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Advantages of Dynamic Pile Testing

Paul J. Bullock1), P.E., M.ASCE.


1)
Branch Manager, Tolunay-Wong Engineers, Inc., 3636 NW 23 rd Place, Gainesville, FL 32605.
<pbullock@tweinc.com>

ABSTRACT Efficient pile design requires an understanding of the engineering


properties of the site, the pile, and the complex changes that occur during installation.
Engineers usually specify tests to verify the resistance and the behavior of the hammer-
pile-soil combination. Static testing requires significant time and expense. A dynamic
test monitors the response of the pile-soil system during hammer impact, investigates
installation parameters and resistance, and confirms pile integrity. The usability and
reliability of dynamic tests have improved with better instrumentation and computing
capabilities. Dynamic tests are relatively inexpensive, cause only minor delay to the
project, can be performed on any accessible pile, and are now routinely used for both
driven and drilled piles. An impact weight of only 1.5% of the desired static resistance
provides a low-cost alternative when testing high-capacity piles. Multiple restrikes
allow the engineer to investigate changes in driven pile resistance with time and improve
the foundation design. A refined wave equation analysis using the dynamic test results
provides reliable installation criteria. This paper discusses the advantages of dynamic
testing, with specific examples to illustrate its value to verify static resistance, to
investigate time effects on resistance, to refine installation criteria, and to address quality
control issues.

INTRODUCTION

When designing a piled foundation, the engineer seeks adequate support for the structure
at a reasonable cost. Efficient design requires an understanding of the engineering
properties of the site and the pile, and how the pile installation process affects these
properties. Driven piles displace the soil they penetrate, typically resulting in stronger
material around the pile than found while investigating the site. However, soils with a
weak structure, such as loess or weakly cemented sand, may actually lose strength.
Drilled piles may undermine and weaken the surrounding soil depending on the
construction method and operator technique. Dynamic pile testing provides a means to
investigate the effects of soil-structure interaction during and after pile installation.

694

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Full-Scale Testing And Foundation Design 695

While site investigation techniques and their correlated design methods may have
improved in prediction accuracy, the engineering profession continues to rely on
minimal site characterization effort. Figure 1 shows an example site exploration
(excessive by current standards) using five Standard Penetration Test borings to
investigate the soil experiencing a theoretical Boussinesq stress increase of 10 % beneath
a structure 15 m x 15 m. The SPT sampler has a diameter of 51 mm, and obtains a
sample 457 mm long. With sampling at 760 mm intervals, each boring represents 60 %
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of a 30 m long cylinder of soil. Generously assuming the samples to represent a column


of soil 200 mm in diameter, the five borings together characterize 0.01 % of the
27,000 m3 of soil in question. For comparison, three standard test cylinders (152 mm
diameter and 304 mm long each) represent 0.18% of a delivery truck containing a
carefully controlled 9 m3 batch of concrete. Because of minimal site characterization
effort, each pile essentially penetrates untested soil as a primary investigation tool.
Even the best design methods will not account for a variable site, and piled foundations
find their best application at sites with weak and variable soils. Dynamic test
measurements on multiple piles help to verify static resistance across the site.

30 m
30 m

30 m
SPT

Fig. 1 Site investigation for a small foundation

Even though local correlations persist, the dynamic formulae previously used to verify
the pile resistance during installation have been widely discredited (Poulos and Davis,
1980) in favor of the one-dimensional wave equation analysis program (WEAP).
Though WEAP analysis provides a powerful, rational, and reliable approach to modeling
dynamic penetration, the engineer must still estimate soil and hammer parameters based
on the limited information available for the specific site and the actual hammer.
Dynamic test measurements verify and improve the WEAP analysis for parametric study
and additional design application.

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696 Full-Scale Testing And Foundation Design

A properly conducted static test provides reliable verification of the design capacity, but
requires significant time and expense that limits the number of piles tested. Also, while
modern strain transducers have improved the ease and reliability of instrumenting a test
pile to obtain a load distribution, many testers shun the added cost and measure only the
pile top load and movement. In addition, the resistance measured during a static test
represents a single point in time, and yet pile resistance typically changes with time,
often increasing significantly for driven piles. Thus, the engineer may gain limited
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information about the load distribution down the pile to assist with economizing the
design and obtains a single estimate of a changing resistance. Furthermore, despite
recommendations in the ASTM (2010) standards for compressive and tensile loading
(D1143-07 and D3689-07), many engineers test to a prescribed load using the
Maintained Test to verify an allowable capacity, and do not obtain a failure load to
assess the economy of the design. By contrast, properly conducted dynamic tests that
fully mobilize the pile resistance provide information concerning load distribution,
changes in resistance with time, site variability, and hammer variability. Note that
residual stresses remaining in the pile from installation may affect the interpreted load
distribution (Fellenius, 2009).

DYNAMIC TESTING

A dynamic test measures the average strain and acceleration in the pile due to the impact
of a falling mass, typically using two strain transducers and two accelerometers bolted
two or more pile widths below the pile top. The engineer may require additional strain
transducers to improve accuracy for testing closer to the pile top or for piles with
irregularities, such as the shape and consistency of drilled concrete piles or the welds on
a steel pile. A computer with a built-in datalogger digitizes the instrumentation
signals, multiplies the pile strain by the pile area and the dynamic elastic modulus,
integrates the acceleration with time, and presents a plot of the pile top force and
velocity versus time. Figure 2 shows a modern, battery-powered, Pile Driving
Analyzer® (PDA) and associated sensors used to obtain the test measurements on
concrete pile. Although a dynamic test necessarily delays driving by 30 min or less
while the attaching the transducers, very little extra time is required during the driving
process itself. Ground (or water) conditions around the test pile generally do not impede
dynamic tests, which can be performed on any accessible pile using minimal equipment
and personnel with short notice and with little impact to the construction schedule. Note
that the penetration resistance (e.g. blows per 0.25 m or similar) is an important part of
the dynamic test separate from transducer measurements, required for proper analysis of
the pile capacity and for developing criteria for pile acceptance.

The analysis of dynamic test data uses the one-dimensional wave theory (as in WEAP)
to postulate the coexistence in the pile of two force waves. A downward-travelling force
wave initially results directly from the hammer impact, and as it travels down the pile,
the changes in pile impedance combined with the mobilized side and end resistance from
the adjacent soil and rock reflect an upward-travelling wave. These two waves can be
calculated respectively as the average of the sum, and the average of the difference, of
the pile top force and of the particle velocity times the pile impedance. The impedance,

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Full-Scale Testing And Foundation Design 697

Z, may be calculated as (cA) or (EA/c), where  is the mass density, c is the speed of
the wave in the pile, A is the cross-sectional area, and E is the dynamic elastic modulus.
The modulus, E, equals c2, where c can be determined from the time (2L/c) required for
the wave to travel up and down the pile length, L, as indicated from the observed
reflection of the impact wave returning from the toe. Multiple accelerometers provide
redundant measurements, while multiple strain measurements indicate bending stresses.
For test measurements obtained at the pile top, the measured force wave traveling down
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the pile is initially proportional to the measured particle velocity, with the pile
impedance as the proportionality constant. Observed initial force-velocity
proportionality provides a check on the combined values of wave speed and density and
the overall accuracy of the force and velocity measurements. Data consistency from
blow to blow also provides some assurance of measurement reliability. ASTM (2010)
provides a standard test method (D4945) for dynamic testing. Fellenius (2009) and
Hannigan et al. (2006) include a detailed discussion of wave mechanics and dynamic test
interpretation.

Accelerometer

PDA Strain
Gage

Fig. 2 Dynamic Testing: Pile Driving Analyzer® (Pile Dynamics, Inc.)

PILE STRESSES, INTEGRITY, AND TRANSFERRED ENERGY

Using the measured force and velocity, the PDA calculates an estimate of the pile stress
at locations below the transducers, providing a real-time warning of high compression
stress that might damage the top or bottom of the pile and of excessive tensile stress that
might damage a concrete pile. The contractor can then add additional pile cushion or
reduce the hammer energy to protect the pile. The soil and rock resistance mobilized

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698 Full-Scale Testing And Foundation Design

along the pile causes a positive wave reflection during the first 2L/c, and a drop in this
reflection indicates pile damage from a reduction of impedance. Figure 3 shows the drop
in the wave up (WU) resulting from damage to the splice in a concrete pile. Figure 4
shows damage at the toe of a steel pile resulting from attempted penetration into hard
rock. The PDA also integrates the product of force and velocity over time to determine
the energy transferred to the pile during each blow, possibly the main unknown affecting
dynamic formulae. This information helps to assess the performance and consistency of
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the hammer and any cushions at the time of testing, which the engineer can use to
develop drive criteria for acceptance of production piles.

Fig. 3 Early reflection from damaged splice

2L/c

Fig. 4 Early reflection from damaged toe

DYNAMIC TESTING FOR STATIC RESISTANCE

The PDA provides an approximate static pile resistance in the field using the Case
Method to calculate total resistance, and then subtracting the dynamic component
expressed as the product of the pile toe velocity and a damping factor chosen based on

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Full-Scale Testing And Foundation Design 699

site stratigraphy, previous experience, or a static test correlation. Hannigan, et al. (2006)
and Likins, et al. (2000) provide a detailed discussion of this method. For post-testing
analysis, a signal-matching program such as CAPWAP® provides a more accurate and
detailed approach using the measured wave down as input, the pile parameters, and an
iteratively estimated resistance model to calculate the wave up for comparison with the
measured wave up. Results include the dynamic resistance, the overall static resistance,
the distribution of side shear, the end bearing component, and an equivalent plot of static
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load versus movement. While static tests may or may not measure the load distribution,
dynamic test results with signal matching always do.

Likins et al. (2004) present a comprehensive study showing that, when performed with
appropriate diligence, CAPWAP estimates of fully mobilized pile resistance have a bias
factor of 1.02 and a 17% coefficient of variation, slightly under-predicting static test
results. The distribution of resistance appears less reliable, but improves with analytical
expertise and consideration of site stratigraphy. Like a static load test terminated prior
to failure, dynamic tests with less than about 3 mm penetration per blow may not fully
mobilize, and therefore, tend to under-predict the pile resistance (Hannigan et al., 2006).
For best comparison, both tests should attain a failure load on the same pile, and the
dynamic test should follow the static test within 12 to 24 hrs. Signal-matching results
may be correlated with Case Method results to develop an approximate profile of pile
resistance versus penetration. For large projects, unusual soil profiles, and large setup
factors (described below), the prudent engineer may require static tests to verify dynamic
results and possibly increase the design resistance due to improved reliability. Note that
the presence of residual pile load may affect the apparent distribution of side shear and
end bearing during static tests, but a dynamic test with sufficient movement will fully
mobilize the resistance at any location down the pile. When deemed important, both
CAPWAP and WEAP can estimate the residual stress that remains in the pile following
each blow.

Dynamic testing applies equally well to both drilled and driven piles, both of which
Likins et al. (2004) included in their capacity correlation study. Unlike the penetration
resistance observed for a driven pile, the installation of drilled piles provides less direct
verification of resistance. Dynamic testing of such piles usually requires a riser section
around the steel reinforcement protruding from the pile top as shown in Figure 5.
Testing is otherwise similar to driven piles, using a thin plywood cushion and a drop
hammer having a weight of 1.5% of the anticipated static resistance (Hussein et al.1996).
A pre-test WEAP analysis will provide guidance for drop height limitations to avoid
damaging the pile in tension prior to mobilizing the resistance. Hussein et al. (2008)
performed tests on twelve completed bridge piers in Tampa, FL (Figure 6), each
supported by a single 1.8 m shaft. Two separate sets of PDA transducers were used, one
to monitor the impact stress induced in the pier and the other to verify the resistance
developed on the shaft. They reported a mobilized resistance as high 35 MN using a
hydraulic hammer with a 534 kN ram (1.5% of the resistance) with a maximum stroke
of 1.9 m.

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700 Full-Scale Testing And Foundation Design
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Fig. 5 Riser on Drilled Pile

Fig. 6 Dynamic testing of piers with single support shaft in Tampa, FL

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Full-Scale Testing And Foundation Design 701

SETUP AND RELAXATION

Given the displacement of soil particles and the induced pore pressure during the
installation of a driven pile, it comes as no surprise that pile resistance changes with time
as conditions around the pile eventually equilibrate. A decrease in resistance,
"relaxation" sometimes occurs for closely spaced or artificially confined piles, for piles
driven into critically dense soils that dilate creating negative pore pressure (e.g. dense
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fine sand), and for piles driven into sedimentary or metamorphic rock (e.g. shale) for
which the confining stress around the pile may relax due to creep or wetting. Much
more commonly, engineers observe a significant increase in resistance with elapsed time,
or "setup". In either case, restrikes help determine whether the pile experiences
relaxation or setup. Bullock et al. (2005) describes the mechanisms of setup as
consolidation, reestablishment of lateral stress, and mechanical aging, further noting that
only the side shear appears to change significantly with time. Static tests could measure
the change in pile resistance with time, but engineers seldom invest in multiple static
tests to characterize the continuing setup process. Bullock (2008) shows the value of
using dynamic tests to monitor the setup process, by performing instrumented restrikes
to determine the resistance along a geometric progression of time. The trend in side
shear resistance usually approximates a straight line when plotted versus the logarithm of
time elapsed from the end of driving (EOD). A non-dimensional approach removes
dependence on pile length and size and references the resistance to an arbitrary time of
1 day.

QS fS  t   mS   t 

  1  log   1

A log 
(1)
QS fS  t0   QS 0   t0 

where: A = Dimensionless setup factor


QS = Side shear at t
QS0 = Side shear at t0
fS = Unit side shear at t
fS0 = Unit side shear at t0
t = Time elapsed since EOD, days
t0 = reference time, 1 day
mS = Semilog-linear slopeof QS vs. log t

The setup factor, A, describes the change in side shear relative to the reference resistance
at 1 day over one log cycle of time, for which the designer may expect A = 0.1 to 0.8.
The relatively simple analysis of the dynamic test results using Eq. 1 can easily be
performed in a spreadsheet program. As an example, Figure 7 shows the wave-up for
the end of driving and two instrumented restrikes on a prestressed concrete pile with a
penetration of 17 m and a width of 0.61 m. The slope of the wave-up before time 2L/c
(approximately indicated by the dashed line) provides an indication of the side shear
developed along the pile. It shows a significant increase from the end of driving to the
final restrike 18 days later, with the overall side shear increasing from 663 kN
to 2,286 kN. Figure 8 shows the setup analysis of the total capacity (solid line) and the

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702 Full-Scale Testing And Foundation Design

side shear (dashed line), demonstrating A = 0.20, or a change of 20 % of the 1-day


reference side shear per log cycle of time. Figure 8 also includes a static test result that
stopped just short of fully mobilizing the pile resistance.

End of Driving
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1 day

18 days

Fig. 7 Side shear increase in wave up

In cohesive soils, a significant portion of the change in side shear typically occurs during
the first 24 hours after driving, with diminishing returns thereafter. The trend line in
Figure 8 shows an increase in side shear of 1133 kN during the first 24 hrs, or 2.5 times
the increase of 450 kN that occurs over the next 17 days. Early restrikes typically
provide adequate data with less delay to the project, e.g. dynamic tests at the EOD and
then 15 min, 1 hr, and 1 to 3 days after the EOD. Later tests provide verification of the
setup trend, and the prudent designer will require restrikes during production driving to
verify the predicted resistance. Cohesionless soils typically exhibit less overall setup,
which may require longer (3 to 7 days) to develop. Bullock et al. (2005) provide
additional details of pile setup behavior and analysis.

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Full-Scale Testing And Foundation Design 703

3,500

3,000 Q , kN = 80.6 log (t ,days) + 542

2,500
Pile Capacity, kN

2,000
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1,500 Static Test, Max. Load


1,000
Q S , kips = 80.6 log (t ,days) + 397
500
r2 = 0.988
0
0.0001 0.001 0.01 0.1 1 10 100 1000
Log Elapsed Time t , days

1.6
1.4
1.2
Setup Ratio (QS / QS0 )

1.0
0.8
0.6
0.4 ( Q S / 397 kips ) = 1 + 0.203 log ( t / 1 day )
0.2
0.0
0.0001 0.001 0.01 0.1 1 10 100 1000
Log Elapsed Time Ratio ( t / t 0 ), t 0 = 1 day

Fig. 8 Side shear setup

WEAP CORRELATION

Signal-matching analysis of dynamic test measurements provides the input parameters


(resistance, quake, damping, etc.) needed for WEAP analysis. Thus, the engineer can
perform a "refined" WEAP analysis to calibrate the hammer-pile-soil model as described
by Rausche et al. (2009). The most important results against which to calibrate the
model are the measured transfer energy, the driving stresses, the penetration resistance,
and the mobilized resistance. After establishing a reliable model, parametric studies can
provide penetration resistance criteria for given capacities at various levels of hammer
energy for different length piles. Most production piles will be installed using the
penetration resistance (e.g. blows per 0.25 m) and the energy setting as a key part of the
acceptance criteria. An inspector's chart providing penetration resistance versus hammer

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704 Full-Scale Testing And Foundation Design

stroke (or energy) for a desired capacity often proves useful. The engineer can also
investigate the effects of potential changes to the driving system, such as reduced pile
cushion thickness or hammer energy, on penetration resistance and pile stresses.

Dynamic test results sometimes vary significantly from that predicted using WEAP, such
as refusal driving combined with excessive rebound, e.g. a net penetration of 1.3 mm or
less per blow with 12 mm or more of pile top rebound from the temporary maximum
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penetration during the hammer blow. A low net penetration would normally indicate a
high resistance, but a high rebound indicates movement at the pile toe in addition to the
temporary compression of the pile. During each hammer blow the PDA calculates the
maximum and net movement of the pile top from which to check the rebound (verifying
the net movement using the set per blow actually observed). Figure 9 shows dynamic
test data from Panama for an octagonal prestressed concrete pile (0.71 m diameter, 30 m
long) driven into a rock socket drilled into basalt that was cleaned only with a bucket
tool. Despite the high penetration resistance of 551 blows/m, Figure 9 shows a strong
positive velocity reflected from the pile toe at time 2L/c and a rebound of 23 mm,
indicative of bearing in weak soil not rock.

Strong Toe Reflection


(not Bearing on Rock)

25 mm Max.
Top Movement

Rebound = 25-1.8 =23 mm

Fig. 9 PDA rebound example from Panama

CAPWAP analysis of the Panama pile indicated a toe quake of 19 mm with a resistance
of 4030 kN, well short of the required resistance of 6230 kN. The toe quake, defined as
the amount of movement required to mobilize the toe resistance, is normally calculated
as B/60 for soft soils, B/120 for hard soils, or 1 mm for rock (where B = pile width).
Figure 10 compares the capacity vs. penetration resistance calculated using WEAP as
based on the expected toe quake of 1 mm (open symbols) versus the refined WEAP
analysis with 19-mm toe quake (solid symbols) developed from the CAPWAP results.
In this case, trapped cuttings from the overburden clay appeared to cause the relatively

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Full-Scale Testing And Foundation Design 705

high toe quake of B/37. Continued driving compressed the cuttings and restored the pile
to its desired capacity. Fellenius (2009) and Hannigan et al. (2006) discuss the difficulty
of predicting toe quake, providing good reason for verification using dynamic tests.
10000 3.0
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8000 2.5

Capacity 4030 kN at 472 blows/m


Toe Quake 19 mm (as driven)
6000 2.0
Capacity, kN

Stroke, m
Capacity 6230 kN at 165 blows/m
Toe Quake 1 mm (expected)

4000 1.5

2000 1.0
Octagonal Prestressed Concrete Pile
0.71m Width x 30 m Length
APE D80-23 Diesel Hammer

0 0.5
0 100 200 300 400 500 600

Penetration Resistance, blows/m

Fig. 10 WEAP analysis of Panama rebound

DYNAMIC TESTING FREQUENCY

The number of dynamic tests appropriate to a particular project should be based on site
variability, type of project, and number of piles installed. For large projects, sites with
unusual stratigraphy, or critical foundations, the engineer may require one or more static
tests to correlate with dynamic test results. However, dynamic testing alone may suffice
for small projects. A pre-construction dynamic test program to determine pile resistance
and production pile lengths, and to develop driving criteria recommendations, should
normally include at least two test piles of each size to develop confidence in the results.
Linear projects, such as a bridge, should include a test pile every four or five bents, and
two or more in a large pier group. A more compact structural foundation should include
at least two to five test piles interspersed around the site depending on the number of
piles planned. Test piles should include dynamic testing from the start of driving to
investigate pile stresses and hammer performance and during at least one restrike 24 hrs
or more after initial driving to assess setup and relaxation. Test piles should include 10
ft or more of extra length for site variability and for attachment of the sensors. When
based on a reasonably competent design process, the test piles may be installed in the
position of a permanent pile. The most reliable piles installed on the project are those
that have been tested. Site investigation borings or soundings located near a test pile
enhance its value for correlation with design parameters.

After completing the test phase of a foundation project, the engineer typically provides
acceptance criteria for the production piles that include penetration resistance and

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706 Full-Scale Testing And Foundation Design

hammer energy settings. Site variability and changes in the performance of the pile
installation equipment may reduce the effectiveness of the criteria. Typically the
engineer may require testing 1 to 2% of the piles in a foundation, spread across the site
and construction period of the project, with credit for any test piles included as
permanent piles. Linear projects commonly have more variable site conditions, and a
dynamic test in every bent is appropriate during production driving, with two or more for
large pier groups. Building codes and government specifications may provide additional
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guidance concerning testing frequency. A testing frequency of 1 to 2% is also


appropriate for drilled piles, which may be affected by operator technique during their
installation. Any pile with questionable installation characteristics (low penetration
resistance, low placement volume, etc.) provides an obvious choice for testing. Dynamic
tests during restrikes performed after a suitable waiting period provide confidence in the
capacity of the installed foundation.

LIMITATIONS OF DYNAMIC TESTING

Any test has limitations that the engineer should recognize and accommodate, adjusting
their interpretation accordingly. The non-exhaustive list below provides some guidance.
 Similar to a static test that does not reach a failure load, a dynamic test with a
low net set per blow may not fully mobilize the pile resistance. Side shear is
fully mobilized after axial movement of 2 to 3 mm (Fellenius, 2009), which
may occur temporarily even for a pile driven to refusal. A net penetration of at
least 3 mm is generally needed for full resistance mobilization, possibly as
much as B/120 for large or high-resistance piles.
 A dynamic (or static) test result measures the pile resistance at the time of
testing. The engineer should consider restrike tests to quantify setup and
relaxation effects. Other long-term and pile group effects may also be
important, such as downdrag loading or group settlement.
 Side shear setup may decrease during a restrike as the pile penetrates. A high-
energy blow early in the restrike generally provides the best correlation with
static resistance. Use an energy setting that will provide a penetration of 3 to 8
mm penetration per blow. A hammer that starts poorly may progressively
mobilize the side shear down the pile and never mobilize the full resistance. If
needed, warm up the hammer on an adjacent pile.
 A thick or soft pile cushion transfers less energy to a concrete pile and has a
long rise time to the peak impact force. A short rise time produces more
distinct reflections from impedance changes and pile resistance. Perform
restrikes on concrete piles with a compressed pile cushion or a minimal
thickness of new cushion.
 Open-end pipe piles and H-piles may or may not plug during dynamic
penetration, yet usually do plug when tested statically. Thus, a dynamic test
may under-predict the resistance. Open-end piles having a width of less than
0.5 m generally remain plugged in both situations. The plug must accelerate

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Full-Scale Testing And Foundation Design 707

with the pile to mobilize the end bearing, so a lower-energy blow producing at
least 3 mm penetration early in a restrike is more likely to mobilize the full
resistance. The "lost" end bearing for piles that do not plug may be estimated
from static test comparisons, or through geotechnical analysis.
 Poor dynamic strain measurements produce unusable test results. Bolt the
strain transducers firmly to the pile, in opposing pairs, equidistant from the pile
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axis at least 15 mm from any discontinuities such as weld or holes. Preferably


locate the transducers at least two pile widths below the pile top and two widths
above any changes in pile impedance, such as a splice. Accelerometer
measurements are generally redundant, so a malfunctioning accelerometer can
be ignored with little loss in analysis accuracy.
 Specific driving situations may lead to placement of the transducers farther
down the pile than two pile widths, such as restrikes or poor access to the pile
top. Dynamic test results do not currently predict stresses for locations above
the transducers (though WEAP can). For piles longer than 15 to 20 m, the
tension stress during low penetration resistance driving tends to be greatest in
the top third of the pile due to the high-magnitude tensile wave returning from
the pile toe. Depending on the specific hammer-soil-pile combination,
transducers placed down the pile may underestimate the maximum tension
stress in the pile.
 Changes in impedance, such as caused by pile damage, affect the analysis of
resistance. By modeling a decrease in pile section (increased damage), the user
may increase the apparent pile resistance to obtain the same magnitude of the
reflected wave up. The analysis of changes in pile impedance requires careful
modeling, and static resistance analysis should generally not be attempted for
damaged piles.
 Signal-matching analysis for resistance requires a thorough understanding of
wave mechanics and pile-soil interaction. Engineers lacking the necessary
background should actively seek peer review of their work while gaining
confidence and experience. A certification process is available for dynamic
testing and interpretation.

SUMMARY

 Dynamic tests can be performed on any accessible pile, driven or drilled, using
minimal testing equipment and personnel with minimal impact to the
construction schedule. They provide a cost-effective alternative to static testing
for design verification.
 The dynamic test results include measured pile stresses and transferred energy
to help the engineer prevent damage during pile installation. An assessment of
pile integrity confirms the quality of the installed pile and shows any hidden
damage (below ground).

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708 Full-Scale Testing And Foundation Design

 Signal-matching techniques provide a reliable means of estimating the static


resistance mobilized at the time of testing. Signal matching results also provide
the basis for a refined wave equation analysis to develop installation criteria.
 Dynamic test measurements during restrikes provide a simple, cost-effective,
means to detect relaxation or to establish a setup trend, possibly allowing the
engineer to reduce the length, size, or number of production piles.
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 Side shear setup often provides a significant resistance gain within the first
24 hrs after the EOD, especially for cohesive soils. Setup follows a linear trend
versus the logarithm of elapsed time. Early restrikes minimize project delay
and may provide adequate information to extrapolate resistance at later times.
Restrike times of 15 min, 1 hr, and 1 to 3 days should normally prove adequate
for design. Long-term restrikes during production driving provide valuable
verification of the required resistance.
 Dynamic tests provide the parameters needed to develop a refined wave
equation analysis for driving criteria and for parametric study of changes to the
driving system.
 Dynamic testing during the installation of production piles provides quality
control and assurance for the foundation.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The author gratefully acknowledges the guidance and support provided by


John Schmertmann, David Crapps, Frank Rausche, Garland Likins, Frank Townsend,
Michael McVay, and Bengt Fellenius while testing and seeking to interpret the
performance of deep foundations.

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Full-Scale Testing and Foundation Design


Full-Scale Testing And Foundation Design 709

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Full-Scale Testing and Foundation Design