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GeoSS Seminar

PDA Testing Is it a Relaible


Pile Load Test Method?
31 October 2014
A/Prof Harry TAN Siew Ann
Dept of Civil & Environmental Engineering
National University of Singapore
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Dynamic Pile Load Testing


PDA (Pile Dynamic Analyzer)

Dynamic Pile Testing


strain
gage

F(t v(t
)

One-dimensional
wave mechanics

accelerometer

F(x,t)

Stress
##Very important to apply
sufficient impact force to
overcome soil resistance

speed of sound :
11-17k ft/s
3.3-5.1k m/s

Particle velocity

F = v.Z

v(x,t)

Z = EA/c is Pile
Impedance
3

Measures accelerations
only at one point
Measures strains
only at one point

Notes:
Strain transducers must used
in diametrically opposite
pairs, to account for pile
bending due to off-centre
impact loads
Acceleration transducers are
not affected by pile bending
Transducers must be placed at
least 2D below pile top to
produce 1-D stress wave passing
transducers locations

Forces depends on accuracy of E and A values used

Transducers must be securely


attached to flat surface of pile
shaft to obtain accurate
measurements

With known
uniform cross
sections and E
values

Effects of Pile Toe Conditions


Easy Driving or Soft Toe

Hard Driving or Refusal

Effects of Shaft Resistance

Effects of Soil Set Up


EOD=End of driving
BOR=Beginning of
Restrike

Gain in Shaft Resistance in


lower parts of pile

Caused by reduced effective stresses in piles during driving:


Soil radial reconsolidation around pile shaft
Effects of lateral motions, as soil resettles around pile
Chemical bonds
Occurs over 1 to 20 days depending on soil type

Dynamic Pile Testing


Separation of Waves

Wave Down
input from hammer
Wave Down is SUM of F and VZ

Wave Up
t
reflected from soil

Wave Up is DIFFERENCE of F and VZ


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Dynamic Pile Testing


The value of Wup is proportional to the
soil resistance mobilized at that time

Wave Up
Wup

tWup
The time at which Wup is mobilized is a
function of the depth to that resistance

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Dynamic Pile Testing

Total

Resistance

Dynamic
(Damping, J
factors)

Static

(Quake, Q
factors)

depth

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Dynamic Pile Testing


Isolation of the static pile resistance from the total pile
response is the key challenge in the interpretation of
dynamic pile testing methods.
1. CASE METHOD
Simple closed-form solution which can be
computed in real time on site, but needs a
damping factor to be estimated.
2. WAVE EQUATION ANALYSIS (CAPWAP)
The mechanics of the pile and soil behavior
is modeled. The model is adjusted to match
the measured and computed responses.
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Dynamic Pile Testing


Advantages :
Quick and inexpensive.
More piles can be tested
for the same cost.
Track record of good
correlations over 20 yrs
Construction quality
control tool to check :
Hammer performance
Pile stresses
Pile damage

Disadvantages :
Static capacity is
interpreted rather than
measured directly.
Requires expert
knowledge for correct
analysis.

Application :
All types of preformed
piles (concrete, steel
and timber)
Drilled shafts (with well
defined shaft geometry
and Modulus)
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Examples on PDA Applications


Only Well Executed Dynamic
Test will yield Good Field Data

and with correctly model


CAPWAP Analysis
Reliable Capacity Prediction
Is achievable
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Good Field Data


and CAPWAP Analysis
Garden

Vista Bored Pile


700mm diameter
27m penetration
8 ton drop hammer
Mobilized 635 ton
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Basic Requirements of Good DATA

OUTPUT

INPUT

Good Proportionality in
F-V Signals at Impact

F-V Signals
should taper off

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Basic Requirements of Good CAPWAP

Good Signal
Matching improves
reliability of
Capacity Estimate
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PDA Field Result should be


confirmed by CAPWAP
CASE method Capacity Prediction
is Damping Factor (JC)
sensitive

lower JC HIGHER STATIC


Capacity
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800mm diameter Drilled Shaft


33m penetration

CASE method @ JC=0,5 predicted 620 ton


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but
CAPWAP predicted only 485 ton
ALMOST 30% OVER-PREDICTION

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Examples of Pile Defects


picked up during PDA Test
1.
2.

3.
4.
5.

Poor splicing in RC pile


Damaged joint in H-pile
Damage captured during driving in Spun
pile
Crushed tip observed during driving in
Spun pile
Unable to achieve test load during re-strike
in RC pile
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405mm Square RC pile


Poor integrity detected at splice
Suspect end plate not fully welded
Early Wave
Reflection
Beta=65%

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400mm x 400mm x 168kg/m H-section


Damaged at splice location

Defective!
PDI Recommends
BTA 80-99% Slight
Damage
BTA 60-79%
Damaged
BTA <60% Broken
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800mm diameter Spun Pile


Defect developed in pile
shaft during installation

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Beginning of driving

Pile still OK

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After 1200 blows later


Crack began to develop
Integrity dropped to 58%

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Driving was ordered to stop


when pile plunged suddenly.
Serious damage had occurred.
Integrity dropped further to
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38%

400mm diameter Spun pile


with
Crushed Toe during Driving
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At beginning of driving
Capacity = 360 ton
Integrity = Good

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Driving discontinued due to sudden plunging


Measured toe movement = 33mm per blow

Capacity dropped to 126ton, Integrity=44%


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200mm Square RC pile


Pile failed to achieve required
test load

Why?
Pile had not reached refusal
Set per blow = 20mm
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High velocity reflection


at toe indicative of
EASY DRIVING condition

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Examples of Suspected
PDA Results
Common Causes:
Poorly-welded

splice

Faulty

gauge
Loose gauge
Wrongly assumed pile parameters
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Dolly was used to extend pile for PDA test.


Splicing was done by spot-welding at 4 corners
Result:
Early velocity spike near pile top may obscure
genuine defects further down the shaft.

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Large difference in both Force strain gauges readings

Force & Velocity proportionality affected


Possible Reason:
One gauge may be faulty or out of calibration

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Jagged velocity signals


Possible Cause:

Accelerometers not securely fastened

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At times, PDA may return


result that is unjustifiable.

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Measured energy TOO HIGH.


Resulted Hammer Efficiency ~ 100% !
Possible Reason:
Assumed too high Youngs Modulus & Density

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After adjustment, EM=490-428 T/cm2, SP=2.6 to


2.5 T/m3
Measured energy is reasonable
Hammer eff ~ 90% (OK for hydr. hammer)

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Compare Static and CAPWAP


on the same pile
Garden Vista - BPBP5w4/3 700 mm x 29.1 m
Loads (T)
0
-100

100

200

300

400

500

600

-2
PDA

-4

Settle (mm)

-6

STATIC
Static + PDA

-8
-10
-12
-14
-16
-18

Good agreement with Static Load Test is needed to


calibrate CAPWAP analysis

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Corrections for Residual Loads


Applicable to:
Instrumented Static Load Test
PDA CAPWAP Results

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Garden Vista 700 mm Bored Pile


Example of Residual Load Correction
Pile 2C1a

Depth (m)

-20
-30
-40

200 400 600 800

0 20 40 60 80 100

Force in pile at
Ru (Ton)
Residual load
(Ton)
Corrected force
in pile at Ru
(Ton)
Shaft Res/2

Borehole Value

0
Depth (m)

Loads (Tons)

0
-10

(N)-SPT Value

10
20
30

PDA Value
PDA Correcrted
Value

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Design of Friction Pile with PDA

150 Sq Pre-cast Piles to


support 2-storey terrace
house, with WL=13 ton/pile
Use pile-raft foundation with
42 piles at 2m cc

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Do Progressive PDA in Several Steps to get value of


Development of Shaft Friction and End Bearing
Hammer Wt (Drop Ht)

Precast 150 Sq Friction Pile


WL = 13 tons
Ult Load = 31 to 32 tons
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Simulated Static Load Tests by CAPWAP


Showed Ultimate Failure Load of Test Pile

Blow Number Hammer


Wt (Drop Ht)

Likely pile response


in Static Load Test
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Use CAPWAP
results to
calibrate Soil
Parameters
Use UNIPILE to
validate Design
Capacity and
Long-term
Settlements

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CONCLUSIONS

PDA test are very reliable when accurate data are measured for Strains
(Esp) and Accelerations (Acc) near the pile top
To convert from Strains to Forces; known values of A and E are needed;
so test is best for Piles with uniform cross-sections and approximately
constant E modulus values
PDA as a high strain test is very good for detecting pile defects and pile
toe conditions
For good pile capacity estimate, Restrike tests must be applied
CASE method with assumed Jc values can give approximate pile
capacity immediately during dynamic tests.
However, CAPWAP with good wave matching can give reliable estimate
of capacity and separation between shaft friction and end bearing
CAPWAP result must be calibrated with load-settlement response of
Static Load Test on the same pile, with PDA done after Static Test (
Note: PDA (J) damping and (Q) quakes are model parameters, not
fundamental soil parameters)
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