Settlement of pile and piers.

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Pile Settlement

Settlement of pile and piers.

© All Rights Reserved

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LOADED INCOMPRESSIBLE PILES AND PIERS

H. G. POULOS, B.E., Ph.D., A.M.I.E. Aust.*

and

E. H. DAVIS, B.Sc.(Eng.), A.M.I.C.E., A.M.I.E. Aust.*

SYNOPSIS

The settlement behaviour of a single axially On analyse le comportement au tassement d’un tas

loaded incompressible cylindrical pile in an ideal cylindrique incompressible soumis & une charge

elastic soil mass is analysed using Mindlin’s equa- selon l’axe dans une masse ideale de sol Blastique en

tions. By considering the pile as a number of utilisant les equations de Mindlin. En considerant

le tas comme un nombre d’elements cylindriques a

uniformly loaded cylindrical eIements together with

charge uniforme ainsi qu’une base circulaire a charge

a uniformly loaded circular base, solutions are ob- uniforme, on obtient des solutions pour la repartition

tained for the distribution of shear stress along the de l’effort de cisaillement sur le tas et le mouvement

pile and the displacement of the pile. du tas.

Influence factors are presented for the settlement Des facteurs d’influence sont present& pour le

of a pile in a semi-infinite mass and in a finite layer, tassement d’un tas dans une masse partiellement

and the effects of the length to diameter ratio of the infinie et dans une couche finie, et les effets du

pile, Poisson’s ratio of the soil and the depth of the rapport de la longueur au diametre du tas, le nombre

de Poisson du sol et la profondeur du sol sont

soil are examined. A significant result of the analyses

examines. Un resultat significatif des analyses est

is that the major portion of the total final settle- que la majeure partie du tassement final total d’un

ment of a single pile in an ideal soil occurs as im- tas unique dans un sol ideal a lieu sous forme d’un

mediate settlement and that only a small proportion tassement immediat et qu’une petite proportion

occurs as time-dependent consolidation settlement. seulement a lieu sous forme d’un tassement dont la

The effect of an enlarged base on the behaviour consolidation depend du temps.

of a single pile is examined and it is shown that the L’effet d’un socle Blargi sur le comportement d’un

effect is of major significance only for relatively tas unique est examine et on montre que I’effet est

d’une importance majeure seulement dans le cas de

short piles.

tas relativement courts.

The elastic analysis is extended to include the L’analyse de i’elasticite est Btendue pour compren-

effect of local shear failure between the pile and dre l’effet de rupture locale par cisaillement entre le

cohesive soil and the load-settlement behaviour up tas et le sol coherent et le comportement du tasse-

to general failure is given for typical cases. ment de la charge jusqu’a rupture generale est

Some approximate solutions for the rate of present6 pour des cas typiques.

settlement of a single pile are given. It is found On donne quelques solutions approximatives pour

that the hydraulic boundary conditions of the pile la vitesse de tassement d’un tas unique. On trouve

que les conditions limites hydrauliques du tas ont

have a considerable influence on the rate of settle-

une influence considerable sur la vitesse de tasse-

ment at early times and that the rate of settlement ment tot et que la vitesse de tassement d’un tas est

of a pile is generally slower than that of a surface en general plus lente que celle d’un empattement de

footing of the same radius. surface d’un m&me rayon.

INTRODUCTION

Most existing methods of predicting the settlement of pile foundations rely on more or less

arbitrary assumptions of the way in which the piles transfer their load to the soil. Further-

more such methods generally compute the settlement by means of one dimensional theory,

whereas the geometry of a deep foundation such as a pile or group of piles clearly should

receive three dimensional treatment. With the advent of computers more sophisticated

analyses of pile behaviour have become feasible. Several investigators have recently outlined

methods, based on elastic theory, which may be used to analyse the behaviour of a single

axially-loaded pile (e.g. Seed and Reese, 1955; D’Appolonia and Romualdi, 1963; Thurman

and D’Appolonia, 1965; Salas and Belzunce, 1965; Coyle and Reese, 1966). While several

3+c. 351

352 H. G. POULOS AND E. H. DAVIS

problems associated with a single pile, such as the behaviour of a floating or ‘friction’ pile, the

behaviour of an end-bearing pile and the influence of down-drag or ‘negative friction’, have

been considered, most solutions published to date have dealt with specific cases and therefore

do not cover a sufficient range of variables to have general application. Little has been

published on the influence of such variables as the length to diameter ratio of the pile, the

depth of the soil layer, and the soil parameters on the settlement behaviour of a pile.

In this Paper, linear elastic theory is used to analyse the behaviour of a single axially

loaded incompressible floating cylindrical pile in an ideal two phase elastic soil. A wide range

of length to diameter ratios is considered and influence factors for the settlement of a pile in a

semi-infinite mass and in a finite layer are given for four values of Poisson’s ratio of the soil.

The effects of slip between the pile and the soil and of an enlarged pile base are investigated.

Some approximate solutions are also given for the rate of settlement of a single pile.

The results presented in this Paper are relevant to the case of a single pile in soft clay

since in this case the pile is virtually incompressible in relation to the surrounding soil. For

piles in stiff clay the compressibility of the pile itself may have a significant influence and the

use of the theory for an incompressible pile will generally lead to an underestimate of the

settlement of the top of a compressible pile. However, detailed consideration of the effects

of pile compressibility is outside the scope of this Paper. It is emphasized that the results

presented refer strictly to single piles or piers and, although they will be approximately

applicable to individual piles of a very widely spaced group of piles, the interaction between

closely spaced piles causes considerable modification to the settlement behaviour of any one

pile. Theoretical work is currently being undertaken on pile groups and shows, for example,

that the settlement of a pile having a length to diameter ratio of 25 is increased over 400/,

by the addition of a second pile with the same load as the first at a distance of 5 diameters.

METHOD OF ANALYSIS

The pile is assumed to consist of s cylindrical elements each acted upon by a uniform

shear loading p and a uniform radial stress (T and a circular base having a uniform vertical

stress 9,. It will be assumed in the initial analysis that the sides of the pile are perfectly

rough but that the base is perfectly smooth, i.e. no shear stresses are developed on the base.

If the pile is incompressible each element must suffer an equal vertical displacement pZ and

zero radial displacement pr. The correct distributions of p, 0 and p, will be those which

satisfy the above conditions of displacement compatibility.

It has been found by Mattes (1967), however, that the consideration of compatibility of

both vertical and radial displacements leads to a solution for the distribution of shear stress

and the settlement of the pile which is almost identical with the solution obtained by con-

sidering compatibility of vertical displacements alone. The radial stresses on the pile are

typically only of the order of 0.5% of the shear stress on the pile. Thus, in the subsequent

derivations and solutions, only compatibility of vertical displacements is considered.

Considering a typical element i as in Fig. 1, the vertical displacement of the soil adjacent

to the pile at i due to the stresses on an element j will be

pi, = 1i,p, . . . . . . . . . (1)

where I,, is the vertical displacement factor for i due to shear stress on element j. Due to

all n elements and to the base the displacement of the soil at i will be

f=fl

P1 =, pi,P,++r,bP, * * * . * ’ * (2)

where Ii, is the vertical displacement factor for i due to a uniform vertical stress on the base.

The displacement of the base may be expressed as

j=?I

Pb =,~,lb,$,+lbbpb * * * - - * * c3)

SETTLEMENT BEHAVIOUR OF SINGLE AXIALLY LOADED PILES AND PIERS 353

where I,, is the vertical displacement factor for the base due to shear stress on element j and

Ibb is the vertical displacement factor for the base due to uniform vertical stress on the base

itself.

From equations (2) and (3) the (n + 1) matrix for the vertical displacement of the soil

adjacent to all elements of the pile may be written as

bl= [~lrPl+vblPLl * * . * * * . (4)

For the pile itself the displacement of all points is uniform. Putting this displacement

equal to unity, equation (5) is obtained by equating the displacement of the pile and the soil

adjacent to the pile.

[II [$I +[Ib] p, = [l] . . f . . . . (5)

The solution of equation (5) gives the distribution of 9 and the value of $,, for the condition

of unit displacement. Using the equilibrium condition

j=n

L: $,rrd;++$=P . . . . . . . . (6)

j=l

where P is the applied load on the pile, the vertical displacement for unit applied load may

then be obtained.

In examining the behaviour of a pile theoretically, it is necessary to approximate the shear

stress on a pile element by some loading which when used in conjunction with elastic theory

leads to a mathematically tractable solution. There are essentially three types of loading

which may conveniently be considered to represent the shear stress on a pile element

(i) a vertical point load acting on the axis of the element

(ii) a uniform vertical line load acting down the axis on the element

(iii) a vertical stress uniformly distributed around the outer circumference of the

element.

Several investigators have employed the first representation (e.g. Salas and Belzunce,

1965 ; Thurman and D’Appolonia, 1965). The second and third representations appear to

have received little consideration in connexion with the pile problem. Of the three represen-

tations the third is obviously the most accurate, although algebraically the most complex.

However, since the use of a computer renders this representation no more difficult than the

first two, it has been used in obtaining the solutions described in this Paper.

354 K. G. POULOS AND E. H. DAVIS

PTld L

P

A comparison between the distributions of shear stress along the pile using these three

representations of pile action is shown in Fig. 2 for a length to diameter ratio L/d of 100 and a

Poisson’s ratio of the soil of 0.5. In all cases the base has been assumed to carry no load. It

will be seen that for this case the distributions obtained from the line load and ring representa-

tions agree closely, while the distribution obtained from the point load representation is sig-

nificantly different, being more nearly uniform along the pile than the other two solutions.

For piles with an L/d ratio considerably less than that considered in Fig. 2, it is obvious that

the approximation of the shear stresses as ring loads will most closely represent the action of

the pile, while the other representations become increasingly inaccurate.

In the main analysis allowance has been made for the load taken by the base. It can be

seen from Fig. 2 that, even for a slender pile, the base has a small but significant modifying

effect on the distribution of shear stress on the shaft. In taking the base into account it has

been assumed that the pressure on the base is uniform, thus neglecting the non-uniformity of

pressure due to rigidity. A more refined analysis could have been made by considering the

base as a series of uniformly loaded rings and including their displacements, and those due to

them, as elements in the matrix in equation (S), but it was thought not to be worth the extra

computational labour, in view of the fact that the base exerts only a relatively minor modifying

influence on the whole pile behaviour except for very short piers (see e.g. Fig. 6).

In order to solve equation (5) it is necessary to evaluate the displacement at the mid-

height of the periphery of each element due to all the elements comprising the pile. These

displacements may be obtained by integration of the Mindlin equations (Mindlin, 1936) for

the displacement due to a point load within a semi-infinite mass.

The geometry of a typical cylindrical pile element is shown in Fig. 3. For the point i at

SETTLEMENT BEHAVIOUR OF SINGLE AXIALLY LOADED PILES AND PIERS 355

mid-height of the ith element on the periphery of the pile of radius a, the influence factor for

vertical displacement due to uniform shear on the jth element is

id n/2

Iij = 4a ,IdOdc . . . . . . . (7)

s U-1)6 s 0

where J is the influence factor for vertical displacement due to a vertica1 point load. From

Mindlin’s equation pI is given by

1

1+v z; 3-4v+5-12v+8v2+(3-4v)z2-2cz+2c2+6cz2(z-c)

R5 . ’ ’ (‘)

p1 = &r(l-v)E [ @- R, R R3

where z= (i-$)6 +c and z1 = (;-*)6-c and for use in equation (7) R2 =4a2 cos2 0+,z2,

Rf=4a2 cos2 B+zT.

The integral with respect to c in equation (7) can be evaluated analytically, but that with

respect to 6’is evaluated more conveniently numerically.

The geometry of the pile base is shown in Fig. 4. To allow for an enlarged base the general

case of a base radius a,, different from the pile radius a was considered. For the point i on

the shaft the influence factor for vertical displacement due to uniform loading on the base is

2n ab

Ii, = .Ir ar de . . . . . . . . (9)

ss0 0

drical pile element

= p;ZadCXdc

3*

356 H. G. POULOS AND E. H. DAVIS

where PI is given by equation (S), but now for use in equation (9)

c = n8

R2 = .z2+a2+y2-2ra cos 0

Rf = zf+a2+r2-22ra cos 6’

The integration with respect to Y can be done analytically but again the integration with

respect to 0 is evaluated most readily numerically.

The influence factor for displacement of the centre of the base due to shear stress on

element i is given by

id

I,, = 2ra p1 ac . . . . . . . . (10)

s (1-W

where pl is given by equation (8) with, for use in equation (10)

i = +z+*

R2 = .z2+a2

Rf = $+a2

The integration in equation (10) can be clone analytically, the integrals involved being

essentially the same as those for integrating with respect to c in equation (7).

In calculating the vertical displacement of the base due to the base itself, it was thought

worthwhile to make an approximate correction for the effect of the rigidity of the base by

multiplying the displacement of the centre of the uniformly loaded circular base by a factor

of r/4. This factor is the ratio of the surface displacement of a rigid circle on the surface of a

semi-infinite mass to the displacement of the centre of a corresponding uniformly loaded

circle. It is reasonable to assume that this ratio will apply approximately to the case of a

circle founded below the surface of a semi-infinite mass. With this assumption the influence

factor for the vertical displacement of the base clue to the load on the base is given by

s 0

where PI is given by equation (8) with, for use in equation (11)

i = n++

c = n8

R2 = 4c2+y2

R, = Y

In obtaining the subsequent solutions the pile has been divided into ten elements. It was

found that the displacements obtained by the use of 10 elements differed by less than 2%

from those using 25 elements although the shear stress distribution was somewhat modified,

with higher shear stresses being obtained near the pile base with the larger number of ele-

ments. As the emphasis lay with the displacements rather than with the detail of the shear

stress distribution, the above sacrifice in accuracy in using 10 elements was considered justi-

fied in view of the sixfold saving in computer time. In performing the numerical integrations

in equations (7) and (9) intervals of m/50 in 0 were found to be adequate. All solutions were

obtained using the KDF9 computer at the University of Sydney.

For a wide range of L/d ratios and for four values of Poisson’s ratio v of the soil, equation

(5) has been solved to obtain the distribution of shear stress and the displacement of a floating

SETTLEMENT BEHAVIOUR OF SINGLE AXIALLY LOADED PILES AND PIERS 357

II

pile in a semi-infinite mass. Typical distributions of shear stress are shown in Fig. 5 for the

case when v = 05. As mentioned the shape of these distributions may be somewhat inaccu-

rate because only 10 elements were used, but nevertheless, the general change in the shear

stress distribution with decreasing L/d can readily be seen from Fig. 5. For slender piles the

shear stress increases gradually from a minimum near the top of the pile to a maximum near

the base of the pile. As L/d decreases, the shape of the shear stress distribution alters and

for values less than 5 there is a concentration of shear stress near the ends of the pile and a

minimum value near the centre.

The proportion of the total load carried by the base is plotted against L/d and d/L in

Fig. 6. The base load is influenced to some extent by the value of v of the soil and, for any

given value of L/d, is greater for v= O-5 than for v=O. For slender piles the amount of load

taken by the base is small and only when L/d is less than about 2 for v=O and 3.5 for ~=0.5

does the load on the base exceed 25% of the applied load.

The displacement factors, given by the analysis using equation (5), are plotted for v=O

and O-5 as the solid lines in Fig. 7. Although the full range of length to diameter ratio is

covered, values of the displacement factor can be read accurately from it only for short piles

and piers. For long piles the displacement factor can be read more accurately from the right-

hand side of Figs 9 to 12. It should be noted that the definition of displacement factor is

different in these figures from that in Fig. 7. For comparison, the dotted curves shown in

Fig. 7 are for perfectly smooth piles to which the soil does not adhere, so that no shear stress

is developed on the shaft. These curves have been obtained by calculating the displacement

of a rigid circle buried within a semi-infinite mass using the reduction factor method (Poulos,

1967a). Comparison between the two sets of curves for rough and smooth piles shows that,

as was to be expected, the presence of side adhesion has a dominant effect in reducing the

settlement, especially for long piles, and even quite shallow piers with rough sides cannot

accurately be considered as buried footings applying their load to the soil solely through the

base. At the other extreme of an infinitely long pile the rough pile undergoes zero settlement,

whereas the smooth pile has the finite settlement of a rigid circle within an infinite mass.

For piles and piers of normal proportions the perfectly smooth condition is unlikely to be

358 H. G. POULOS AND E. H. DAVIS

4 C-d

‘\

‘\

--A

\

\

\

\ \

i

-0 ‘L 025 d/L 0

4

SETTLEMENT BEHAVIOUR OF SINGLE AXIALLY LOADED PILES AND PIERS 359

approached in practice. For example, in model tests conducted by Coyle and Reese (1966) in

which both roughened and polished brass piles were used the settlement of the polished pile

was little different from that of the roughened pile. There is little doubt that the analysis for

a rough pile is more applicable to field conditions especially under working loads. The change

in load-settlement behaviour of a rough pile as the load is increased towards failure and local

shear failure occurs on the interface between the shaft and the soil at the higher stressed

locations is discussed later.

The relative importance of the immediate settlement of a single rough pile in a semi-

infinite mass of ideal soil is shown in Fig. 8 where the ratio of the immediate settlement S,

to the total final settlement S,, is plotted against L/d and d/L. The immediate settlement

S, is given by putting E equal to the undrained Young’s modulus E, of the soil and using the

influence factor for the undrained value of Poisson’s ratio vu. The total final settlement S,, is

given by putting E = E’, the Young’s modulus of the soil skeleton with respect to effective

stresses, and using the influence factor for the Poisson’s ratio v’ of the soil with respect to

effective stresses. For an ideal saturated soil v,=O+ and if the shear modulus is assumed to

remain constant throughout the consolidation process E, is related to E’ and V’ as follows

3E’

E, = 2(1+v,) . . . . . . e . (12)

Figure 8 shows that for a practical range of values of L/d the immediate settlement con-

tributes the major part of the total final settlement, even for v’=O. For example, in a soil

having a value of V’ of 0.2, for a pile with L/d =25, 8974 of the total settlement occurs immedi-

ately and only the remaining 11 o/0is time-dependent consolidation settlement. It is only for

very shallow piers (L/d < 1) that the proportion of immediate settlement to total final settle-

ment tends to that for the surface footing case. Although the curves in Fig. 8 are for an ideal

soil with a linearly elastic skeleton, the trend in the relative importance of immediate settle-

ment which they show should be quaIitativeIy true for real soil, but for predictions of immedi-

ate and total final settlement it is preferable to use separate experimental values of E,, and

E’ and V’ determined from undrained and drained triaxial tests, rather than to rely on the

validity of equation (12).

The results of full-scale sustained load tests carried out by Whitaker and Cooke (1966)

confirm that for increments of load well below the ultimate load the amount of consolidation

settlement of a single pile is very small compared with the immediate settlement. It is only

0, 005 0, 0

% I_

360 H. G. POULOS AND E. H. DAVIS

Displacement p cpI

LE P

362 H. G. POULOS AND E. H. DAVIS

when the load approaches the ultimate that significant time-dependent settlements occur and

these would appear to be due to shear creep rather than to pore pressure dissipation.

Thus the implications of Fig. 8 are that the predominant portion of the total final settle-

ment of a single pile or pier occurs immediately on application of the load so that, in contrast

to surface pad footings, the consideration of the rate of settlement of a pile is of relatively

minor importance. This conclusion should not be taken as necessarily applying to large

groups of piles. It would also appear that for working loads well below the ultimate sustained

loading tests on piles may often be of insufficient value to justify their expense. Adequate

information on the behaviour of the pile will usually be obtained from a constant rate of pene-

tration test as suggested by Whitaker and Cooke (1961).

A rigorous solution to the problem of a pile in a finite layer underlain by a rough, rigid

base, which followed the same approach as that used for a pile in a semi-infinite mass, would

require a knowledge of the displacements due to a point load buried within a finite layer.

Although a formal solution to this problem is reported to have been obtained (Shekhter and

Prikhodchenko, 1964) no numerical results are available. Hence, in order to obtain an ap-

proximate estimate of the influence of a finite layer on the distribution of shear on the pile and

the displacement of the pile, the Steinbrenner approximation (Steinbrenner, 1934) has been

used. The accuracy of this approximation has been discussed by Davis and Taylor (1962)

and Poulos (1967b) in relation to surface footings. It has been found that the Steinbrenner

approximation gives values for the displacement of a uniformly loaded area on the surface on

a finite layer which are generally within 10% of the correct values, except for very shallow

layers and for high values of v when the approximate values may be considerably greater than

the correct values.

From the Steinbrenner approximation the vertical displacement influence factor I, for a

point 0 in the surface of a layer of depth h is given by

I, 2: 1,--I,_, . . . . . . . . (13)

where I, is the displacement factor for a semi-infinite mass and I,_ m is the displacement factor

for a point within a semi-infinite mass a distance h vertically below the point 0.

These influence factors for a finite layer may be substituted into equations (2) and (3) and

the resulting equation (5) may be solved as before to yield the distribution of shear stress on

the shaft and the displacement of the pile.

Solutions obtained in the above manner for a pile in a layer underlain by a rough, rigid

base gave a distribution of shear stress on the shaft identical with that for a pile in a semi-

infinite mass. This was a direct consequence of the approximate Steinbrenner assumption

and presumably a more exact analysis would have given somewhat different distributions for

different layer depths. In this analysis the shear stress distribution was independent of the

depth of the layer and so the settlement ,o,, of a pile in a layer of any depth Iz could be

conveniently calculated as follows :

j=?L

( 1

P, shear stress on element i

Pb vertical stress on the base

I h, displacement influence factor for a point below the periphery of the pile at a depth

F, below the soil surface, due to a uniform shear on element i

I hb displacement influence factor for a point on the axis of the pile at a depth Jz below

the soil surface, due to a uniform load on the base

Using equation (14) the displacement of a pile was calculated for the full range of values

SETTLEMENT BEHAVIOUR OF SINGLE AXIALLY LOADED PILES AND PIERS 363

of h/L for four values of V. These displacements are plotted in Figs 9 to 12 for various values

of L/d. In order to cover the entire range of values of h/L, the displacements have been plot-

ted against h/L for h/L= 1 to 2, and against L/h for h/L=2 to co.

From these figures it will be seen that the presence of a rigid base below the soil surface

has a decreasing influence on the settlement of a pile as the ratio L/d increases. For example,

for a relatively short pier (L/d=5) the presence of a rigid base at a depth of h=2L below the

surface decreases the settlement by 47% as compared with the settlement of the same pier in

a semi-infinite mass. For a slender pile (L/d = 200) the corresponding reduction in settlement

is only 10%.

For very shallow layers the curves must be considered as approximate, since it is for such

layers (especially for the case v=O-5) that the Steinbrenner approximation is likely to be most

inaccurate. Nevertheless Figs 9 to 12 should provide a rational basis for the determination

of the immediate and total final settlement of a single pile or pier of normal proportions.

In the analysis described it is assumed that the pile is perfectly rough and that the soil is

an ideal elastic material capable of resisting any shear stresses which may be developed be-

tween the pile and the soil. However, real soils have a finite shear strength and the interface

between the pile and soil has a finite adhesive strength. When the shear stress reaches the

adhesive strength slip will occur between the pile and the soil. Thus the solutions presented

are valid only while conditions in the soil remain elastic and the shear stresses along the pile

are less than the adhesive strength.

An approximate analysis of the behaviour of a pile after slip occurs may be made by a

modification to the elastic analysis. Such an analysis has been described by Salas (1965)

for a pile in a cohesive soil, Thurman and D’Appolonia (1965) for a pile in sand and D’Appolonia

and Romualdi (1963) for end-bearing piles. In this Paper the only case considered is that of

a floating pile in a saturated clay loaded under undrained conditions. The value of Y of the

soil for this case is therefore 0.5. It will be assumed that the soil has an undrained cohesion c

and that the adhesive strength between the pile and the soil is c,.

For a pile composed of YJelements (including the base) elastic conditions prevail until the

load-carrying capacity of the most heavily loaded element of the pile is reached. If slip

occurs along the pile shaft it will be when

P mox=Ca . . . . . . . . . (15)

wherePm,, is the maximum shear stress on the pile shaft. If failure of the base occurs the

vertical stress on the base is

p,, = cN, . . . . . . . . . (16)

where N, is a bearing capacity factor, assumed here to be 9.

If the load applied to the pile increases beyond the value required to cause the first slip or

yield, the element which has failed can take no additional load and the increase in load is thus

redistributed between the remaining elastic elements until the load-carrying capacity of the

next most heavily loaded element is reached. This stage may be analysed by calculating

from the original elastic displacement matrix (for v=O+) the displacements at the centres of

the remaining elements due to the unknown stresses on the elastic elements and the known

ultimate stress on the element which has slipped. A set of n - 1 equations is thus obtained

which may be solved as before to give the stress distribution on the pile and the displacement

of the pile until slip of the next element occurs.

This procedure may be repeated until all the elements in the pile including the base have

failed. At this stage the ultimate failure load P, of the pile is reached, where

P, = dLc,i- (z-d2/4)cN, . . . . . . . (17)

The load-settlement relationship up to failure may thus be obtained.

364 H. G. POULOS AND E. H. DAVIS

Settlement Factor I.

In this analysis the development of plastic zones within the soil is not taken into account

and the assumption is made that the displacements due to the constant shear stress, equal to

the adhesive strength, which is acting on an element which has slipped, are given by elastic

theory. Although this assumption should involve little inaccuracy when only a few elements

have slinned. the load-settlement relationship is likely to be inaccurate as the load approaches

the ultimate .failure load of the pile. - -

0.151

0 0 001 0 002 0 003 0004

Settlement Factor I,

SETTLEMENT BEHAVIOUR OF SINGLE AXIALLY LOADED PILES AND PIERS 365

Load-settlement curves for a pile in a semi-infinite mass have been obtained and are given

in Figs 13 and 14, the settlements being plotted in terms of an influence factor I,. It has

been found that by expressing the settlements in this form the shape of the load-settlement

curves is independent of the ratio E/c, although the magnitude of the settlement does of

course depend on this ratio.

The load-settlement curves for various values of L/d are given in Fig. 13 for c&/c= 1, the

load being plotted as the dimensionless ratio P/Pu. It will be seen that the settlement of a

pile at a given working load, expressed as a fraction of the ultimate load of the pile, increases

as the L/d ratio increases (although in terms of the actual load on the pile the settlement

decreases as L/d increases). The analysis also shows that even when c, = c slip occurs between

the side of the pile and the soil long before the ultimate bearing capacity of the base is reached,

and that the full side adhesion of the shaft is mobilized at a settlement considerably less than

that at the point of overall failure of the pile. This effect is well-known in practice from the

measurements of Whitaker and Cooke (1961, 1966). As L/d increases and the base effect

becomes less important the ratio of the settlement at which the full adhesion is mobilized to

the settlement at full failure increases accordingly.

The effect of the amount of side adhesion on the load-settlement curves is shown in Fig. 14

where curves for values of c,/c from 1-O to 0.2 are plotted for L/d=25. As the value of c,/c

decreases the bearing capacity of the pile decreases and the settlement at the point of failure

also decreases. Furthermore the ratio of the settlement at which full shaft adhesion is

mobilized to the settlement just before ultimate failure decreases as c,/c decreases.

It may therefore be concluded that the shape of the load-settlement curve is influenced by

both the value of L/d and the value of cJc, but not by E/c.

366 H. G. POULOS AND E. H. DAVIS

In analysing the behaviour of a pile with an enlarged base this base has been considered

as a rigid circle of diameter d, greater than the shaft diameter d of the pile. The analyses have

been done as described previously. In Fig. 15, the variation of load taken by the base with the

ratio d,jd is shown for a pile in a semi-infinite mass. As the diameter of the pile base in-

creases the load taken by the base increases as expected. The smaller the value of L/d, the

more rapid is the rate of increase of base load with increasing base diameter. With values

of L/d smaller than about 5 it is apparent that even a relatively small enlargement of the base

results in the pile becoming effectively a spread footing with almost all the load taken by the

base. For slender piles enlargement of the base has little influence on the small amount of

load transferred to the base.

The effect of an enlarged base on the settlement of a pile in a semi-infinite mass is shown

in Fig. 16 where the ratio of the settlement of a pile with an enlarged base to the settlement of

a pile without an enlarged base is plotted against d,Jd. It will be seen that enlarging the

base of a slender pile has little effect in reducing the settlement. However, for relatively

short piles with L/d ratios less than about 25 enlargement of the base results in a significant

decrease in settlement.

A series of tests on model piles with enlarged bases in a soft remoulded clay was carried

out by Cooke and Whitaker (1961) and tests on full-scale piles with enlarged bases in London

Clay were made by the same investigators (Whitaker and Cooke, 1966). The results of these

tests are shown in Fig. 17 where the ratio of the base load taken for a pile with an enlarged

base to the base load for a conventional pile without an enlarged base is plotted against d,ld.

The results quoted by Cooke and Whitaker for the model tests are the mean of a series of tests

for L/d ratios ranging from 11 to 35 and the theoretical curve for an average value of L/d of

base on the settlement of a pile

?

5

tween theoretical and observed aJ

behaviour of piles with an en- 2

larged base

5

SETTLEMENT BEHAVIOUR OF SINGLE AXIALLY LOADED PILES AND PIERS 367

25 is plotted for comparison in Fig. 17. For the full-scale tests the value of L/d was about 15

so that the theoretical curve for this ratio is also given. It will be seen from Fig. 17 that there

is fair agreement between the theory and the observations, although in both cases the experi-

mental points lie above the theoretical curve. The discrepancy is greater for the full-scale

tests and this may be due to the relative compressibility of the pile in relation to the stiff

London Clay in which they were founded.

Theoretical load-settlement curves for a pile with an enlarged base are shown in Fig. 18

for L/d=25 and CJC = 1. The load is plotted as the dimensionless ratio PIPu. It will be seen

that the effect of enlarging the base is to increase the settlement of the pile at any given frac-

tion of the ultimate failure load, although the ultimate load for a pile with an enlarged base

will be greater than that for a pile without an enlarged base. This effect has again been

confirmed in the full-scale tests made by Whitaker and Cooke (1966).

Although it has been shown that the consolidation settlement of a single pile is of minor

importance compared with the immediate settlement, it is nevertheless interesting to examine

the rate at which the consolidation settlement occurs. A complete solution for the rate of

settlement of a foundation can, in principle, be obtained by solving the basic equations of

consolidation derived by Biot (1941), but even for problems with relatively simple boundary

conditions such a complete solution is difficult to obtain either by analytical or numerical

means.

It was shown by Gibson and Lumb (1953) that the equation governing the rate of dissipa-

tion of excess pore pressure obtained from Biot’s theory is

au

-= iao

c,V% +-- . . . . , . . .

at 3at

4-G.

368 H. G. POULOS AND E. H. DAVIS

cg = three dimensional coefficient of consolidation, KE’/3y,(l-2~‘)

0 = bulk total stress, CJ~+CT~

fo,

Equation (18), because of the term a@/%, cannot in general be solved without using the

full Biot theory to give the changes in stress distribution as well as pore pressure during the

consolidation process. However, it can be shown from the formal mathematical solution of

Biot’s theory given by McNamee and Gibson (1960) that when v’=O.5, a B/%=0. Equation

(18) can then be readily solved as an ordinary diffusion equation without reference to the

complications of elasticity, except in so far as elastic theory must be used to give the initial

distribution of excess pore pressure. Such solutions for particular problems are most

conveniently obtained by numerical finite difference methods.

The solution of equation (18) for the appropriate boundary conditions gives the distribu-

tion of excess pore pressure at any time t. From this the average degree of pore pressure

dissipation on the centre line beneath the foundation can be calculated for the time t.

q&Jp.$ . . . . . . . . (19)

uo *

where tit excess pore pressure at time t

Only under one dimensional conditions, such as those of the oedometer test, is Dp identical

with the degree of consolidation settlement U,, but it has been found (Davis and Poulos,

1968a) that 0, (v’=O.5) can be used as a first approximation for U, sufficiently accurately for

many practical purposes, for all values of V' and for three dimensional situations involving

surface loading. For such foundations the value of U, at any particular time factor TV is

generally greater than the corresponding value of o,, but is unlikely to exceed it by more

than 0.16 and in most cases the difference will be less. In this comparison TV is defined as

c&/D’ where D is some convenient reference length of the problem. 0, (v’= 0.5) can thus be

regarded as a lower bound to U, for all v'. An improvement in the accuracy of this approxi-

mate approach, obtained by making some adjustment for the change in 0 during consolida-

tion when ~‘~0.5, is discussed by Davis and Poulos (1968a). In the present context this

refinement was not considered to be warranted in view of the other inaccuracies such as those

of the Steinbrenner assumption and also the relative unimportance of consolidation settle-

ment in the total settlement of single piles. 6, (v’=0.5) is therefore treated as U, with the

Fig. 19. Approximate solutions for the rate of settlement of a single pile

SETTLEMENT BEHAVIOUR OF SINGLE AXIALLY LOADED PILES AND PIERS 369

expectation that it will be a lower limit to the true value of U, for a single pile as it is for a

surface foundation.

Solutions of equation (18) with 8 @/at=0 for a single pile were calculated by finite differ-

ence methods, the distributions of initial excess pore pressure throughout the mass being

obtained by integrating the Mindlin equation for the bulk stress 0. At any point the bulk

stress due to loading of the pile is given by

j=n r2n ri& r2n ra,

t3=axpi

j=l J0 J u- I)6

Jo dc d B+p,

J J ”pIB~

0 0

dv d6’ . . . (20)

where J@ is the influence factor for the bulk stress due to a point load.

These integrations were performed analytically with respect to z and Y and numerically

with respect to 8, the numerical integration and the summation in equation (20) being done

on the KDF9 computer. Assuming an ideal two phase elastic soil the initial pore pressure

is given by O/3.

Regions of high initial pore pressure were found to be very localized around the pile and

consequently it was necessary to use a fine finite-difference mesh in the vicinity of the pile

tip and a coarser mesh X times larger than the fine mesh away from the pile tip. Thus in

the finite difference solution X2 operations were done on the mesh points within the fine net

for each operation on the coarse net. X was generally taken as 8 or 10 for the solutions

given in this Paper.

In Fig. 19 typical solutions are given for a permeable and impermeable pile for L/d =25

and /z/L= 2 with a permeable base beneath the soil layer and for Y’of the soil of 05. It will

be seen that the rate of settlement is considerably faster for the permeable pile than for the

impermeable pile at early times, although the difference between the two rates decreases at

later times and is generally not as great as might have been expected. A feature of both

curves is the relatively long ‘tail’ of the curve at later times with the major portion of the

curve extending over more log cycles of time than does the curve for a surface footing.

With the time factor TV defined as c,t/L2 (Fig. 19) it was found that the rate of settlement

increased as L/d increased, although L/d had little influence on the rate of settlement for

values between 25 and 200. The rate of settlement also tended to increase as h/L decreased

but the effect was not significant for values of h/L between 5 and 1.5. Furthermore, it was

found that, unless h/L was less than about 1.5, the permeability or impermeability of the base

underlying the soil layer had little effect on the rate of settlement.

A comparison between the rate of settlement of a single pile and of a surface footing of the

same diameter as the pile is shown in Fig. 20 for the case of a permeable pile and footing and

Fig. 20. Comparison between rate of settlement of a pile and a surface footing

370 II. G. POULOS AND E. H. DAVIS

for V' =0.5. For the pile, curves for L/d = 25 and L/d = 10 are shown. For the surface footing

the numerical solution for a circle on a semi-infinite mass is shown, previously obtained by

Davis and Poulos (1968a). The time factor TV is defined here as c,t/d2. It will be seen that

the rate of settlement of a pile is generally slower than that of a surface footing of the same

diameter. However, as L/d decreases the rate of settlement of a pile increases (with TV de-

fined in terms of d) and progressively tends to that of the surface footing (which is the

limiting case L/d =0) although even for L/d = 10 the rate of settlement of the pile is still much

slower than that of the surface footing.

At the present time it is not possible to estimate the accuracy of the numerical solutions

in Figs 19 and 20 since no limiting analytical solutions to this problem are available. Thus,

both because of the approximate nature of the numerical solution and the approximation of

assuming the degree of settlement equal to the degree of pore pressure dissipation, these

curves must be regarded only as approximate solutions for the rate of settlement of a pile.

However, because the consolidation settlement is relatively unimportant in relation to the

immediate settlement, the curves in Figs 19 and 20 and the other findings reported probably

give an adequate guide to the rate of settlement of a single pile for most practical purposes.

They should not be taken as being applicable to large groups of piles.

CONCLUSIONS

The conclusions of practical significance to be drawn from the theoretical work described

in this Paper on the behaviour of single axially loaded incompressible piles and piers founded

in compressible soil are given below. Although these conclusions may also apply to small

groups of piles and to a large number of widely spaced piles, they should not be taken as

necessarily applying to large groups of closely spaced piles.

1. When a single pile is loaded the major part of the settlement occurs immediately

under undrained conditions, and even for low values of Poisson’s ratio V' of the soil skeleton

the immediate settlement may contribute about 90% of the total final settlement.

2. There is a considerable difference between the settlement of a perfectly rough pile

and a perfectly smooth pile, the latter settling a much greater amount for a given load.

However, it is very doubtful whether the condition of perfect smoothness is ever approxi-

mated in the field.

3. The amount of load transferred to the base of a single pile is small for piles of common

L/d ratios. Even for piers with an L/d ratio of 2 only about 25% of the applied load is

taken by the base.

4. As the L/d ratio increases the presence of a rigid base to the compressible soil in

which a single pile is founded has a progressively smaller influence in decreasing the

settlement of the pile.

5. The shape of the load settlement curve for a pile loaded to failure under undrained

conditions is influenced by the L/d ratio of the pile and the ratio of the adhesion c, between

pile and soil to the soil cohesion c. However, the shape of the curve is independent of the

value of E/c.

6. The effect of an enlarged base on a pile is to increase the load taken by the base and

to decrease the settlement of the pile as compared with a similar pile without an enlarged

base. However, these effects are significant only if L/d is less than about 25, so that en-

larging the base of a single pile is only effective if the pile is relatively short.

7. The rate of consolidation settlement of a single pile is generally slower than that of

a surface footing of the same radius as the pile. At early times it is strongly influenced

by the permeability or impermeability of the pile.

SETTLEMENT BEHAVIOUR OF SINGLE AXIALLY LOADED PILES AND PIERS 371

The analyses presented in this Paper are based on elastic theory and are therefore strictly

applicable only to the case of an ideal soil. The application of these analyses to real soils has

been discussed previously (Davis and Poulos, 1968b) and it has been shown that, provided the

‘elastic’ soil parameters are determined over a stress range representative of that in the field

problem, elastic theory may successfully be used to predict the settlement of pad foundations

on a real soil. It is therefore reasonable to expect that the settlement of pile foundations may

similarly be successfully predicted from elastic theory. However, an assessment of the

accuracy of such predictions must await comparisons with the results of carefully controlled

model and field tests.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The major part of the work described in this Paper was made possible by a grant from

Frankipile Australia for research into the settlement of pile foundation. Assistance was

also received by the award of a research grant from the Australian Research Grants Com-

mittee. The computational work was done on the KDF9 computer at the Basser Computing

Department of the School of Physics, Sydney University. The Authors would like to ac-

knowledge the work of Mr W. 0. Sherrard who did some preliminary analyses in connexion

with the work described and the work of Mr N. S. Mattes, who made an analysis of the effects

of radial strain compatibility. The comments and constructive criticisms made by Dr I. K.

Lee, Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering, Sydney University are also gratefully acknowledged.

REFERENCES

BIOT, M. A. (1941). General theory of three-dimensional consolidation. J. A#. Phys. 12, 1X-164.

COOKE, R. W. & WHITAXER, T. (1961). Experiments on model piles with enlarged bases. G&technique

11, No. 1, 1-13.

COYLE, H. M. & REESE, L. C. (1966). Load transfer for axially loaded piles in clay. J. Soil Mech. Fdm

Div. Am. Sot. civ. Engrs 92, No. SMZ, l-26.

D’APPOLONIA, E. & ROMUALDI, J. P. (1963). Load transfer in end-bearing steel H-piles. Proc. Am. SOC.

civ.Engrs 89, No. SMZ, l-25.

DAVIS, E. H. & POULOS, H. G. (1968a). The rate of settlement of foundations under three-dimensional

conditions. To be published.

DAVIS, E. H. & POULOS, H. G. (1968b). The use of elastic theory for settlement prediction under three-

dimensional conditions. Gdotechnique 18, No. 1, 67-91.

DAVIS, E. H. & TAYLOR, H. (1962). The movement of bridge approaches and abutments on soft foundation

soils. Proc. First Biennial Conf. Amt. Rd Res. Bd, 740-764.

GIBSON, R. E. & LUMB, P. (1953). Numerical solution of some problems in the consolidation of clay.

Proc. Instn civ. Engrs 2, No. 2, 197.

MCNAMEE, J. & GIBSON, R. E. (1960). Displacement functions and linear transforms applied to diffusion

through porous elastic media. Q. Jl Mech. appl. Math. 13, 98-111.

MATTES, N. S. (1967). Private communication.

MINDLIN, R. D. (1936). Force at a point in the interior of a semi-infinite solid. Physics 8, 195.

POULOS, H. G. (1967a). The use of the sector method for calculating stresses and displacements in an

elastic mass. Proc. 5th Amt.-N.Z. Conf. Soil Mech. Auckland.

POULOS, H. G. (196713). Stresses and displacements in an elastic layer underlain by a rough rigid base.

Gbotechnique 17, No. 4, 378-410.

SALAS, J. A. J. (1965). Discussion on Division 4, Proc. 6th Int. Conf. Soil Mech. 3, 489-492.

SALAS! J. A. J. & BELZUNCE, J. A. (1965). Resolution theorique de la distribution des forces dans les

Proc. 6th Int. Conf. Soil Mech. 2, 309-313.

SEE~$?%. & REESE, L. C. (1955). The action of soft clay along friction piles. Proc. Am. Sot. civ.Engrs

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SHEKHTER, 0. YA & PRIKHODCHENKO,0. E. (1964). Stress and displacement distributions in an elastic

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STEINBRENNER,W. (1934). Tafeln zur setzungberechnung. Strasse 1, 121.

THURMAN, A. G. & D’APPOLONIA, E. (1965). Computed movement of friction and end-bearing piles em-

bedded in uniform and stratified soils. Proc. 6th I&. Conf. Soil Mech. 2, 323-327.

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