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HERIOT - WATT UNIVERSITY

School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society


FOUNDATION ENGINEERING

CLASS EXAMPLE
A bored, cast-in-situ test-pile, 1.0m diameter and 15m long, has been founded in a deep layer
of saturated, stiff clay. A load cell was installed at the pile tip in order to record endresistance. Laboratory tests showed that the undrained shear strength of the clay increased
from 105kN/m2 at ground-level to 120kN/m2 at 15m. Below 15m the undrained shear
strength remained relatively constant at 120kN/m 2. The saturated unit weight of the clay was
determined as 19.5kN/m3 and the weight of the pile was 270kN. A load-test to failure was
preformed on the pile with the following test data:
Settlement of pile
(mm)
0
0.5
1.0
2.0
5.0
10
25
50
100

Applied load at top of


pile (kN)
0
460
930
1610
1810
2110
2170
2140
2060

Load measured at pile base


(kN)
20
60
100
180
400
730
860
910
930

From these data, answer the following:


(a) Plot shaft- and end- resistance against pile settlement and comment on the
relationship between these two components.
(b) Calculate the maximum adhesion resistance per unit area (in kN/m2) that can be
developed on the pile shaft and hence determine the maximum adhesion factor, ,
for the pile ( = 0.32)
(c) Calculate the undrained shear strength of the clay from the maximum baseresistance and compare this value with that obtained from laboratory tests,
explaining any difference between the two (cu,base = 100kN/m2).

SOLUTION