The major purpose of this study was to identify the causes for the driving difficulties often given experienced on highway projects where thin shells are used for cast-in situ concrete piles that support bridge approaches, and to develop a set of recommendations and procedures to enable INDOT engineers to (a) make use of available technology for dynamic analysis of pile driving; and (b) make appropriate changes in the design, construction and contract specification procedures to improve identification and correction of problems at the earliest possible stage.

This study indicates that the parameter of greatest importance for most projects is the hammer and driving train used in the piling operations. Hence, it is suggested that INDOT Geotechnical engineers provide specifications based on detailed analysis of the anticipated effect of various hammer sizes. This analysis is done using the wave equation analysis program, WEAP87, available with the INDOT, as opposed to the usual design procedure where the 'set' is obtained using energy formulae which are generally inaccurate and do not predict driving resistance. The results of the analysis can be summarized with a family of curves - usable in the field. Development of these charts and plots for various parameters is explained in the report with detailed examples and case studies.

The suggestions contained in the study can be implemented by the INDOT and would result in savings, both in terms of mitigating damage to the shells, and reducing the time spent on driving of piles.

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thin steel shells, cast-in-place, wave equation, pile driving

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Performing Organization

Joint Highway Research Project

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, IN

Date of this Version