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Load Bearing Capacity Prediction of Reaction Piles in Unsaturated Soil by Field Testing

Grant number: 23/01882-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2023
Effective date (End): February 28, 2025
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Civil Engineering - Geotechnical Engineering
Principal Investigator:Heraldo Luiz Giacheti
Grantee:Luis Pedro Rojas Herrera
Host Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia (FE). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Bauru. Bauru , SP, Brazil


In tropical regions it is common the presence of extensive unsaturated soils profiles, sensitive to moisture and experiencing seasonal differences in their mechanical behavior. These soils are also characterized by collapsibility, that can cause pathologies to buildings, such as the settlement of foundations. Suction, a variable that governs the behavior of these soils, and the presence of these collapsible layers, although recognized in the engineering field, are rarely considered in foundation element projects. One way to solve this type of problem is the reinforcement of foundations using reaction piles, which are often executed with deficiencies due to the lack of field tests and load tests. In this research methods for predicting the load capacity of piles used as foundation reinforcement through field tests will be studied, especially the DPL, due to its simplicity and practicality. Field test campaigns (DPL, CPT, DMT and seismic) will be carried out as well as load tests on reinforcement piles in a dry and a rainy period in an experimental field of collapsible sandy soil, to evaluate the effect of seasonal variability in the interpretation of the results in order to incorporate this effect in the prediction of the load capacity of the piles. The results of the field tests will be interpreted according to classical methods in the literature, considering as reference the results of load tests, performed at the same time as the field test campaigns. Thus, it is expected to advance in the practice of foundation reinforcement, contributing to the improvement of design and performance control of these foundation elements, since many of them are executed without due care to these two aspects.

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