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Centrifuge modelling of high shear capacity ribbed piles in stiff clay

Witton-Dauris, Julia B. (2012). Centrifuge modelling of high shear capacity ribbed piles in stiff clay. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


Piling contractors are constantly on the lookout for innovative solutions that can put them a step ahead of their competitors. The idea of the High Shear Capacity Ribbed Pile, whereby the construction of ribs along the length of the pile shaft might significantly increase the shaft capacity, has been considered by contractors in the past. Various tools with which to construct these ribs, using different methods, have been explored in an effort to find an efficient method of construction. Through experimentation of these tools in the field, and subsequent pile tests, it has been confirmed that the construction of ribs does indeed increase the shaft capacity of piles. The extent to which the shaft capacity is increased compared with a similar straight shafted pile and what exactly the factors affecting this increase in shaft capacity might be are, as yet, uncertain. Thus it is not known whether the construction of this type of pile would be a more efficient alternative to a normal straight shafted pile.

This research project aims to identify the important factors in rib geometry of a ribbed pile in order to optimise its shaft capacity, and to compare with the shaft capacity of a similar straight shafted pile. This has primarily been investigated through physical modelling of the ribbed pile in a geotechnical centrifuge. Tools with which to install and load the piles have been developed so that traditional load tests can be carried out on small scale piles of varying rib geometries. Results will be compared and discussed with respect to previous research into the behaviour of piles in stiff clay.

This thesis details the achievements of a two year research programme into the behaviour of high shear capacity ribbed piles in stiff clay. The research has been jointly funded by Expanded Piling Limited and the Geotechnical Engineering Research Group at City University London and carried out in collaboration with Arup Geotechnics.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: Doctoral Theses
School of Science & Technology > Engineering
School of Science & Technology > School of Science & Technology Doctoral Theses
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