Centrifuge Modeling of Laterally Loaded Pile Groups in Sands

Presented is a novel apparatus to drive and laterally load groups of six to nine piles in flight. The main component of the device is a flat plate with multiple apertures which are opened or closed through pneumatic solenoids while being raised or lowered with stepping motors via a PC. Presently, both lateral load versus deformation and load distribution within the rows can be measured.

Testing on both loose and medium dense sands at three and five-pile-diameter spacings have been completed for free-headed groups of nine piles. It was found that as the soil´s density increased, so did the group´s lateral resistance as well as the variation from row to row. The five-pile-diameter groups carried larger lateral loads and resulted in a more even load distribution from row to row than its three-diameter counterpart. Work is underway to test larger groups as well as inclined piles.

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