Numerical simulation of plug formation during casing installation of cast-in-place concrete pipe (PCC) piles

Michael Zhou, H. Liu, Muhammad Hossain, Yuxia Hu, T. Zhang

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    17 Citations (Scopus)
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    © 2016, National Research Council of Canada. All rights reserved.
    There is a historic lack of research examining inner soil plugging and outer lateral soil deformation during installation of pipe piles in clay. Furthermore, the influence of the pile tip geometry on soil deformation has not been investigated. Cast-in-place concrete pipe (PCC) piles are a recent generation of pipe piles for soft ground improvement applications, and are cast in place using an innovative double-walled steel casing with a tapered tip. This paper investigates the effect of tip geometry on soil flow mechanisms inside and outside the PCC pile casing during installation in clay. Large-deformation finite element (LDFE) analysis was conducted simulating the continuous penetration process of the casing installation. The LDFE results were validated against (i) field monitoring data in terms of soil lateral displacement and heave outside the casing and (ii) centrifuge test data in terms of penetration resistance, with excellent agreement obtained. An extensive parametric study was then performed encompassing a practical range of parameters. The geometry of the casing tip was shown to have significant influence on the soil movements inside and outside the casing, but minimal effect on the casing penetration resistance. The optimal tapered tip with a tip angle of 45° and minimal extended tip length beneath the tip angle allowed more soil to be pushed inside the casing and less lateral displacement outside the casing, which dictates the amount of concrete required to fill the cavity inside the pile and the pile construction sequence, respectively. Design expressions are proposed for estimating soil movements inside and outside the casing with optimal tip geometry being installed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1093-1109
    Number of pages17
    JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
    Issue number7
    Early online date28 Jan 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2016


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