The paper examines, using numerical modelling, the problem of the limit shaft resistance of non-displacement piles installed in sands. The modelling makes use of an advanced, two-surface-plasticity constitutive model. The constitutive model predicts the soil response in both the small- and the large-strain range, while taking into account the effects of the intermediate principal effective stress and of the inherent anisotropy of the sand. Finite element analyses of shearing along the pile shaft are performed in order to examine the development of limit unit shaft resistance and the changes in stress state around the shaft upon axial loading of the pile. Special focus is placed on the operative value of the lateral earth pressure coefficient when limit shaft resistance is reached. The analyses offer useful insights regarding the factors controlling the value of unit shaft resistance in sands. The simulations predict a significant build-up of horizontal effective stress for dense sands. Based on these simulations, we propose a relationship between the lateral earth pressure coefficient for use in the calculation of the limit shaft resistance of the pile and the initial density and stress state of the sand.


piles; sands; plasticity; numerical modelling and analysis; constitutive relations; friction

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