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Design and installation of steel open end piles in weathered basalt

Luc Maertens*
* Manager Engineering Department Besix, Belgium, lmaertens@besix.com
Associate Professor Catholic University Leuven, luc.maertens@bwk.kuleuven.ac.be

Abstract
The Dabhol Power Company (DPC) is constructing Indias first Liquefied Natural Gas
(LNG) Terminal on a remote strip of the western coast along the Arabian Sea about
160-km south of Mumbai. Designed to handle the largest LNG carriers, the Terminals
marine facilities includes a Jetty that extends 1750-m into open sea to reach adequate
depth, a jetty head supporting the unloading arms and the control tower, four berthing
dolphins, four mooring dolphins, walkway support dolphins, three navigation dolphins
and one tug berth.
473 steel open-end piles (dia.762-mm) support all these structures and are driven into
weathered basalt to support working compression loads up to 4000 kN. Tensile loads
up to 2000 kN are supported by 610-mm diameter sockets that are bored beneath the
pile tip in the underlying basalt.
The subsoil consist of three subsequent layers:
1. Soft clay layer with a thickness varying between 0 and 6-m.
2. Weathered Basalt with a thickness of 1 to 5-ms, and a RQD value varying between
0 to 90%.
3. Sound Basalt with unconfined compression strength varying between 29 and 115
MPa.
A significant problem consists of defining a installation procedure for the piles, which
reconcile the requirement to guarantee an adequate bearing capacity with a risk of
damaging the pile tip, and the requirement of limiting the deformation of the pile tip in
such way that the installation of the socket through the steel open end pile remains
possible without damaging the bore hammer.
An onshore test program was performed to solve this problem.
To confirm the findings of the test program, Dynamic Pile Tests were carried out on
offshore piles. In this way the bearing capacity of the installed piles was controlled.
This paper discusses the test program which was carried out to define the installation
conditions (Hammer Energy and Penetration per blow) in order to guarantee the bearing
capacity in compression and tensile together.
For compression piles, a penetration of 1 mm per blow is required and for tension piles
5 mm per blow for 16 m piles and 2,5 m per blow for 19 m piles is not to exceed

Description of the project.


Dabhol LNG Project.

The Marine Works of the Dabhol LNG project were awarded by Enron Engineering and
Construction Company to the Belgian Contractor BESIX as a design and built contract
in December 1997.
The jetty consists of a concrete deck that is supported by prestressed beams. The beams
are supported by bents 30-m apart. Vertical and raked steel open-end piles support the
bents. Every 120-m is a construction joint and in the centre of each section of 120-m is
a strong point bent. Berthing, mooring, navigation and walkway support dolphins as
well as the jetty head are slab-structures supported by the same piles.
Two types of piles are used: piles dia.762, th.16-mm and piles dia.762, th.19-mm. All
piles are provided with toe reinforcement consisting of a 12-mm thick steel plate welded
inside the pile tip. The height of this reinforcement is 380-mm. The length of the piles
varies from 20 to 35 meters and the steel grade is X60 (413 N/mm).
The marine structures are protected from the sea attack by a breakwater of 2300-m
parallel to the shoreline. However, during the first monsoon, the progress of the
breakwater will not be sufficient to give an adequate protection. For this reason all
structures are designed to resist to wave loads with a significant height of 9-m. Other
loads to consider are: a current of 1 m/sec, live loads on the decks and last but not least
an earthquake load with a ground acceleration of 0.16-g. Mooring and berthing
dolphins have to resist to horizontal forces of 6000 kN.

Pile hammer and boring equipment.

1. Pile Hammer:
The driving hammer used for the installation of the piles is an IHC Hydrohammer S90.
The hammer is hydraulically operated and the weight of the hammer is 92 MN, the
weight of the ram is 45 MN. The hammer has an operating impact energy operation
rate of 2 to 90 kJ.

2. Boring equipment:
The drilling equipment
used in Dabhol is specially
designed and build for the
site by Geotec International
(Belgium) and consists of a
Numa Reversh Circulation
Hammer (Massachusetts,
USA) combined by a RCD
rotary head (NCB, Italy).
It allows for boring a 610m socket in the weathered
and sound basalt trough the
762-m piles.
The
RCDS-3
drilling
equipment consists in (see
figure):
1. Casing clamp
2. Working platform
3. Raking cylinder
4. Mast
inclination
cylinder
5. Rotary head
6. Mast
7. Pull-down
hydraulic
gear motor
8. Suction pipe
9. Drill rod
10. Casing
11. Stabiliser
12. Down-the-hole hammer

RCDS-3 Drilling Equipment.

Soil conditions at onshore test location.

Boring at test location


TCR RQD (%)
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

TCR

DEPTH (m)

RQD

To
perform
the
onshore trial pile test, a
series
of
onshore
borings were carried
out in order to find a
location
with
a
geological
profile
which was as similar
as possible as the
available
offshore
borings. The aim was
to find a location with
a sufficient thick layer
of weathered basalt.
A typical boring at the
test location is given
here beside.
Nine unconfined rock
core
tests
were
performed, giving an
UCS of respectively:
72,5 43,1 61,6
50,8 113,3 52,6
65,1 30.0 and
42,8 MPa

10

15

Typical boring at test location.

Definition of the Static Resistance from Hammer Records.


IHC carried out wave equation runs made with the TNOWAVE software of TNO Delft
(Netherlands), taking into account the following parameters:
1. The soil conditions as given in chapter 3.
2. The geometry of the piles, including the 12-mm toe reinforcement.
3. Hammer characteristics (IHC S-90)
The calculations include runs for 100, 75 and 50% hammer energy and for different
depths, resulting in a matrix of Energy, Penetration per blow, Stress during driving, and
SRD (Static Resistance to Driving). These calculations were performed for the 19-mm
piles as well as for the 16-mm piles.

A mathematical treatment of all this results allowed Besixengineers to define


specifically for the site a general equation for the SRD in function of the number of
blows for 100-mm of penetration (N) and the applied hammer energy (E). This gives
the following dimensional formulas:
SRD = (21.70*E + 564.22)*ln(N) - 24.03*E - 809 for the 762x16-mm piles [1]
SRD = (28.39*E + 392.35)*ln(N) - 48.49*E + 114 for the 762x19-mm piles [2]
SRD in kN, E in kJ, N = number of blows for a penetration of 100-mm.
In the figure here below, one can see the mathematical approach (lines) against the
calculated by IHC applying TNOWAVE (dots).
TNOWAVE calculations against Dimensional Formula for 19 mm piles
SRD = (28.39 E + 392.35) ln(N) - 48.49 E + 114
8000

7000

90 kJ

SRD (kN)

6000

67,5 kJ

5000

45 kJ
TNOWAVE
4000

3000

2000
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

Blows per 100 mm penetration

TNOWAVE calculations against Dimensional Formula for 16 mm piles


SRD = (21.70 E + 564.22) ln(N) - 24.03 E - 809
8000

7000

90 kJ

67,5 kJ

SRD (kN)

6000

45 kJ
5000

TNOWAVE
4000

3000

2000
0

20

40

60

80

Blows per 100 mm penetration

100

120

140

Static Compression Test.

Static Compression Test

A pile test up to 8000 kN was performed on pile C2. The pile characteristics are as
follows: The pile with an external diameter of 762-m and a wall thickness of 19-mm
was embedded over a length of 3,28-m. The total length of the pile was 4,40-m.
The ultimate bearing capacity can be calculated from the formula:
Qub = * qub * Ab
with: = installation coefficient = 0,5 for driven open end piles [1]
qub = ultimate bearing pressure
Ab = section of the pile basis = 0,456 m
qub = c * Nc
with: c =
quc =
=
Nc=

cohesion = * quc
unconfined compression test of the rock ( 30 MPa)
0,1 for RQD = 0 70% [2]
bearing factor = 15 for = 35 (= internal angle of friction for
basalt) [3]

Qub = 0,5 * 0,1 * 30 * 15 * 0,456 = 10,26 MN


The results of the compression test are given in the figures below. Ultimate bearing
capacity was not reached for a load of 8000 kN. By extrapolating the settlement curves
it was found that a bearing capacity of 10.000 kN was found for a penetration of 7,65-m
which is only 1% of the pile diameter and still far below the 10% for the conventional
ultimate bearing capacity.

Pile test C2 (23-24/09/1999) : Average settlement


800

10

700

Load (ton)

500

Load
400

Settlement

300

3
200

Average settlement (mm)

600

2
100

0
0

100

200

300

400

500

600

700

800

900

1000

1100

1200

1300

1400

0
1500

Time (min)

Pile load test C2 (23-24/09/1999) - Loading and unloading


curves
Load (kN)
0

1000

2000

3000

4000

5000

6000

7000

8000

Average Settlement (mm)

loading

WORKING LOAD
3

unloading 1
loading 2

unloading 2
6

The bearing capacity was also measured by a local subcontractor, using a dynamic test
procedure together with the well-known CAP-WAP program but unfortunately, the
results were not trustable.
Below gives the driving records for pile C2 together with the interpretation for the
bearing capacity using formula [2] and the not trustable dynamic test results are given.

Ultimate Bearing Capacity - Pile C2 (19 mm)


Comparison of values calculated with the
dimensional formula [2] and from Dynamic Test.

1,0

Ultimate Bearing Capacity:


* from dimensional formula and
hammer records : 9200 kN
* from dynamic test : 6600 kN
2,0

3,0

9200
6600

4,0

2000

4000

6000

8000

Ultimate Bearing Capacity (kN)

5,0
10000

Penetration (m)

0,0

Static Tensile Tests.

Tensile pile test arrangement

Testpiles 762x16mm
Sockets 61mm
9,59

9,60
T1

8,54

T2
8,59

Two static tensile pile tests were


performed on pile T1 with a socket of 6-m
and on pile T2 with a socket of 3-m.
A tensile test up to 4000 kN was
performed on pile T1 and a tensile test up
to 2000 kN on pile T2. As the result of
the tensile test on both piles T2 and T1
was totally satisfactory, it was decided to
carry out a pull out test on pile T2 up to
5000 kN (limit due to the strength of the
testing frame). The pile characteristics
are given in Figure 12.
The results of the T2-test and the pullout
test are given here below.

5,95

4,35

1,35

-0,05

Pile load test T2 (15-16/09/99) - Interpretation of socket load


Tensile Load (kN)
0

250

500

750

1000

1250

1500

1750

2000

First Loading Slope


0,1

Load supported by friction on steel pile


0,2

Average uplift (mm)

Second Loading Slope


0,3

0,4

0,5

Unloading
0,6

0,7

0,8

T2 - superposition of loading and unloading curves to 2000 kN and 5000 kN


Tensile Load (kN)
0

500

1000

1500

2000

2500

0,5

1,5

2,5

Working load

Average uplift (mm)

3,5

10

3000

3500

4000

4500

5000

As the tensile capacity of the pile is not only generated by the friction on the socket, but
also by the friction on the steel pile, and since the uplift design is neglecting the last, it
was advisable to split up both. In Figure 17 one can distinguish two slopes in the
loading curve. We assumed that the change in slope corresponds to the start of
mobilisation of the friction on the socket. One can see that it was found that the friction
on the steel pile was 1250 kN or 123 kN/m (= 0,123 MPa).
Results of the tensile test:
Pile
Socket
length
(m)
T1
6.0
T2
3.0
T3
3.0

Working
load
(kN)
2000
1000
1000

Deflection
at working
load (mm)
1.5
0.5

Test load
(kN)
4000
2000
5000

Deflection
at test load
(mm)
2.8
0.7
3.4

Table 1

Evaluation of the Uplift Capacity.


The uplift capacity is defined by:
(1)
bond between the concrete socket & rock
(2)
mass of mobilised soil
(3)
bond between the steel pile and the rock
(4)
bond between steel and concrete (inside the pile).
(2):

The mass of mobilised soil can easily be calculated. It is not measured since the
foundations of the reaction supports of the tensile test are inside the influence
core.

(1) (3): Only the sum of both is measured. The split of both is done according to pile
load test T2 figure.
(4):

The length of the socket plug inside the pile was 2,3-m. The bonded surface is
thus :
* 0,73 * 2,3 = 5,3 m
According to BS 5400, the bond stress between the steel pile and the infill
concrete is 0,4 MPa for ULS.
During pull-out test, the bond stress was 0,71 MPa

(1):

The bond stress between the concrete socket and the rock was:
3750 /( * 0,61 * 3) = 0,65 MPa

According to Tomlinson [4] the bond stress is 0,36 MPa in ULS. Under working load, a
bond stress equal to 0,12 MPa was assumed in the design.
Bond stress (MPa)
ULS
Test
Test/ULS
Steel pile concrete
0,4 (*)
0,75
1,8
Concrete socket - rock
0,36
0,65
1,8
(*) according to BS 5400 Part 5 art 11.1.3

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Installation procedure for piles.

Damaged pile tip

Damage of pile tip as shown above can not be accepted since excessive damage of pile
tip prevents the installation of the sockets through the piles.
The TNOWAVE analyses as documented in chapter 4 also gives the stress during
driving.
The combination of the SRD, Stress during driving, Hammer Energy and penetration
per blow leads to graphs as given in below for a 16-mm compression pile.
It shows that the stresses during driving, for a same SRD, decrease significantly with
the hammer energy, and increase slightly with the number of blows for a penetration of
100-mm.

12

Definition of refusal for compression pile 16 mm


10000
Maximum SRD = 2 Maximum Working Load
= 2 * 2620 kN = 5250 kN

9000

90 kJ
8000

67,5 kJ

7000

SRD (kN)

6000
5000

45 kJ

4000
3000
2000
1000
0
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100 110 120 130 140 150

Blows per 100 mm penetration

Maximum Driving Stress (MPa)

450
Yield stress = 415 MPa

400
350

Allowable stress = 332 MPa

300
250
200
150
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100 110 120 130 140 150

Blows per 100 mm penetration

On another hand, analysis of the pile toe damage during driving (using the IHC
Hammer at full Energy = 90 KJ), leads to the following conclusions:
Pile

Thickness
(mm)

T1
T2
T3

16
16
19

Max blows for


100-mm
penetration
(at 90 kJ)
51
50
57

13

Maximum Driving Stress


(from output of TNOwave model)
(MPa)
380
380
360

Damage
at toe
(m)
0.1
0.5
0.5

As one can see, the maximum stresses during driving were close to the yield stress
(415 MPa). In fact these maximum driving stresses are computed by the IHC model
with the assumption that the stresses are uniformly distributed over the entire cross
section. This is of course never true in reality, and an appropriate safety factor has to be
used in the definition of the refusal criteria.
Considering the stress analysis in view to guarantee the SRD, together with the damage
analyses leads to the final installation criteria. It was decided to allow 80% of the yield
stress (=332 MPa) for compression piles and 55% (= 225 MPa) for tension piles, since
tension piles need a socket.
Finally the installation procedure was as follows:
Pile
Compression
Tension

Refusal criteria for permanent works


Hammer Energy
16-mm
19-mm
16-mm (*)
19-mm (*)

(kj)
45
67.5
45
45

(% of full energy)
50
75
50
50

Blows per 100mm penetration


100
100
20
40

(*) This criterion was checked by installing two additional raking piles on the test
location onshore. After inspection, no damage at pile tip was observed as shown
below.

Pile tip after driving

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Dynamic offshore test.


Since dynamic onshore test was not trustable, dynamic offshore test was carried out by
another Al-Futtain Tarmac from Dubai.
Parameters used for PDA analysis are:
1.
Parameters concerning the driving hammer:
2.

Parameters concerning the piles:


Characteristic impedance = 4.107 kg.m-2 . sec-1
Wave velocity = 5172 m/sec

3.

Parameters concerning calculation of the bearing capacity with the CASEmodel.


As damping coefficient, Jc = 0,1 have been used.

4.

Overview of the results :

Structure

1
2
3
4
5

Jetty
Approach
Jetty
Approach
Jetty
Approach
Jetty
Approach
Jetty
Approach

Bent

Rake

Loading
Type

Thickn.
(mm)

Ultimate
Resistance

SRD
(hammer
records)

SRD
(dynamic
test)

16

Compression

19

7650

8626

15700

1/3

Compression

19

7650

7693

7935

15

1/3

Tension

19

3825

4767

7140

Tension

19

3825

4654

15950

1/3

Tension

19

3825

4720

8700

Jetty Head

1/3

Tension

19

3825

3780

8970

Jetty Head

1/3

Tension

16

2620

3006

6245

Jetty Head

1/3

Tension

16

2620

3998

6109

Jetty Head

1/3

Tension

16

2620

3147

5650

10

Jetty Head

Tension

16

2620

3398

6085

An overview of these results is also given in the figure below.

15

14000

Resistance (kN)

12000

10000

Dynamic Offshore Test

Required Ultimate Resistance

16000

SRD (dimensional formula)

Dynamic offshore tests

8000

6000

4000
2000
0
1

10

Conclusions
Installation of open end piles in rock (weathered basalt) can be controlled efficiently
under the condition that a continuous controlled hammer is used together with an
adequate pile recorder.
In the case of Dabhol, all hydraulic functions of the IHC-S90-Hammer are
electronically regulated. This ensures optimum control of the energy blow rate and an
optimum control of the penetration of the pile to the required depth without damaging
the pile toe.
This is essential in the case that sockets have to be drilled through the pile toes after
driving. Onshore tests and preliminary calculations allowed for a prediction of the
Ultimate Bearing Capacity in function of the applied Hammer Energy and the
penetration per blow. Offshore dynamic tests confirmed the presumed bearing capacity.

References
[1]
[2]
[3]
[4]

Ministre de lEquipement, du Logement et des Transports (1993). Rgles


techniques de conception et de calcul des fondations des ouvrages de gnie
civil.. Fascicule 62, Titre V. Paris.
Kulhawy F. and Goodman R.E. (1987). Foundations in rock, chapter 15 of
Ground Engineering Reference Book, ed. F.G. Bell, Butterworth, London.
Wyllie D.C. (1991). Foundations on rock. E & FN Spon, London.
Tomlinson M.J. (1995). Pile design and construction practice. E & FN Spon,
London.

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