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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 7, Number 5, November 2014 , pages 477-493

Behaviour of micropiles in collapsible loess under tension or compression load
Zeng-zhen Qian, Xian-long Lu, Wen-zhi Yang and Qiang Cui

    This study examines the behaviour of single micropiles subjected to axial tension or compression load in collapsible loess under in-situ moisture content and saturated condition. Five tension loading tests and five compression loading tests on single micropiles were carried out at a typical loess site of the Loess Plateau in Northwest China. A series of laboratory tests, including grain size distribution, specific gravity, moisture content, Atterberg limits, density, granular components, shear strength, and collapse index, were carried out during the micropile loading tests to determine the values of soil parameters. The loess at the test site poses a severe collapse risk upon wetting. The tension or compression load-displacement curves of the micropiles in loess, under in-situ moisture content or saturated condition, can generally be simplified into three distinct regions: an initial linear, a curvilinear transition, and a final linear region, and the bearing capacity or failure load can be interpreted by the L1-L2 method as done in other studies. Micropiles in loess should be considered as frictional pile foundations though the tip resistances are about 10%-15% of the applied loads. Both the tension and compression capacities increase linearly with the ratio of the pile length to the shaft diameter, L/d. For micropiles in loess under in-situ moisture content, the interpreted failure loads or capacities under tension are 66%-87% of those under compression. However, the prewetting of the loess can lead to the reductions of 50% in the tensile bearing capacity and 70% in the compressive bearing capacity.
Key Words
    loess; micropile; load test; ultimate load; skin friction
(1) Zeng-zhen Qian:
School of Engineering and Technology, China University of Geosciences, No. 29 Xueyuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100083, China;
(2) Xian-long Lu, Wen-zhi Yang, Qiang Cui:
China Electric Power Research Institute, No. 15, Xiaoying East Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100192, China.

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