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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 10, Number 5, May 2016 , pages 577-598

Numerical investigations of pile load distribution in pile group foundation subjected to vertical load and large moment
Boonchai Ukritchon, Janine Correa Faustino and Suraparb Keawsawasvong

    This paper presents a numerical study of pile force distribution in a pile group foundation subjected to vertical load and large moment. The physical modeling of a pile foundation for a wind turbine is analyzed using 3D finite element software, PLAXIS 3D. The soil profile consists of several clay layers, which are modeled as Mohr-Coulomb material in an undrained condition. The piles in the pile group foundation are modeled as special elements called embedded pile elements. To model the problem of a pile group foundation, a small gap is created between the pile cap and underlying soil. The pile cap is modeled as a rigid plate element connected to each pile by a hinge. As a result, applied vertical load and large moment are transferred only to piles without any load sharing to underlying soil. Results of the study focus on pile load distribution for the square shape of a pile group foundation. Mathematical expression is proposed to describe pile force distribution for the cases of vertical load and large moment and purely vertical load.
Key Words
    numerical analysis; finite element; pile group foundation; pile load distribution; biquartic interpolation
Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.

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