Journal of Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering

A Novel Procedure for Physical Modeling of Unsaturated Soil-Pile System Using Geotechnical Centrifuge

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  • Abstract

    The mechanical and flow behaviors of unsaturated soil are affected by the degree of soil saturation, the load carrying capacity of pile foundations supported on unsaturated soils are affected as well. This paper describes a geotechnical centrifuge testing procedure developed for evaluating the effect of degree of saturation on the static and dynamic response of pile foundations. Specifically, the specimen preparation, testing procedure, and sample test results are presented. A uniform degree of saturation profile with depth was obtained by spraying water from the top of the model. The water was stored in a pre-pressurized inflow tank attached to the centrifuge platform. The flow rate was controlled using servo valves, and the model dimensions were scaled using centrifuge scaling laws. The experiments were conducted in Ottawa sand at 50 g centrifugal accelerations. Results from 24% and 28% degree of saturations are presented with important suggestions based upon our experience.