Publication Abstract

Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, 2015, Oakland, CA, USA, (DFI)

A Summary of Load Test Results on Large Diameter Open- Ended Pipe Piles in Minnesota
Paul J. Axtell, P.E., D.GE, Dan Brown and Associates, PC Michael K. Muchard, P.E., Applied Foundation Testing Rich A. Lamb, P.E., Minnesota Department of Transportation

Since 2010, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has performed eight full-scale compressive load tests on large-diameter pipe piles at four different project locations across the state. All of the piles were 42-in diameter, open-ended pipes driven to practical refusal on sedimentary bedrock with D125-32 diesel hammers from three separate manufacturers. The rapid load test method in general accordance with ASTM D7383-10 (Statnamic method) was used along with high-strain dynamic testing and subsequent signal matching. Results of these tests indicate that the axial nominal resistance of these piles in compression is not controlled by geotechnical considerations when driven with an appropriately sized hammer and installation criterion. Rather, the predominantly elastic load-deflection behavior of the piles under compressive load suggests the axial nominal compressive resistance is controlled by the structural capacity of the pile. In all instances, the rapid load tests indicated a nominal resistance exceeding that produced by high-strain dynamic tests due to insufficient hammer energy to fully mobilize resistance. In all cases, the hammers used were able to easily install the piles through the soil overburden. Mobilizing a larger hammer simply to demonstrate high-strain dynamic resistance is not economical or practical. This paper presents the subsurface conditions at each location, the ensuing test results, and the ramifications for future projects in Minnesota utilizing large-diameter open-ended pipe piles.

 article #2146; publication #1014 (AM-2015)