Publication Abstract

Proceedings of the 45th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, 2020 - ONLINE , (DFI)

Centrifuge Modeling of Axial Failure of Helical Piles in Cohesive Soils
Weidong Li, PhD candidate, Mohamed Abdelaziz, Richard Schmidt, Lijun Deng, Associate Professor, Rick Chalaturnyk, Professor

Helical piles are widely used as a foundation supporting a variety of different structures. Understanding the axial behaviour of helical piles is required to confirm the engineering design. Helical pile research is often conducted in the field, but this method can be prohibitively expensive in some cases. Geotechnical centrifuge modeling offers an alternative method for the helical pile research and practice. A series of axial load tests of helical piles installed into cohesive soils were conducted on the geotechnical centrifuge at the University of Alberta. The objective was to investigate the effects of inter-helix spacing and soil strength on the axial behaviour of helical piles. Four types of aluminum model helical piles including one single-helix pile and three double-helix piles with various inter-helix spacing ratios were tested. Both compressive and tensile loading tests were conducted. All model piles were instrumented with multiple strain gauge stations. The clay had an undrained shear strength of approximately 50 kPa and 120 kPa. The test results indicate that there is a transitional failure mode between the two widely recognized failure modes, i.e., individual plate bearing and cylindrical shearing. The shaft adhesion was significantly reduced by the helix. Axial capacities were comparable to the field test results.

 article #3698; publication #1073 (AM-2020)