Introduction to Pile Load Testing

Pile load test: What is it? 

These fundamental questions must be addressed to learn piles and pile load testing. To begin, the test for the load on a pile is the most efficient method to test the capacity to carry loads of the pile. Furthermore, the test could be performed on a working pile, which forms the basis of a structure or an untested pile that has not been tested.

Most of the time, we examine the piles after being positioned. Like other structural elements, they may also be vulnerable to structural problems, and, sometimes, only notice the issue once it’s too late before settlement occurs. These failures and damage could be caused by the structure of the pile or construction or even the work.

In the field of load testing for piles, One of the most widely utilized methods is to test the load of the hydraulic pile. This technique is used to evaluate the capacity to bear loads and the structural strength of a structure. 

During the test, a hydraulic jack is used to apply a specified amount of load on the piling while measuring is taken to observe the response of the pile. This permits construction engineers and experts to gain valuable information on the performance and behavior of the pile in various load conditions. The hydraulic jack pile load test is an essential procedure to ensure the stability and safety of structures built on the foundations of deep piles, which allows for more informed decisions about the properness as well as the design and construction of piles.

It is crucial to check the piles early in the stage of construction to avoid unforeseeable situations. It is always more cost-effective to seek solutions in the event of any issues with the pile early rather than finding them in the last stage. There are a variety of pile tests that you can choose depending on the test’s objective, but we’ll examine the most well-known types in the following sections, so keep an eye out!

Pile Integrity Test

Integrity tests are an important element for quality assurance, regardless of whether it is casting-in-place or pre-cast concrete. By utilizing the test, issues like cracks, sags across the cross-sections, and other problems that result from the pile placement can be identified. This test is a non-distracted (NDT) method of testing the continuity and consistency of the material for length, construction, and cross-sectional dimensions. The method used to test the pile’s integrity was carried out per ASTM D5882.

Dynamic Load Test

The strength of each pile should be within the structural and geotechnical limits to ensure it is secure and functions exactly as it should. Tests for the load on the pile are an easy method to determine a foundation’s strength and geotechnical integrity.

Dynamic load testing with a Pile Dynamic Analyzer (PDA) provides a simple and precise method of assessing the ability to support the load on the structure. This test will assist in determining the best type of pile that will stand up to the strains placed on the structure when you drive.

It also warns if a pile’s drive exceeds the recommended length, which helps avoid unnecessary piles. It also provides information about the structure’s integrity, driving stress, and the effectiveness of hammers. If a static test for the load isn’t an option, performing it in static form is still possible.

Static Load Test

Like the tests that test dynamic loads, the static test can assess the ability to withstand the load on a specific pile. In the Static Load Test, the load test is conducted by hydro lifting onto Kent Ledge (concrete blocks) while certified and calibrated. Pressure gauges evaluate the load placed on the pile to be examined.

The pile’s settlement is recorded using dial gauges that register on the reference beam. After the pile is analyzed, load, time, and settlement will be recorded by increment loading following the required standard.

The interpretation of the load test will be explained in the course of the presentation to ensure that the capacity of the piles is evaluated. The criteria used in determining the load that piles can bear can include but aren’t only, but are not limited to:

  • Beyond the point at which the rise in the settlement is not proportional to the load growth.
  • The load settled will continue to increase without any other increase in load.
  • To assess the burden, the weight applied to the test should be at least 1.5 times the amount of work. This is why it is crucial to consider the pile’s workload.