on springs approach, in which the raft is represented by a
plate and the piles as springs (e.g. Clancy and Randolph, 1993; Poulos, 1994; Viggiani,
1998; Anagnastopoulos and Georgiadis, 1998).
The more rigorous methods include:
3. Boundary element methods, in which both the raft and the piles within the system are
discretized, and use is made of elastic theory (e.g. Butterfield and Banerjee, 1971; Brown
and Wiesner, 1975; Kuwabara, 1989; Sinha, 1997)
a) Methods combining boundary element for the piles and finite element analysis for the raft
(e.g. Hain and Lee, 1978; Ta and Small, 1996; Franke et al, 1994; Russo and Viggiani,
8. Simplified finite element analyses, usually involving the representation of the foundation
system as a plane strain problem (Desai,1974) or an axi-symmetric problem (Hooper,
1974), and corresponding finite difference analyses via the commercial program FLAC
(e.g. Hewitt and Gue, 1994)
9. Three-dimensional finite element analyses (e.g. Zhuang et al, 1991; Lee, 1993; Wang,
1995; Katzenbach et al, 1998) and finite difference analyses via the commercial program
A variety of methods exist for the analysis of piled raft foundation systems, ranging from relatively
simple methods which can be implemented with minimal computer requirements, through to
complex three-dimensional finite element or FLAC3D analyses. A comparison of some of these
methods made for a very simple idealized problem has revealed that most give similar results for the
maximum settlement and the load sharing between the piles and the raft. There is however a
greater spread of results with respect to differential settlements and bending moments in the raft.