DOI: 10.3390/ma16175868 ISSN:

Seismic Performance of Drained Piles in Layered Soils

Yaohui Yang, Gongfeng Xin, Yumin Chen, Armin W. Stuedlein, Chao Wang
  • General Materials Science

The provision of drains to geotechnical elements subjected to strong ground motion can reduce the magnitude of shaking-induced excess pore pressure and the corresponding loss of soil stiffness and strength. A series of shaking table tests were conducted within layered soil models to investigate the effectiveness of drained piles to reduce the liquefaction hazard in and near pile-improved ground. The effect of the number of drains per pile and the orientation of the drains relative to the direction of shaking were evaluated in consideration of the volume of porewater discharged, the magnitude of excess pore pressure generated, and the amount of de-amplification in the ground’s motion. The following main conclusions can be drawn from this study. Single, isolated piles and a group of drained piles were tested in three series of shake table tests. Relative to conventional piles, the drained piles exhibited improved performance with regard to the generation and dissipation of excess pore pressure and stiffness of the surrounding soil, with increases in performance correlated with increases in the discharge capacity of the drained pile. The acceleration time histories observed within the pile-improved soil indicated a coupling of the rate and magnitude of porewater discharge, excess pore pressure generated, and de-amplification of strong ground motion. The amount of de-amplification reduced with increases in the number of drains per pile and corresponding reductions in excess pore pressure. The improved performance should prove helpful in the presence of sloping ground characterized with low-permeability soil layers that inhibit the dissipation of pore pressure and have demonstrated the significant potential for post-shaking slope deformation.

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