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Proceedings of Indian Geotechnical Conference

December 13-15, 2012, Delhi


Amit Srivastava, Asst. Professor, Dept of Civil Engg, Jaypee University of Engg & Tech, Guna, 2002.lala@gmail.com
Pawan Kumar, Project Assistant, Department of Civil Engineering, IISc, Bangalore, xeropawz@gmail.com
G. L. Sivakumar Babu, Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, IISc, Bangalore, gls@civil.iisc.ernet.in

ABSTRACT: An 18 m deep excavation for a 3-storey basement structure for a shopping mall in Bangalore is proposed to be
stabilized using micro piles. The offset of the deep excavation from the adjoining buildings is in the range of 5m and
foundation pressures of existing buildings are estimated to be 200 kPa. For the stability analysis of the given deep excavation,
in situ soil properties are evaluated from the field and or laboratory test results and implemented in commercially available
finite element based software tool PLAXIS 2D. Stability analysis is performed by considering in situ soil following Mohr-
Coulomb constitutive behaviour and modelling micro piles as plate elements. Global factor of safety of the given deep
excavation problem is evaluated using Strength Reduction Technique available as an inbuilt option in the numerical package
and information on estimated deformation values are reported.

INTRODUCTION Common Uses of Micropiles

Micropiles were first introduced in Italy by an Italian To replace deteriorating foundation systems
contracting company as Pali radice and later the technique To provide extra support for structures during renovation
was brought to North America for performing several To provide pile foundations where access, geology or
underpinning jobs in the city of New England, environment prevent the use of other methods
Massachusetts. Since mid 1980s, micropiles have been used To support structures affected by adjacent excavation,
mainly as elements for foundation support to resist static and tunnelling or de-watering activities
seismic loading conditions, and as in situ reinforcements for To provide a fast, effective alternative to more traditional
slope and excavation stability. FHWA [1] provided a unique underpinning methods
and innovative classification system for micropiles based on Benefits of Micropiles
two main criteria: (a) Philosophy of behaviour (design), and Can be installed through most ground condition,
(b) Method of grouting (construction). A detailed review of obstruction and foundation at any incline.
literature on micropiles is provided in [2].
Ensure minimum vibration or other damage to
A micropile is a small-diameter (typically less than 300 mm),
foundation and subsoil.
drilled and grouted replacement pile that is typically
Can be installed in as little headroom as 6' and close to
reinforced [3]. Generally, micropiles are applicable when
existing walls.
there are problems with using conventional deep foundation
Depending on situation, could actually allow facility
systems. These problem conditions include: obstructions,
operations to be maintained during construction.
adjacent structures, limited access job sites, and other shaky
areas like caves, sinkholes, underground rivers. For example, Simple and economical connection to existing and new
micropiles are commonly the preferred foundation choice in structures.
the challenging areas that feature nearby buildings and Can be preloaded to working load before connecting to
difficult access. The unique characteristics of micropile offers particularly sensitive structures.
advantages when other deep foundation systems are not
Limited access situations due to size of equipment FHWA has produced the Micropile Design and Construction
Guidelines Implementation Manual and a Micropile Design
Environmentally sensitive projects because they create
and Construction NHI course [4]. The objective is to provide
relatively little disturbance to the surrounding area
practitioner oriented technical guidance needed to: do
Seismic Retrofit
micropile design, produce construction specifications,
Arresting Structural Settlement
conduct construction inspection and integrity testing, develop
Resisting Uplift/Dynamic Loads cost estimates and select contracting methods; to facilitate
Underpinning and speed the implementation and cost-effective use to
Reticulated Pile Wall micropiles on transportation projects.
Installation techniques vary depending on the load bearing The installation of micropiles begins with first determining
specifications of the project. The selection of the installation the geological condition by doing a detailed subsurface
technique depends largely on soil conditions and load transfer investigation at the site. Based on known soil data, the design
requirements. engineer will design and specify the types of micropiles to be

Amit Srivastava, Pawan Kumar & G. L. Sivakumar Babu
used. The step by step procedure followed is briefly indicated suggested to use for stabilization of excavation work. Finite
below: Element Method tool, PLAXIS 2D, is utilized to evaluate the
1. After marking the position of the micropiles on the global stability and provide information on deformation
ground by a competent land surveyor, the drilling rig is pattern of deep excavation.
manoeuvred to the micropile position (Fig. 1).
2. Drilling will start and the types of drilling tools used SITE CONDITIONS
depend on the soil and site condition. In dry ground and The soil investigation provides the borehole information as
rocky condition is expected, the drilling tool known as well as SPT values. There is no ground water table. The
Down The Hole Hammer (DTHH) is used. This is a report indicates that the encountered material in general is
pneumatic tool and works much like a jack hammer. disintegrated rock in many locations. Disintegrated rock, at
Suitable for drilling in almost any soil condition and times being particulate, normally cannot stand without
particularly best in rock. support and beyond a certain height depending on cohesion
3. Once the required drilling depth is reached, the drilled and will cave in. It is likely the excavation of 18m is likely to
hole is flushed clean to remove any remaining debris collapse due to saturation of excavated areas. To prevent
before the drilling rods are removed from the drilled collapse, use of micropiling is suggested.
hole. Then a prefabricated reinforcement steel rod or
rods with grouting hose attached is then lowered into the RECOMMENDATIONS
drilled hole. Improving the stability of excavations using micropiling is an
4. After that water is first pumped through the grouting appropriate solution for the present case. The suggested
hose to make sure the hose is not blocked during the systems are designed based on the data supplied by the
lowering process. It is also a way to give the drilled hole clients. The following are the recommendations:
a final cleaning. If all is good, water will be seen being 1. Micro-piles in the form of steel pipes of 125mm dia with
displaced and flows out smoothly from the hole. 6mm thickness, spaced at 25cm and 27m length are
5. Then grout made of cement and water mixture is pumped suggested.
into the drilled hole. This is known as grouting. This is 2. Horizontal component of shear resistance provides
done using a grouting pump under pressure. During resistance for induced shear forces due to excavating and
grouting water in the hole will be displaced and flows loading. In addition 4 rods of 20mm tor steel rods are
out smoothly. provided in the annular space of micropile to provide
6. The grouting hose is given a jerk to loosen it and slowly additional shear resistance and can be positioned in the
raised at the same time grout is continuously pumped central space of the pile. The space in the pile and
into the hole. Grouting will stop once good grout is seen between the steel rods can be filled up with grouting.
coming out from the hole. When this happens, the Micropiles have a spacing of 25cm between the piles to a
grouting hose is removed. Fig. 1 shows these steps for depth of 27m, the factor of safety is 1.446.
micropiling for better illustration purposes. 3. The spacing between the piles can be nailed with short
driven nails of 1m length and 16m dia if loose pockets
exist and shotcreted using appropriate wire mesh to
prevent erosion of soil between the piles.
4. In the monsoon, migration of surface run off towards the
excavation should be prevented with appropriate
measures as indicated in precautions. Additional toe
ditches shall be provided to properly drain of the water
during construction and shall be maintained until a
permanent retaining wall is constructed in front of the
stabilized excavation.
5. Excavation in the water logged conditions shall be done
carefully by draining out water from the excavated areas
using appropriate pumping scheme.
6. If loose soil is encountered at any stage of excavation,
restrict the depth of excavation to about 0.75m. If the soil
Fig. 1 Drilled micropiles installation process has tendency to fall, spray cement on the surface so that
the stability of excavation is maintained till nail is
An 18 m deep excavation for the proposed 3-storey basement 7. Any deviation in the soil profiles from the geotechnical
structure for a shopping mall in Bangalore is to be stabilized reports and anomalous conditions may be brought to the
using soil nailing technique. The offset from the adjoining notice of the consultant. Consultant may be contacted in
buildings is in the range of 5m and foundation pressures of case of clarifications.
the existing buildings are estimated to be 200 kPa. As
micropiles enable the full utilization of the space and also STABILITY ANALYSIS USING FEM
support excavations with adequate factor of safety, it is

Stability analysis of 18 m deep excavation using micro piles
The stage construction responses, global stability and determine equivalent axial and bending stiffness for the
deformation pattern in any deep excavation problems are correct simulation. Fig. 2 shows the plan view of micropiles
generally predicted by finite element method (FEM) using arrangements per meter length of excavation.
2D or 3D numerical modelling. The easiest and fastest way is
to define a 2D plane strain model using PLAXIS -2D. Finno Estimation of axial and bending stiffness
et. al. [5] observed that when the ratio of excavated length to
excavated depth of a wall is greater than six, the results of
plane strain simulations yield the same displacements in the
centre of that wall as those analyzed by a 3-D simulation.
Stability analyses are conventionally assessed using Limit
Equilibrium (LE) methods and lately the Finite Element (FE)
method has been found to be suitable in performing stability
calculations. Griffiths and Lane [6] highlighted that the FE
method provides a more powerful alternative to traditional
LE methods in assessing stability in their study of
unreinforced or reinforced slopes and embankments. Fig. 2 plan view-micropiles arrangements per meter length of
The stability of excavation is assessed in terms of factor of excavation
safety, which is obtained through strength reduction
technique [5]. In this approach, factor of safety is taken as a Calculation of EI for equivalent plate element
factor (F) by which the soil shear strength parameters, i.e., Moment of Inertia of each pipe section (I1) = (/64) (D14-
cohesion (c) and angle of internal friction (), is reduced (c1, D24) = (/64) (1254-1194)
1) to bring the slope on the verge of failure. = 2140539.077 mm4
1 There are 4 such pipes per meter length, hence moment of
c1 c (1) inertia of 4 pipe sections about X-X
= 4 2140539.077 = 8562156.308 mm4
1 1 (2)
1 tan tan Moment of inertia of each HYSD bar (I2) = (/64) d4 =
F (/64) 204 = 7853.981 mm4
Further, prediction of the deformation behavior of a soil- There are 4 bars in each pipe and there for total no of bars in
nailed structure through FEM is required to ensure that each meter length of wall = 20
displacement limits set by the construction requirements are Moment of inertia of all the bars (HYSD) about XX axis = 20
not exceeded. For predicting deformation using FEM, one 7853.981 mm4
has several possibilities to model the constitutive behavior of =157079.63 mm4
in situ material; the most commonly used is Hardening soil Total moment of inertia of the assemble of 4 pipes and 20
model [8, 9] for deep excavation problems. However, if all HYSD bars
the input parameters for HS-model are not available, = 8562156.308 mm4 + 157079.63 mm4 = 8719235.94 mm4
alternatively Mohr- Coulomb material model can be used [8]. Elastic modulus of steel = 200 109 N/m2
Facings and micropiles can be modeled as elastic materials EI value of the pipes and bars = 200 109 N/m2
using plate element. 15-node triangular elements can be used 8719235.94 mm4 = 1743 KN-m2/m
for generating finite element mesh. Calculation of EA for equivalent plate element
Briaud and Lim [11] provided information about where to X-section area of one pipe = (/4) (D12-D22) = (/4)
place the boundaries so that their influence on the results of (1252-1192) = 1149.82 mm2
the numerical simulation of soil nail wall can be minimized. There are 4 such pipes per meter length, hence x-sectional
They suggested that bottom of the mesh is best placed at a area of 4 pipe sections
depth where soil becomes notably harder (say at a depth D = 4 1149.82 mm2 = 4599.29 mm2
below the bottom of the excavation). Based on the studies of X-sectional area of each HYSD bar (I2) = (/4) d2 = (/4)
Briaud and Lim [9], if D is not exactly known, D can be 202 = 314.16 mm2
taken as two to three times the vertical depth of excavation H. There are 4 bars in each pipe and there for total no of bars in
Further, for known values of D and H, width of excavation each meter length of wall = 20
We can be taken equal to three to four times D and the X-sectional area of all the bars (HYSD) = 20 314.16 mm 2
horizontal distance from wall face to the end of mesh = 6283.18 mm2
boundary Be can be chosen equal to three to four times (H + Total X-sectional area of the assemble of 4 pipes and 20
D) of the dimensions. HYSD bars
The most important input material parameters for plate = 4599.29 mm2 + 6283.18 mm2 = 10882.48 mm2
elements are the flexural rigidity (bending stiffness) EI and Elastic modulus of steel = 200 109 N/m2
the axial stiffness EA. Plate structural elements are EA of the assembly per meter length = 200 109 N/m2
rectangular in shape with width equal to 1 m in out-of-plane 10882.48 mm2 = 2176495.39 KN/m
direction. Since, the micropiles are circular in cross-section
and placed at designed horizontal spacing, it is necessary to Table 1 Properties of in situ soil mass

Amit Srivastava, Pawan Kumar & G. L. Sivakumar Babu
Property Values CONCLUSION
Stiffness The paper presents the FEM analysis of 18 m deep
E 50.0 103 kN/m2 excavation, which is stabilized using micropiles. It is
0.32 demonstrated through FEM analysis that the safety of deep
Strength excavation with micropiles is considerable improved. To
cref 20.0 kN/m2 model micropiles, plate element is utilized and a calculation
25 procedure is demonstrated to evaluate the equivalent EA and
Advanced EI values of plate element representing micropiles
Stiffness arrangement. The material behaviour is modelled as Mohr-
Einc 10.0 kN/m2/m Coulomb. It is concluded that 18 m deep excavation can be
stabilized with the provision of micropiles with high quality
ref 43.0 m
construction, and good quality control are taken by the field
cinc 10.0 kN/m2/m
ref 43.0 m
1. FHWA (1997), Micropile Design and Construction
The soil properties used in the numerical analysis is provided Guidelines Implementation Manual FHWA-SA-97-070
in Table 1. Figure 3 shows the deformation contours of 18 FHWAs Geotechnical website:
meter deep excavation supported with micropiles. It can be http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge/geo.htm
noted that the maximum deformation predicted is 23.41 mm. 2. Abdul Karim Elsalfiti (2011). Skin friction of micropiles
embedded in gravelly soils. MS thesis submitted in the
Department of Building, Civil and Environmental
Engineering, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec,
3. Bruce, D.A., Bruce, M.E.C., and Traylor, R.P. (1999),
High Capacity Micropiles Basic Principals and Case
Histories. GeoEngineering for Underground Facilities.
Proc. of the 3rd National Conference of the Geo-Institute
of the ASCE. Geotechnical Special Publication No. 90,
Urbana-Champaign, IL, June 13-17, pp. 188-199.
4. NHI Micropile Design and Construction course #
132078. http://www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov
5. Finno, R.J., Atmatzidis, D.K.. and Roboski, J.F. (2007),
Three-dimensional effects for supported excavations in
clay, Journal of Geotechnical Engineering Division,
ASCE, 115(8), 10451064.
Fig. 3 deformation pattern of micropiles supported deep
6. Griffiths, D.V. and Lane, P.A. (1999), Slope stability
analysis by finite elements, Geotechnique, 49(3), 387-
The maximum and minimum bending moments in the plate
7. Matsui, T. and San, K-C. (1992), Finite element slope
elements were obtained as 3.773 kNm/m (element 9 at node
stability analysis by shear strength reduction technique,
1693) and -10.62 kNm/m (element 9 at node 1691),
Soils and Foundations, 32(1), 59-70.
respectively. The maximum and minimum values of axial
8. Shanz, T., Vermeer, P.A. and Bonnier, P.G. (1999),
forces were obtained as 0.382 kN/m (element 1 at node 2590)
Formulation and verification of the Hardening Soil
and -562.4 kN/m (element 9 at node 1691), respectively. The
Model, In proceedings (Editor R.B.J Brinkgreve),
maximum and minimum values of shear force were obtained
Beyond 2000 in Computational Geotechnics,
as 13.59 kN/m (element 10 at node 1691) and -67.44 kN/m
Balkema,Rotterdam, 281-290.
(element 9 at node 1691), respectively.
9. Brinkgreve, R.B.J. (2002), Plaxis finite element code for
Initially, the stability of the excavation is checked without
soil and rock analysis: Manual, Balkema: Rotterdam.
micropiles and 200 kPa surcharge load. The factor of safety
10. Plaxis (2010). Plaxis User Manual, Delft University of
value is obtained as 0.325, which is not acceptable as it is less
Technology & Plaxis bv The Netherlands.
than 1.0. Hence, stabilization of this deep excavation using
11. Briaud, J-L and Lim, Y. (1997), Soil nailed wall under
micropiles is essentially required The factor of safety value
piled bridge abutment: simulation and guidelines,
for the excavation with support system is evaluated as 1.62,
Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental
which is more than the minimum acceptable limit of 1.5.
Engineering, ASCE, 123(11), 1043 1050.