Authors: R. Carroll* P. Carotenuto† C. Dano‡ I. Salama‡ M. Silva§ S. Rimoy∥ K. Gavin¶ R. Jardine**


This paper investigates the influences that steel type, in situ soil properties, water table depth, pile diameter, roughness and driving procedures have on the ageing behaviour of piles driven in sand.

Tension tests have been performed on 51 open-ended steel micro-piles, with 48 to 60 mm outside diameter, driven at well-established research sites at Larvik in Norway, Dunkirk in France and Blessington in Ireland to better understand the processes that control axial capacity set-up trends in the field.

Mild steel, stainless and galvanised steel micro-piles were driven and left to age undisturbed for periods of between 2 h and 696 days before being subjected to first-time axial tension load tests. In addition to reporting and interpreting these experiments, further investigations of the sites’ geotechnical profiles are reported, including new piezocone and seismic cone penetration soundings as well as laboratory tests.

Integration with earlier ageing studies at the same sites with larger (340 to 508 mm outside diameter) open-ended steel piles driven to 7 to 20 m embedments and experiments that varied the piles’ initial surface roughness shows that corrosion, pile scale, roughness, the bonding of soil particles and the driving process can all be highly significant. New insights are gained into the mechanisms that control the axial capacity of piles driven in sand.

Keywords: model tests offshore engineering piles & piling sands time dependence
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