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Investigation of soil displacements caused by the press-in process for close-ended model piles using an imaging technique


In recent years, installing piles using the press-in method has gained popularity in urban areas. However, pushing piles into the ground squeezes the surrounding soils and consequently causes a disturbance or even damage to the underground structures and facilities close by. In order to investigate the squeezing effect incurred by press-in piling, a series of model tests were performed. The soil displacement field was captured using a non-contact technique called digital image correlation (DIC), and the horizontal soil stresses were measured by mini pressure cells. Analyses of the soil displacement fields showed that the pile press-in process caused different soil displacement paths at different depths and locations. The development of horizontal soil stresses correlated well with the horizontal and vertical displacements. A thin disturbance layer could be observed along the pile-soil interface and it was about 7.4-11.1 D50 in thickness (D50, median particle size). At the end, the soil displacements caused by pushing the model pile with different pile shoes were analyzed and compared, and the analyses showed that a greater shoe angle resulted in greater disturbance to the surrounding soils. However, the influence of the pile shoe angle became less substantial with the increase of the pile penetration depth.


pile press-in, pile model tests, DIC, soil displacements, disturbance layer, image analysis