Setup of axial bearing capacity of open ended tubular steel piles driven in sand

Open access

Abstract

This paper focuses on the setup of axial bearing capacity of open ended tubular steel piles that are used for offshore foundation systems such as those of wind turbines. A comparative evaluation of the most commonly used models for setup prediction shows an upper estimate bound and a lower estimate bound, which correspond approximately to a setup rate of 60% increase per log cycle of time and 20% increase per log cycle of time, respectively. This finding is validated with the results of case histories reported in literature, which show that the setup values of most case histories considered lie in the best estimate zone between the upper estimate zone and the lower estimate zone. The analysis results show a minimum setup factor of approximately 1.5 for 100 days following end of driving of open-ended tubular steel pile driven in sand.

Highlights

  1. Detailed presentation of setup phenomenon in granular sand and contributing mechanisms
  2. Detailed presentation of setup prediction models in granular sand
  3. Demonstration of lower bound, best estimate bound and upper bound for setup prediction
  4. Compilation of case histories of setup for driven open ended pile in granular soil and validation of lower estimate, best estimate and upper estimate zone

1 Introduction

Pile setup is defined as the increase of axial pile bearing capacity with time after its installation in soils. Pile setup is linked to some mechanisms such as the soil consolidation due to dissipation of excess pore water, soil ageing, corrosion or re-bonding and so on. Soil ageing is a process whereby recently disturbed or deposited soils gain stiffness and strength over time at constant effective stress. The ageing phenomenon often leads to an increase in the stiffness and strength of granular soils (Mitchell and Solymar (1984), Schmertmann (1991), Thomann and Hryciw (1992), Ng et al. (1998)). However, in a few cases, a reduction in pile capacity with time was reported (Bullock et al. (2005)). This reduction in pile capacity with time occurs primarily because of the dissipation of negative pore pressures due to pile driving. Chow et al. (1998) reported three soil profiles that may create this condition: strong soils that dilate during penetration, weak sediment and metamorphic rock, and sands confined by a cofferdam or closely spaced pile. The soil leading to a decrease in pile capacity with time is termed as sensitive by Mitchell and Solymar (1984), Mitchell (1986), York et al. (1994). The setup phenomenon linked to ageing and the increase of pile bearing capacity driven in granular soil has been observed in the field tests by Chow (1997), Skow and Denver (1998), Jardine and Standing (1999), Kirsch and von Bargen (2012); Ciavaglia et al. (2017). Pile axial capacities have been found to typically double over 6 months, although this effect is variable. The process of the setup has been found to continue for up to 5 years, long after pore pressures have dissipated (Browman and Soga (2005)).

This paper describes the setup phenomenon and the mechanisms that lead to setup in granular soils for better understanding of the setup phenomenon. Furthermore, a comparative study is carried out for the most common used models for setup prediction. The results obtained from this comparison study are validated with pile cases history.

2 Mechanism Of Setup In Granular Soil

When a pile is driven, a volume of soil approximately equal to the volume of pile is displaced during the installation. This soil displacement generally occurs in the direction of least resistance. For example, in normally consolidated or overconsolidated sand, the horizontal (radial) stress is generally lower than the vertical stress during the pile driving. Therefore, soil is displaced predominately radially along the pile shaft, and vertically and radially beneath the toe. However, some vertical displacement along the shaft may also occur. This displacement can significantly alter the stress in the soil. The soil below and adjacent to the pile undergoes a high degree of shearing, Bowman and Soga (2005), Jardine et al. (2006) and Chow et al. (1998). Randolph et al. (1979) states that in clay, pile driving can significantly alter the stress in the soil up to approximately 20 pile radii. As soil around and beneath the pile is displaced and disturbed, it forms an arching around the pile, thereby generating excess pore water pressures, thus decreasing the effective stress of the soil.

As a result, the radial stress around the pile decreases. Hence, the pile shaft resistance also decreases. The ultimate unit shaft friction τf developed on a pile in sand follows the Coulomb failure criterion, Lehane et al. (1993), Jardine et al. (2005):

τf=σrc+Δσrdtanδcv

s´rc = local radial effective stress; dcv = interface angle of friction at failure; Ds´rd = dilatant increase in local radial effective stress during pile loading.

However, Boulon and Foray (1986) stated that changes in lateral stress during loading are quite uncertain, but appear to result from constrained dilation, which can be modelled using a cylindrical cavity expansion analogy.

The phenomenon of the setup in granular soil can be divided into four (4) time-dependent interrelated mechanisms, based on the results of Schmertmann (1991), Chow et al. (1996) and Axelson (2000), Jardine et al. (2013):

  1. Dissipation of excess pore water pressure during the primary consolidation
  2. Creep induced relaxation of the soil arch that leads to breakdown of the arching stress and increases in radial stress, hence gains in shaft capacity
  3. Soil ageing leading to an increase in dilatancy, strength and stiffness of the soil. This leads to large radial effective stresses acting to the pile shaft during loading.
  4. Chemical corrosion or re-bonding resulting in an increase in surface roughness and interface angle between pile material and soil (δcv)
  5. Mechanical or thermal constrained dilatancy that leads to the increase of the radial effective stresses acting to the pile shaft during loading.

However, changes in stationary radial stress during set-up and enhanced dilation during loading appear to be the principal mechanisms controlling the pile ageing in sand (Gavin et al. (2015)). The setup is initiated by the dissipation of excess pore water pressure during the primary consolidation. The excess pore water pressure induced by pile installation can be dissipated in approximately 2 days after the end of driving in sand (Bullock et al. (2005)). The dissipation of excess pore pressure increases the radial effective stress, and therefore the ultimate unit shaft friction. The pile setup due to primary consolidation is termed as short-term setup (Axelsson (2000), Augustesen et al (2006)). The long-term setup is characterized by creep induced relaxation of soil arching, soil ageing and chemical corrosion of pile material. Creep-induced relaxation of the arching may additionally decrease the excess pore water pressure. Figure 1 is taken from the paper by Augustesen et al. (2005) and annotated with additional points A, B and C by the authors of the present paper:

Figure 1
Figure 1

a) Zones created during pile driving, b) relative density in the soil and arching mechanisms around the pile shaft due to pile driving (Augustesen et al (2005))

Citation: Studia Geotechnica et Mechanica 2020; 10.2478/sgem-2019-0032

  • Zone A represents the remoulded soil adjacent to the pile (Ciavaglia et al. (2017)). In this zone, the soil is altered by the pile driving process that leads to the accumulation of excess pore water pressure. As a result, the radial effective stress is lower in comparison to the original natural soil in zone C, which is not disturbed by the pile driving process.
  • Zone B represents a transition zone with arching soils developed during the pile driving process (Chow et al. (1998), Browman and Soga (2005)). Some soil blocks show hoop stresses and form soil arching in this zone. Creep induced relaxation leads to breakdown of soil arching. As a result, the effective radial stress increases.
  • Zone C is not disturbed by the pile driving process.

3 Setup Prediction Models And Comparison

Adequate time to assess the setup after the end of the driving depends on the soil type, the degree of the soil disturbance, the ability of the soil to dissipate the excess pore water pressure (hydraulic conductivity), the coefficient of radial (horizontal) consolidation, the pile diameter, and the soil layering. Therefore, there is no general agreement regarding the adequate time to assess the setup.

In engineering practice, particularly in offshore industry, long delays between end-of-driving and restrike testing are not always possible or practicable. Therefore, some empirical, semi-empirical, and analytical models have been proposed by researchers to predict pile setup with time (Skov and Denver (1988), Svinkin et al. (1994) and Long et al. (1999), Svinkin and Skov (2000)). Most of these empirical equations were developed based on a limited database, and therefore, site specific (or local) calibration may be essential for best prediction. Table 1 presents a summary of the commonly used models for the prediction of the setup in sand. The value A, B and α are assumed to be dependent only on the soil type. Based on the different mechanisms of the set-up phenomenon described in section 2, it can be believed that the value of A would depend also on the pile type, the pile geometry, the driving method, the overconsolidation ratio of the soil, and other soil properties.

Table 1

Empirical models for predicting increase in bearing with time

ReferencesEquationComments
Skov and Denver (1998)Qt = Q0(1 + A log t/t0)t0 = 0.5 and A = 0.2 for sand
Svinkin et al.Qt = BQEODt0.1B = 1.4 upper bound
(1994)B = 1.025 lower bound
Long et al.Qt = 1.1QEODtαα = 0.18 for upper bound value
(1999)α = 0.13 for average value
α = 0.05 for lower bound value

Figure 2 presents a comparison of the setup prediction models. It can be seen that the results of these prediction models show the best estimate zone lying between the upper estimate zone and the lower estimate zone. The upper estimate bound represents a setup rate of approximately 60% increase per log cycle of time,

Figure 2
Figure 2

Comparison of results of setup prediction models in sand

Citation: Studia Geotechnica et Mechanica 2020; 10.2478/sgem-2019-0032

while the lower estimate bound represents a step rate of approximately 20% increase per log cycle of time.

The results of case histories of open ended tubular piles driven in sand have been compiled in Table 2. Data obtained from offshore pile driving is scarce as most researches are carried onshore for practical reasons. However, Bowman and Soga (2005), Rimoy et al. (2015) stated that water has little influence on pile setup, especially in sands, since pore water pressures dissipate almost immediately and effective stresses govern pile capacity (Gavin et al. (2015)). Therefore, results of onshore and offshore tests should be comparable. Nevertheless, it should be noted that cycling of the water table (in onshore tests) may increase set-up rates (Bowman and Soga (2005), White and Zhao (2006)).

Table 2

Compilation of case histories for open-ended tubular piles driven in sand

ReferenceTest locationSoil descriptionCPT cone resistance qc (MPa)Pile diameterPileWallStatic / dynamicMaxResults
(m)Length (m)thickness (mm)testingtime (d)
Skov andSüdkai, Hamburg,alternating layers of fine,-0.76233.712.7dynamic and3042% increase in total capacity,

Denver (1988)Germanymedium and coarse sand, locally with fine gravelstatic testingderived from CAPWAP analysis of init ial driving and a restrike test after 30 days

Shioi et al. (1992)Trans Tokyo Bayalternating layers of4026231–34dynamic and50set-up fact or of approx. 2 on

Highway, Japancohesive soil and very dense sandstatic testingtotal resist ance was measured

York et al. (1994)JFK Airport , Newmedium dense, medium--0.355 and205.3–6.1dynamic and49increase in pile capacity of 40-

York, US Afine glacial sand; ~2m thick clay and peat layer near surface0.2static testing75% occurred because of set - up

(tapered monotube piles)

Fellenius andNorth S hore,2 m of sand and gravel fill-0.324 and16.512.5 and 9dynamic t esting71total pile capacity

Altaee (2002)Vancouver, Canadaon top of silt y sand, sandy silt and dense “till like” silt and sand0.457approximately doubled bet ween 1 and 30 days after driving

Bhushan (2004)LAXT wharf, Losmedium dense to very0.91 and 1.3733.5 - 41.516–25dynamic t esting139a set -up of 1.2 to 1.5 for

Angeles, USAdense sands int er-layered with clay and silt layers1 in clayey silt s, 7 to 33 in sandsperiods of 1 t o 10 days and 1.6

to 2 for periods from 14 to 139 days

Kolk et al. (2005)Eemshav en,siltyto very silty, medium to40 to 800.76up to 47 m36–42dynamic (during533total capacity increase of at

Net herlands (EURIPIDES JIP)very dense, fine to medium sandsdriving) and static testingleast 1.5 aft er 533 days, compared to capacity after 6 days

Jardine et al. (2006)Dunkirk t est piles,dense to very dense marine10 to 200.324 andNov 2213–20static and1991100% increase in shaft

and Chow et al. (1998)Francesand0.457dynamiccapacity 8 months after driving. 85% increase bet ween 6 months and 5 years.

Rücker et al. (2012)BAM Horstwaldesand160.71118-dynamic t esting30between 11 - 14% gain in

test site, Germanycapacity after 10 - 30 days

Kirsch andNordsee OstPredominant ly dense sand,-2.43835-dynamic t esting31report ed set -up fact or of 1.5

v on Bargen (2012)offshore wind farm, North Sea(silty) sand with thin clay layers above 26mafter 31 days of ageing

Gav in et al. (2013)Blessingt on,very dense, glacially10 to 200.34714Static tension t est220pile capacity increased by

Irelanddeposit ed fine sand185% over 220 days

Reddy and Stuedlein (2014)Puget S ound Lowlands-0.368.7dynamic t esting0.23report ed set -up fact or of 1.0 to 4.0

Stuedlein (2014)Silt , Till0.9148.813

The results of these case histories are plotted in the semi-logarithmic setup time diagram.

Figure 3 shows that the most case histories lie within the best estimate zone. Therefore, the upper estimate, lower estimate and the best estimate zones obtained from the comparative evaluation can be assumed to be validated by the results of case histories considered. However, few results of case histories lie out of the lower and upper estimate zones that can be explained by the quality of pile testing results or the non-consideration of the pile geometry, pile material, particle shape, particle strength, overconsolidation ratio, relative density of sand etc.

Figure 3
Figure 3

Compilation of pile cases history in predominately sand layer

Citation: Studia Geotechnica et Mechanica 2020; 10.2478/sgem-2019-0032

Figure 3 shows a minimum setup factor of approximately 1.5 for 100 days following end of driving of open ended tubular steel pile driven in sand. That is valid for pile subjected to predominantly axial loading. Results of model tests by Ciavaglia (2017) showed that the ultimate shaft resistance can be affected by previous lateral loading. While the application of lateral loads up to 10% of the ultimate lateral resistance did not affect axial pile resistance, lateral loads reaching 50% of the ultimate lateral pile resistance resulted in a 65% reduction in ultimate shaft resistance relative to a pile that experienced no previous lateral loading (Ciavaglia (2017)). The increase of the axial pile capacity in the first hours after the end of driving is mainly controlled by the dissipation of the excess pore induced by the driving process. Therefore, it can be deduced that this short-term increase of pile capacity decreases with increasing pile diameter, since the degree of the pore water accumulation and the rate of the radial consolidation (pore water dissipation) are expected to be increased with increasing pile diameter. However, term setup some (e.g., of soil the creep mechanisms and dilation, that contribute and soil stiffness to long-increase with ageing) do not depend on the pile diameter (Bowman and Soga (2005); Rimoy and Jardine (2015)). Therefore, it can be concluded that the pile diameter influences particularly the short-term setup characterized by the dissipation of excess pore water pressure due to primary consolidation. The larger the pile diameter, the larger the driving induced excess pore water pressure will be.

It was found that low amplitude cyclic loading could accelerate axial pile capacity at a greater rate than no cyclic loading (White and Zhao (2006)). Jardine et al. (2006) also observed this phenomenon and it is confirmed by the creep tests performed by Bowman and Soga (2005). The increase of setup rate at low cyclic loading can be explained by accelerated, surrounding kinematically the pile under restrained compression dilatant creep of (Bowman the soil and Soga (2005)). Therefore, it can be recommended to drive the offshore pile in summer mainly characterized by low cyclic amplitude of waves in order to accelerate the rate of pile setup.

4 Conclusions

This paper described the mechanisms behind the setup of open-ended tubular piles driven in granular soils.

A comparative evaluation of the most commonly used models shows that the results of the setup prediction provide an upper estimate bound and a lower estimate bound, which correspond approximately to a setup rate of 60% increase per log cycle of time and 20% increase per log cycle per time, respectively. This finding is validated with the results of case histories reported in literature, which shows that the setup values of the most case histories lie in the best estimate zone between the upper estimate zone and the lower estimate bound zone. The analysis results show a minimum setup factor of approximately 1.5 after a delay of 100 days from the end of driving of open ended tubular steel pile driven in sand.

It is recommended to drive the offshore piles in summer because of the beneficial effect of the less cyclic wave loading that can accelerate the setup. Significant cost reductions in projects involving pile foundations in sand can be realized by taking pile setup into account.

List of NotationsA

setup factor according to Skov and Denver (1998) expressing the increase rate per log cycle of time

B

setup factor according to Svinkin et al. (1994)

CPT

cone penetration test

α

setup factor according to Long et al. (1999)

Qt

axial pile bearing capacity at time t

Qo

axial pile bearing capacity at time to

EOD

end of driving

EOID

end of initial driving

t

time elapsed after initial driving

to

reference time from which the increase in capacity is linear in logarithmic time scale

σ´rc

local radial effective stress

Δσ´rd

dilatant increase in local radial effective stress during pile loading

δcv

interface angle of friction at failure

τf

ultimate unit shaft friction

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If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • [1]

    Augustesen A. Andersen L. Sørensen C.S. (2005). Capacity of Piles in Sand. Published in: Department of Civil Engineering Aalborg University Denmark Internal report ISSN: 1398-6465 R0519.

  • [2]

    Augustesen A. Andersen L. Sørensen C.S. (2006). Assessment of Time Functions for Piles Driven in Clay. Published in: Department of Civil Engineering Aalborg University Denmark DCE Technical Memorandum No.1 ISSN: 1901–7278.

  • [3]

    Axelsson G. (2000). Long-Term Set-Up of Driven Piles in Sand. No. TRITA-AMI PHD 1035 ISSN 1400-1284 ISRNKTH/AMI/PHD--1035--SE).

  • [4]

    Boulon M. Foray P. (1986) Physical and numerical simulation of lateral shaft friction of offshore piles in sand. Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Numerical Methods in Offshore Piling Nantes France pp. 127–148.

  • [5]

    Bhushan K. (2004). Design and Installation of Large Diameter Pipe Piles for LAXT Wharf. Geotech. Spec. Publ. Pract. Future Trends Deep Found. 125 pp. 370–389.

  • [6]

    Bowman E.T. Soga K. 2005. Mechanisms of setup of displacement piles in sand: laboratory creep tests. Can. Geotech. J. 42 1391–1407.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • [7]

    Bullock P. J. Schmertmann J. H. McVay M. C. Townsend F. C. (2005). Side shear setup. I: Test Piles Driven in Florida. Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering 131(3) pp. 292–300.

  • [8]

    Bullock P. J. Schmertmann J. H. McVay M. C. Townsend F. C. (2005). Side shear setup. II: Test Piles Driven in Florida. Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering 131(3) pp. 301–310.

  • [9]

    Chow F.C. Jardine R.J. Brucy F. Nauroy J.F. 1998. Effects of time on capacity of pipe piles in dense marine sand. J. Geotech. Geoenvironmental Eng. 124 254–264.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • [10]

    Ciavaglia F. Carey J. Diambra A. (2017). Time-dependent uplift capacity of driven piles in low to medium density chalk. Géotechnique Letters 7(1) pp. 90–96.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • [11]

    Gavin K. Jardine R. Karlsrud K. Lehane B. (2015). The effects of pile aging on the shaft capacity of offshore piles in sand. Proc. Frontiers in offshore geotechnics III ISBN 9781138028487 - CAT# K26766

  • [12]

    Jardine R.J. and Standing J.R. 1999. Pile load testing performed for HSE cyclic loading study at Dunkirk France. Vol. 1. UK. Health and Safety Executive London UK. Offshore Technology Report OTO 2000 007.

  • [13]

    Jardine R. Chow F. Overy R. Standing J. 2005. ICP design methods for driven piles in sands and clays. Thomas Telford.

  • [14]

    Jardine R.J. Standing J.R. Chow F.C. 2006. Some observations of the effects of time on the capacity of piles driven in sand. Géotechnique 56 227–244.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • [15]

    Jardine R.J. Zhu B.T. Foray P. Yang Z.X. 2013. Measurement of stresses around closed-ended displacement piles in sand. Géotechnique 631 1–17.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • [16]

    Kirsch F. von Bargen M. 2012. Offshore Windpark Nordsee Ost - Sichere Grundung bei Wind und Welle. Presented at the Baugrundtagung Mainz.

  • [17]

    Karlsrud K. Haugen T. (1985). Axial static capacity of steel model piles in overconsolidated clays. Proc. 11th int. conf. on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering Balkema Brookfield Vt 3 pp. 1401–1406.

  • [18]

    Kolk H. Vergobbi P. Baaijens A. 2005. Results from axial load tests on pipe piles in very dense sands: the EURIPIDES JIP in: Frontiers in Offshore Geotechnics: ISFOG 2005.

  • [19]

    Rücker W. Baessler M. Cuellar P. Georgi S. Richter T. Kirsch F. Savidis S. Tasan E. 2012. Anwendungsorientiertes Bemessungs- und Überwachungsmodell für Pfahlgründungen von Offshore-Windenergieanlagen unter zyklischer Belastung.

  • [20]

    Lehane B.M. Jardine R.J. Bond A.J. Frank R. (1993). Mechanisms of shaft friction in sand from instrumented pile tests. Journal of Geotechnical Engineering 119 (1) 19–35.

    • Crossref
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