Pile load Testing in Soil Mechanics

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Pile load Testing in Soil Mechanics: Pile load test is generally used for determining the load carrying capacity of pile. The setup generally made of two anchor piles and an anchor girder or a reaction girder provided at their top. The test pile is provided between the anchors piles in which the foundation piles are to be installed. The test pile should be at least three times of width or 2.5m clear from the anchor piles.

  • The test load is done with the help of hydraulic jack resting on the reaction girder. The pile movement is generally measured with respect to a fixed reference mark.
  • The test is conducted after a rest period of 3 days after the installation in sandy soils and a period of 1 month in silts and soft clays. The load is applied in equal increments of about one-fifth of the estimated allowable load.
  • The settlements are recorded with the help of three dial gauges. Each stage of the loading is maintained till the rate of movement of the pile top is not more than 0.1 mm per hour for sandy soils and 0.02 mm per hour for clay soils.
  • The test piles are loaded until ultimate load is reached. The obtained results are plotted in the form of load-settlement curve. The ultimate load can be clearly obtained by load settlement-curve approaching vertical.


Arbaj Demrot is the founder of VideRime Online Learning, a leading engineering website. He did his BE Civil and M.Tech Structure from RGPV University, Bhopal and has been working as an Assistant Professor in a reputed college.

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