Cover Image

Applicability of Various Load Test Interpretation Criteria in Measuring Driven Precast Concrete Pile Uplift Capacity

Yit-Jin Chen, Maria Cecilia Mendoza Marcos


This paper presents a comprehensive analysis of load test interpretation criteria to determine their suitability to driven precast concrete (PC) pile uplift capacity.  A database was developed containing static pile load tests and utilized for the evaluation. The piles were round and square cross-sections under drained and undrained loading. To explore and compare their behavior, the stored data were categorized into four groups.  In general, the trends of every criterion for the four groups were notably the same. In both drained and undrained loading, slightly larger interpreted capacities were demonstrated by square piles than by round piles. Moreover, round piles demonstrated more ductile load-displacement response than square piles especially in undrained loading. Statistical analyses presented that smaller values of displacements exhibited higher coefficient of variation. The drained and undrained tests were compared and results showed less variability in drained than undrained loading and capacity ratios (Qx/QCHIN) in drained loading were slightly higher than in undrained loading. The interrelationship and applicability of these criteria as well as the design recommendations in terms of normalized capacity and displacement were given based on the analyses.


driven precast concrete piles; uplift; interpretation criteria; database

Full Text:



M. Teguh, “Structural behaviour of precast concrete frames on a non-engineered building subjected to lateral loads,” International Journal of Engineerng and Technology Innovation, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 152-164, 2016.

F. K. Chin, “Estimation of the ultimate load of piles from tests not carried to failure,” Proc. 2nd Southeast Asian Conference on Soil Engineering, Singapore, June 1970, pp. 81-92.

K. Terzaghi and R. B. Peck, Soil mechanics in engineering practice, 2nd ed., John Wiley & Sons, 1967.

C. Van der Veen, “The bearing capacity of a pile,” Proc. 3rd International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, Zurich, 1953, pp. 84-90.

E. D. Beer, “Experimental determination of the shape factors and the bearing capacity factors of sand,” Geotechnique, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 387-411, December 1970.

F. M. Fuller and H. E. Hoy, “Pile load tests including quick-load test method, conventional methods and interpretations,” Highway Research Record,

M. Davisson, “High capacity piles,” Proc. Soil Mechanics Lecture Series on Innovations in Foundation Construction, 1972, pp. 81-112.

A. Hirany and F. H. Kulhawy, “Conduct and interpretation of load tests on drilled shaft foundations: Volume 1, Detailed guidelines,” Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA (USA),1988.

A. Hirany and F. H. Kulhawy, “On the interpretation of drilled foundation load test results,” In Deep Foundations 2002: An International Perspective on Theory, Design, Construction, and Performance, 2002, pp. 1018-1028.

B. H. Fellenius, “Test loading of piles-methods, interpretation and new proof testing procedure,” Journal of the Geotechnical and Engineering Division, vol. 101, pp. 855-869, 1975.

R. Duzceer and A. Saglamer, “Evaluation of pile load test results,” Proc. 9th International Conference on Piling and Deep Foundation, Nice, 2002.

M. C. M. Marcos, Y. J. Chen, and F. H. Kulhawy, “Evaluation of compression load test interpretation criteria for driven precast concrete pile capacity,” KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering, vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 1008-1022, 2013.

K. C. Birid, “Evaluation of ultimate pile compression capacity from static pile load test results,” Proc. International Congress and Exhibition, Sustainable Civil Infrastructures: Innovative Infrastructure Geotechnology, Springer, 2017, pp. 1-14.

Y. J. Chen and Y. C. Fang, “Critical evaluation of compression interpretation criteria for drilled shafts,” Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, vol. 135, no. 8, pp. 1056-1069, 2009.

A. Hirany and F. H. Kulhawy, “Interpretation of load tests on drilled shafts-Part 2: Axial uplift,” Proc. Foundation Engineering: Current Principles and Practices, ASCE, 1989, pp. 1150-1159..

Y. J. Chen, H. W. Chang, and F. H. Kulhawy, “Evaluation of uplift interpretation criteria for drilled shaft capacity,” Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, vol. 134, pp. 1459-1468, 2008.

Y. J. Chen and T. H. Chu, “Evaluation of uplift interpretation criteria for drilled shafts in gravelly soils,” Canadian Geotechnical Journal, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 70-77, December 2011.

M. Hussein and J. Sheahan, “Uplift capacity of driven piles from static loading test,” Proc. of the 3rd International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering, St. Louis, Missouri, 1993.

Z. z. Qian, X. L. Lu, X. Han, and R. M. Tong, “Interpretation of uplift load tests on belled piers in Gobi gravel,” Canadian Geotechnical Journal, vol. 52, no. 7, pp. 992-998, Febuary 2015.

X. L. Lu, Z. Z. Qian, and W. Z. Yang, “Axial uplift behavior of belled piers in sloping ground,” Geotechnical Testing Journal, vol. 40, no. 4, pp. 579-590, January 2017.

T. O'rourke and F. H. Kulhawy, “Observations on load tests for drilled shafts,” Proc. Drilled Piers and Caissons II,ASCE, New York, 1985, pp. 113-128.

J. R. Chen, “Axial behavior of drilled shafts in gravelly soils,” Ph.D dissertation, Cornell University, January 2004.

A. M. Wellington, “Piles and pile-driving,” Rarebooksclub Com, 2012.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.