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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 11, Number 2, August 2016 , pages 235-252

Ultimate lateral capacity of two dimensional plane strain rectangular pile in clay
Suraparb Keawsawasvong and Boonchai Ukritchon

    This paper presents a new numerical solution of the ultimate lateral capacity of rectangular piles in clay. The two-dimensional plane strain finite element was employed to determine the limit load of this problem. A rectangular pile is subjected to purely lateral loading along either its major or minor axes. Complete parametric studies were performed for two dimensionless variables including: (1) the aspect ratios of rectangular piles were studied in the full range from plates to square piles loaded along either their major or minor axes; and (2) the adhesion factors between the soil-pile interface were studied in the complete range from smooth surfaces to rough surfaces. It was found that the dimensionless load factor of rectangular piles showed a highly non-linear function with the aspect ratio of piles and a slightly non-linear function with the adhesion factor at the soil-pile interface. In addition, the dimensionless load factor of rectangular piles loaded along the major axis was significantly higher than that loaded along the minor axis until it converged to the same value at square piles. The solutions of finite element analyses were verified with the finite element limit analysis for selected cases. The empirical equation of the dimensionless load factor of rectangular piles was also proposed based on the data of finite element analysis. Because of the plane strain condition of the top view section, results can be only applied to the full-flow failure mechanism around the pile for the prediction of limiting pressure at the deeper length of a very long pile with full tension interface that does not allow any separation at soil-pile interfaces.
Key Words
    numerical analysis; plane strain; finite element; limit analysis; rectangular piles
Geotechnical Research Unit, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.

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