Volume 40, N. 3

September-December 2017

Stabilised Soil Layers Enhancing Performance of Transverse-Loaded Flexible Piles on Lightly Bonded Residual Soils


Volume 40, N. 3, September-December 2017 | PAPER (13 downloads)


A set of crosswise-loaded flexible piles was tested in binder stabilised top sand layers embedded in lightly bonded residual soil. Slope indicators were used to measure horizontal displacements in free-headed flexible piles during all loading stages. The geometry of the cement stabilised top sand layer surrounding the piles varied from about 2 to 4 times the pile diameter and 0.1 to 0.3 times the pile length. Experimental outcomes present an important enhancement in the performance of the flexible piles under transverse load when a cement stabilised sand layer replaces top residual soil, increasing bearing capacity and reducing maximum horizontal displacements at any given working load. At large horizontal displacements (close to failure), a linear relation is observed between the lateral load and the total lateral area compressing the natural soil around the pile. This evidence helps identifying the pile-soil interaction mechanism and provides sound normalization for test results, both considered necessary steps towards the development of a design concept for predicting lateral pile response.

Keywords: Flexible piles, Residual soil, Top soil stabilisation, Lateral load, Pile field-testing,

Submitted on December 20, 2016.
Final Acceptance on September 21, 2017.
Discussion open until April 30, 2018.
DOI: 10.28927/SR.403219