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Load-Settlement Behaviour of Model Pile Groups Installed in Sand

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

A series of laboratory tests will be carried out by fabricating instrumented small scale pile groups comprising 4 straight-shafted piles (vertical and raking at an angle) of different lengths and diameters. The piles will be made from aluminium rods, FRP rods and steel bars connected at the top with rigid cubic aluminium caps. The piles will be installed in a deposit of graded dry sand, of controlled density as placed, contained within a rigid metal tank. Various characteristics of the sand such as particle size distribution, angle of shearing resistance and density will be measured in advance. The model pile groups will then be fitted with strain gauges in order to measure and monitor the component of bearing pressure beneath the pile cap, with an aim of investigating the contribution of the pile cap to load resistance.

The pile groups will be load-tested by applying maintained loads on the caps and the resulting settlement monitored until failure is closely approached. It is anticipated that extensive data will be generated from the tests for systematic processing using a suitable computer program. Parallel to the pile tests, finite element studies on hypothetical piles will be carried out using PLAXIS 3D software in order to derive theoretical predictions of the contribution of the pile cap to the load resistance of the pile group, for different parameters such as pile lengths, diameters and pile-pile spacing within the pile group.

The objectives of the research project are to:
(a) process and analyse the extensive pile test data by developing a custom program in MATLAB or visual C++ etc
(b) compare the actual load-settlement behaviour of the pile groups with the finite element predictions and study the effects of the parameters (pile type, spacing, lengths, diameters and raking angles)
(c) apply other common analysis methods, published as empirical/semi-empirical charts in text-books, to carry out further predictions of the pile group response and hence evaluate the reliability of the methods in the light of the observed behaviour.
(d) Utilise the findings preparing an improved design method for pile groups and to disseminate the new knowledge to assist engineers, in cases where conventional methods are inadequate / limited due to special pile-soil conditions.




Funding Notes

There is no funding for this project: applications can only be accepted from self-funded candidates

How good is research at Kingston University in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 14.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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