Publication Abstract

DFI-PFSF Piled Foundations & Ground Improvement Technology for the Modern Building and Infrastructure Sector, (DFI and PFSF)

Rock Socket Capacity Certification Using the Point Load Index Test
Burt G. Look and David W. Lacey

Certification of foundation capacity during the construction phase is often assessed by strength or weathering state descriptors based on visual observations. This case study used the Point Load Index (PLI) test as a quantitative tool in the construction certification of a pile’s design capacity. Construction phase tests were completed on irregular sized rock samples whilst comparable design phase testing was completed on intact rock core samples. Statistical comparisons were made to assess the repeatability between the PLI tests, with best-fit Probability Distribution Functions (PDFs) determined for both datasets. Pronounced differences were observed based on the PDF adopted to characterize the PLI dataset, the consequence of which would be a significant change to the pile’s design capacity. The adoption of the lower quartile value is shown to satisfy both design conservatism and construction simplicity requirements. The commonly held belief that rock samples produced during socket excavation may be biased towards the higher strength portion of the rock mass, is shown to be invalid for this site. As the central bridge piers were certified using Plate Load Tests (PLTs), the resultant load-settlement relationships were compared with the PLI strength assessments made for similar materials recovered from the adjacent abutment piles.

 article #2604; publication #1032 (IC-2017)