Thursday, November 29, 2012


When a soil of low bearing capacity extends to a considerable depth, piles are generally used to transmit vertical and lateral loads to the surrounding soil media. Piles that are used under tall chimneys, television towers, high rise buildings, high retaining walls, offshore structures, etc. are normally subjected to high lateral loads. These piles or pile groups should resist not only vertical movements but also lateral movements. The requirements for a satisfactory foundation are,

1. The vertical settlement or the horizontal movement should not exceed an acceptable
maximum value,
2. There must not be failure by yield of the surrounding soil or the pile material.

Vertical piles are used in foundations to take normally vertical loads and small lateral loads.

When the horizontal load per pile exceeds the value suitable for vertical piles, batter piles are used in combination with vertical piles. Batter piles are also called inclined piles or raker piles. The degree of batter, is the angle made by the pile with the vertical, may up to 30°. If the lateral load acts on the pile in the direction of batter, it is called an in-batter or negative batter pile. If the lateral load acts in the direction opposite to that of the batter, it is called an out-batter or positive batter pile.

Fig. 16.1a shows the two types of batter piles.

Extensive theoretical and experimental investigation has been conducted on single vertical piles subjected to lateral loads by many investigators. Generalized solutions for laterally loaded vertical piles are given by Matlock and Reese (1960). The effect of vertical loads in addition to lateral loads has been evaluated by Davisson (1960) in terms of non-dimensional parameters. Broms (1964a, 1964b) and Poulos and Davis (1980) have given different approaches for solving laterally loaded pile problems. Brom's method is ingenious and is based primarily on the use of limiting values of soil resistance. The method of Poulos and Davis is based on the theory of elasticity.

The finite difference method of solving the differential equation for a laterally loaded pile is very much in use where computer facilities are available. Reese et al., (1974) and Matlock (1970) have developed the concept of (p-y) curves for solving laterally loaded pile problems. This method is quite popular in the USA and in some other countries.

However, the work on batter piles is limited as compared to vertical piles. Three series of tests on single 'in' and 'out' batter piles subjected to lateral loads have been reported by Matsuo (1939).

They were run at three scales. The small and medium scale tests were conducted using timber piles embedded in sand in the laboratory under controlled density conditions. Loos and Breth (1949) reported a few model tests in dry sand on vertical and batter piles. Model tests to determine the effect of batter on pile load capacity have been reported by Tschebotarioff (1953), Yoshimi (1964), and Awad and Petrasovits (1968). The effect of batter on deflections has been investigated by Kubo (1965) and Awad and Petrasovits (1968) for model piles in sand.

Full-scale field tests on single vertical and batter piles, and also groups of piles, have been made from time to time by many investigators in the past. The field test values have been used mostly to check the theories formulated for the behavior of vertical piles only. Murthy and Subba Rao (1995) made use of field and laboratory data and developed a new approach for solving the laterally loaded pile problem.

Reliable experimental data on batter piles are rather scarce compared to that of vertical piles.

Though Kubo (1965) used instrumented model piles to study the deflection behavior of batter piles, his investigation in this field was quite limited. The work of Awad and Petrasovits (1968) was based on non-instrumented piles and as such does not throw much light on the behavior of batter piles.

The author (Murthy, 1965) conducted a comprehensive series of model tests on instrumented piles embedded in dry sand. The batter used by the author varied from -45° to +45°. A part of the author's study on the behavior of batter piles, based on his own research work, has been included in this blog.

Figure 16.1 (a) Batter piles

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