Publication Abstract

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

Pile Diameter Effects on Initial Modulus of Subgrade Reaction for Laterally Loaded Piles
Amin Rahmani, PhD, PE, Hubert Law, PhD, PE

This paper evaluates the effects of pile diameter on the initial modulus of subgrade reaction and proposes modifications to the subgrade reaction moduli that are commonly used in the current state of practice based on American Petroleum Institute (API) guidelines. Three-dimensional continuum finite element model of a soil-pile system is simulated under monotonic lateral loadings to develop benchmark data. The benchmark data, which includes small (0.5 ft) to large (10 ft) diameter pile responses, is used to estimate the initial modulus of subgrade reaction for each of the considered pile sizes. The study shows that the subgrade reaction moduli provided by API may underestimate the actual soil stiffness at the soil-pile interface for large diameter piles and may overestimate it for piles smaller than a certain diameter. A simple equation is proposed herein to adequately estimate the initial modulus of subgrade reaction for all pile diameter ranges. The proposed equation is validated by the measurements of full-scale field tests.

 article #3713; publication #1073 (AM-2020)