Pile Model Tests Using Strain Gauge Technology

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Ordinary pile bearing capacity tests are usually carried out to determine the relationship between load and displacement of pile head. The measurement system required in such tests consists of force transducer and three or four displacement gauges. The whole system is installed at the pile head above the ground level. This approach, however, does not give us complete information about the pile-soil interaction. We can only determine the total bearing capacity of the pile, without the knowledge of its distribution into the shaft and base resistances. Much more information can be obtained by carrying out a test of instrumented pile equipped with a system for measuring the distribution of axial force along its core. In the case of pile model tests the use of such measurement is difficult due to small scale of the model.

To find a suitable solution for axial force measurement, which could be applied to small scale model piles, we had to take into account the following requirements:

- a linear and stable relationship between measured and physical values,

- the force measurement accuracy of about 0.1 kN,

- the range of measured forces up to 30 kN,

- resistance of measuring gauges against aggressive counteraction of concrete mortar and against moisture,

- insensitivity to pile bending,

- economical factor.

These requirements can be fulfilled by strain gauge sensors if an appropriate methodology is used for test preparation (Hoffmann [1]). In this paper, we focus on some aspects of the application of strain gauge sensors for model pile tests. The efficiency of the method is proved on the examples of static load tests carried out on SDP model piles acting as single piles and in a group.

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  • [1] HOFFMANN K. An Introduction to Stress Analysis and Transducer Design using Strain Gauge HBM. Retrieved July 5 2014 from HBM http://www.hbm.com/en/menu/tips-tricks/experimentalstress- analysis/reference-book/

  • [2] KRASIŃSKI A. Model tests of screwed piles Proceedings of the XIV Danube-European Conference on Geotechnical Engineering. From Research to Design in European Practice 2-4 June 2010 Bratislava.

  • [3] KRASIŃSKI A. Screw displacement piles. Interaction with non-cohesive soil Wydawnictwo Politechniki Gdańskiej Gdańsk 2013 60-75 (in Polish).

  • [4] KRASIŃSKI A. KUSIO T. Comparative model tests of SDP and CFA pile groups in non-cohesive soil Proceedings of XVI French-Polish Colloquium of Soil and Rock Mechanics Multiscale Modeling in Soil and Rock Mechanics 7-10 July 2013 (CD) Montpellier.

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