🕑 Reading time: 1 minutePile foundations are likely to experience liquefaction and its effects on such foundation are in several forms or ways. Effects of liquefaction on pile foundation is discussed. Liquefaction is a phenomenon in which loose saturated soil such as loose sandy silts and loose sandy soils will strength substantially. There are tests such as standard penetration test and cone penetration test to specify whether a certain soil is expected to suffer from liquefaction or not.
Fig.1: Effect of Soil Liquefaction on Pile Foundation
Fig.2: Liquefied Soil Around Bridge Piers
Effect of Liquefaction on Pile FoundationFollowing are the effects of liquefaction on pile foundations which are discussed in details:
- Buckling of piles in liquefiable soil
- Lateral spreading of sloping ground
Buckling of Piles in Liquefiable SoilPiles are considerably long element and the soil around it offers an excellent support. However, if the soil is soft and the supported load is large, then it is likely that the pile would buckle. It should be known that buckling of pile foundation is not common and the aforementioned conditions should be meet in order for the pile to suffer buckling. Pile foundation usually carries loads through skin friction and base capacity. The former is created by horizontal stress around the pile surface area. The horizontal stress would act similar to strut with smaller spacing and hence a lateral support is generated. When the soil around the pile foundation liquefied due to earthquake affects, then the loss of lateral support is highly probable and consequently skin friction would no longer occur. Based on the recommendation of Eurocode-8, the strength of liquefied soil should be ignored. So, buckling of pile foundation is very likely to occur when it supports large axial loads and loss its lateral support due to soil liquefaction. Pile foundation is anticipated to buckle if pile toe is fixed in a bedrock and the axial load supported by the pile is substantially large in comparison with Euler buckling load of an equivalent column. The Euler buckling load (PE) is computed according to the following expression: Where: EI: pile flexural rigidity Le: pile equivalent length based on pile end conditions The pile is assumed to be vulnerable to buckling unless the computed design load is smaller than the Euler load by a factor of five. The Euler equation provided above may be utilized on the condition that the pile does not have imperfections and the load acts completely on the pile center. If such condition does not meet, the computed bucking load will considerably decrease. That is why large factor is provided between design load of the pile and Euler buckling load. Slenderness ratio, which is equal to equivalent length divided by radius of gyration, is another indicator by which potential buckling of the pile can be determined. If the soil around the pile is expected to liquefy, then slenderness ratio can be used to check the possibility of bucking. If slenderness ratio is greater than 50, then pile bucking is highly possible whereas the pile is assumed to be safe in the case where slenderness ratio is less than 50.
Fig.3: Buckling of Pile Foundation due to Soil Liquefaction because of Earthquake Shaking