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‘Application of Stress-Wave Theory to Piles, FB. Barends (od,) © 1992 Balkema, Rotterdam. ISBN 90 $410,082 6 Pile integrity testing and analysis FRausche Goble Rausche Likins and Associates, Inc...Cleveland, Ohio. USA G.Likins Pile Dynamics, Ine., Cleveland. Ohio, USA Shen Ren Kung Nanying Hydraulic Research Institute, People's Republic of China ABSTRACT: The methods of instalation of drilled shafts give cise to concesn among engineers regarding the structurat integrity of the shafts. This has led to a reluctance to use these foundations by some engineers. Alternatively, many engineers are willing to accept these foundations provided that adequate inspection and integrity verification testing are performed. Low strain integrity testing has seen substantial improvement in recent years. The testing cost has been substantially reduced and. a5 a result, the methods are now widely employed. However. the results of these tests must also be accurately evaluated, The evaluation may be a simple visual inspection of the data by an experienced engineer. Recent improvements in analysis capabilities now offer less intuitive interpretations at a reasonable cost. These new automated procedures are superior to the visual techniques of the past both from the standpoint of operator required know-how and laser confidence in results. 1 INTRODUCTION 2 EQUIPMENT Pile Integrity Testing (P{.T.), a low strain method for ‘Three devices are needed 0 perform a low strain integrity integrity testing of driven piles and drilled shafts, uses a test: the haramer (with o without force sensor), the sensor variety of techniques for the interpretation of force and and the processor (Figure 1). The primary difference velocity records taken under the impact of alight hammer between various interpretation methods lies in the pro- blow (Rausche, Shen, Likins 1991). In its most basic form, gramming of the processor. The hammers and sensors are. the input pulse signals are inspected directly in the time ‘with slight exceptions, very similar for transient dynamic domain for reflections or echoes and hence are referred to response and sonic pulse echo methods. as the "Sonic Pulse Echo Method". The interpretation of | the pile top velocity traces is further enancea by an ampli Seation which inezeases exponentially in time (Paquet 1968), This concept became practical with the deve ment of digital data processing 21 The hammer Depending on she pile size to be tested. che hammer mass should be between Sand $ kg Smaller hammers have Shorter ‘ise times and higher frequency content, while larger hammers apply greater energies to the pile op. To ‘The advent of fast spectral analyzers made possible the development of the frequency domain Non Destructive Testing (NDT) methods generally applied to structural concrete, NDT was chen applied to fow strain pile ‘esting resulting in the “Transient Dynamic Response Method" ‘which displays the records in the frequency domain in a so- ‘alled mobili piot. orion sexson_ Interpretations in frequency andlor time domain are selected either according :0 individual preference or locally developed practice. Generally cil engineers feel more an comfortable in the time domain, particularly if they have Now.nsrmuwenteD on been working with high strain Case Method testing. How- { msimonteres wtten ever, the experienced PLT. engineer should ‘ake advantage { Fig 1 Schematic of low strain pile integrity resting 613 be useful. the test must resolve pile deficiencies over short distances along the test shaft. Sharp. narrow input pulses are better suited for chis cask shan wider ones and there~ {ore smaller hammers are preferable. However, as the Frequencies contained in s pulse increase. more energy is lost in the wave propagation and the ability of investigating a Yong pile decreases. Actually, itis often worthwhile to test with different hammer sizes on any cite: the smaller hammer tends 19 reveal more detail about impedance variations (the product of shaft cross sectional sige and concrete quality), while the larger hammer may be able 10 generate 2 pile toe reflection. Figure 2 shows velocity records obtained under three hammer sizes on a $00 mm diameter drilled shaft of 6.1 m Tengti and with a defect at 4 m depth, The soil consisted of hard and gravelly silt and clay. Obviously the smallest hammer did not have a significantly sharper signal than the medium sized hammer. Gn the other hand. the largest hammer dic not improve the resolution of the pile coe signal. compared with the medium sized hammer. which ‘would be the obvious choice for testing this shat Ifthe hammer blow causes damage fo the pile top cur face the signal is adversely affected by inelastic and non- fepetiuve waves. Therefore, the hammer's impact surtace ‘must be cushioned with 2 material which is soft compared to concrete but sufficiently hard to generate a short pulse duration. goed cushioning material takes the art out of hammering and aids interpretation of results. ‘The hammer may be instrumented to measure the ap- plied force. Two systems are commonly employed: the pressure sensor and the accelerometer. The pressure sensor's located between the hammer's mass and the impacting surface. while the accelerometer is attached rigidly behind the mass. Typically, the measured force is fone thousand times greater shan the hammer weight (for the larger hammers the forces may therefore ceach a mo= mentary peak value of $0 kN). Ideally, the frequency spectrum of the nammer force is 3 smooth. monotonically decreasing function, Small ham mers tend to have non-monotonic spectra if their handles are relatively stiff and heavy (Figure 3). Such errate force spectra adversely affects the mobility curves in an impor- ant frequency range. The hammer's cesponse in Figure 3 was improved by "tuning" the hammer's handle, 2 The motion sensor Motion sensors are either accelerometers or eophones, ‘Although acceleration contains all the information, velocity traces are easier 10 interpret and therefore 3 digtally Integrated. Geophones sirectly produce 2 velocity proportional signal Accelerometers and geophones have different properties im thetr high and low frequency ranges. Accelerometers. for example, yield more truthful resuts at hign ‘tequencies. Geophones have a lower frequency range but Jo not -e= quire the calculation of an integration constant. Geo: phones are generally heavier shan accelerometers and therefore present more difficulty Processors ‘echniques have matured. The sonie pulse was originally viewed only in the time domain on an analog oscilloscope, later results were obtained using a gersonal computer (Reiding, Middendorg, Van Areder and today ail data collection uses a small specialize unit. Figure 4 shows the "P.L-T. Collector” which signal condi- tions hammer and motion sensors. stores the data transfer co computer. performs calculations ‘or data inter- pretation, and plots the processed data For sonie mobility analysts. initially 2 spectral analyzer was alvays necessary: however, modern PC’: aow perform fast Fourier transform (FFT) analyses and are therstore well suited to both time and frequency domain calculations. Force co Et AMPLITUDE 7 RK DI — ca | | KAN = | | | Fig. 2 Velocity traces from a 20 # long pile taken with 9, «45. 22 kg hammer (top to Sortom. respectively) -1 ft = mm. Fig. 3. Force spectra (A) irom normal and (B) stom a hammer with “tuned” handle, ais 3.2. Amplification Before the signals are converted to digital form. they are ‘sually amplified by the analog signal condioning «0 cake advantage of the full digitizing range (e.g. 5 volts). This assures that small signal changes are optimally resolved by cord. However, a high resolution analog-to- sich a5 the 16 bie A/D of the P.LT. Cole lector, makes ths less critical. The input wave reurns at 2Lée alter being reflected by the pile toe. Of course, since the wave then fas raveled the longest distance, its magni rude is usually strongly reduced by either internal (con crete) or external (soil) damping. Reflections from defects are also y these damping are at deeper depths are therefore more difficult to detet ‘A effect of uniform friction on detecting defects or the toe Fig. 4 PLT. Collector can be minimized by using an amplification which increases exponentially in time unt By appiving tis increasing amplification, extreme weak signals om deep 3 DATA MANIPULATIONS AND ANALYSES friction effects are not uniformly distributed and 2 the beginning of the amplification should be delaved until |As discussed in the literature (Rausche, Shen, Likins 1991) the time wine the major ‘tition ef the interpretation of the pile top velocity or mobility can be ple is ziven in Figure Sa and considerably enhanced with a few transformations, These ple (pile length 20 m and hugh side damping of manipulations will be de impedance) the pile zoe response was practically im shaft recently prepared ‘or she United States Fed time 2Lic but was clearly apparent after 25X amplification, Highway Administration at Texas A&M University ‘The amplification started at 4 m with unit intensity and then increased exponentially as indicated below Figure 5.0 3.1 Filtering ser transform and mobility Probably all electronic measurements ate ‘tered tore move unwanted signal components. In fat, most electronic Fourie transformation of pile top velocity and force Amplifiers have an inherent built ia feequency cesponse time signals leads fo the corresponding velociy and force limit. ‘The most common flterig removes fully o partially SPecta. Dividing the velocity spectrum by the force spe those frequency components above some valve. zRe nem nal low-pass Biter frequency. Conversion of continuous fnalog signals to disrete, digital representation cequites 4 low-pass filter limit of at most one haf ofthe sampling frequency. In PLT. the usual digitaing eequency i ap proximately 30 kHz and hardware low pass ‘requency response limits [0 kHe. Additional user controlled digital Tow pass filtering is sometimes necessary wien anvanted high frequency components mask che imporsant fow fe quency sal High-pass filtering removes low frequency compen: such as 4 constant shift or a slow dif. Velocy records derived trom acceieation records nave been unjustiy blamed for an errate low Fequency behavior which then yield useless dynamic sttiness (see mobility calculations below). While accelerometers are dynamic instruments whose signals slowly deft towards 22¢0, the average velocity (actualy the zero Hequency component) s always set 0 zero. This means thatthe displacement caleslated from the velocity s also zero atthe end of the record, surely a reasonabie assumption considering the low impact energy However, removing or seducing other low Requency com. ponents, 8 suggested by Paguet (1968) and demonstrated Below. may distort records and would be tolerable any if czacily the same String is alvays applied. Clearly, the Calculated sufiess values then only nave relaive value. However, such 8 relative effect can also be easly evaluated by merely comparing force and velocity at she time of rneguency imac. Fig. 5 (A) Unampliies and (B) amplified velociy ume records calculated for a “+m pulse. Velocity spectra are respectively shown in (C) and (D). trum yields the mobiliy curve which normalizes the velocity spectrum (i.e. pile velocity response per unit force at each frequency). Ifthe pile is infiitely long or critically damp- ened as toe. then force and velocity both have exact the same half sine wave appearance. Obviously, the mobi lry is then constant and exactly equal to UZ where Z is the pile impedance (elastic modulus imes cross sectional area divided by wave speed). A pile with less than critical damping and no friction has greater mobility and a free pile has infinite mobility. In both cases, the mobility graph 's not linearly increasing and does not begin at the ongia. ‘The frequency response in Figure 5.b shows a nearly con- stant behavior above £00 Hz because high soil damping reduces the (oe response such that the pile behavior is, simular t0 an infinitely iong pile. Amplification (Figure 5.4) brings out the repetitive response peaks but strongly dis- torts the mobility graph near the origin. Thus. ampiifia- tion is useful for pile length or detect detection but act for le stiffness calculations. The dynamic pile stiffness is only meaningful ‘mobility is linear in the O to 100 Hz sange. In order to check the pile suffress concept, several cazes were analyzed wwith an input pulse as in Figure 6, but with different resis- tance distributions. resulting in more or less concentrated negative velocities over the Sst 2L.c time period and sith final pile displacements being zero. Clearly, che mobility ‘behaves non-linearly near zero frequency, a fact that cane not be attributed 10 signal defects since ail velocities were calculated. In summary, the sutfness analysis gives 20 absolute quantitative recut 3.4 Velocity reflectors ‘The so-called velocity reflectors are obtained when the velocity transform iseif i subjected to an FFT. Of course, these “reflectors* have the dimension of velocity and are then again a funetion of length (or time) lke che original signal. Choosing only the positive values of this FFT. the location of the pile toe signal often becomes quite clear. Also shaft defecs can then frequently be located, | | “ ee 7 i he cap] ao nal owe tt 1 Li Fo | eT | | | eri tt ti | srecithey im Fig. 6 Calculated responses for piles with different sol resistance distibutions a6 35 The Beta method ‘To assess the relative change of 3 ross section fom an. ‘observed upward wave arrival in :he pile top velocity re cord, the Beta value can be calculated based on simple wave mechanics. This aumber is the ratio of ower fo lapper pile impedance or cross zection (Rausche, Goble 1979) and is easly calculated relative magnitude a of the reflection tothe impact “ave, oe a Soil resistance effects have not been included in this equation since is assumed shat shey have been accounted for by exponential amplification. Sigce «also assumes that the length of cross sectional change s greater shan the pulse length, che method may underpredict the seventy of 2 shore sross section change 3.6 Impedance profile ‘This method is based on a simple algorithm which yelds 2 pile shape as a Sinction of depth Davis, Hertlin 1891 Rather than relving on the relative peak value of a reflec fed wave as in the Beta method, the umpedance profile directly caleulated 38 the integral of she enhanced ceflected pulse relative zo the impact pulse. Soil resistance effects must be properiy considered before the impedance profile can be calculated. In complex cases. misinterpretation may cccur if the aecessary record adjustments and integration ate performed completely automatically. 3.7 PITWaP This wave equation analysis program uses either the mea sured force or an assumed force (proportional to the velce lty during the early impact event) ae an input atthe pile head. The soil must be considered and » models usually assumed bated op results obtained on other “reference” piles. PITWAP™ then calculates the ensuing pile op Velocity whieh is then compared with the measured one. these Wo curves do not agree. the pile model is adjusted, and the analisis repeated antl a beet match is achieved, This process is similar 1o CAPWAP™ where the pile geometry is assumed to be known and :he soil parameters ate calculated. Actually, the coi resistance effects are never definitively known and for shat :eason engineering, Judgements may seriously atfect the resuite. On the other hang, PITWAP computes a ple shape relatively quickly (and automatically) for any chosen soll model. Therefore the effect of soil model variations on calculated pile shape can he very