Engineering in Chalk

Engineering in Chalk
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Abstract: Abstract

Driving resistance is difficult to predict in chalk strata, with both pile free-fall self-weight ‘runs’ and refusals being reported. Axial capacity is also highly uncertain after driving. This paper reviews recent research that has explored these topics. Programmes of onshore tests and novel, high-value offshore, experiments involving static, dynamic and cyclic loading are described. The key findings form the basis of the Chalk ICP-18 approach for estimating the driving resistance and axial capacity of piles driven in low-to medium-density chalk. The new approach is presented and the highly significant impact of set-up after driving is emphasised. It is shown that Chalk ICP-18 overcomes the main limitations of the industry’s current design guidelines by addressing the underlying physical mechanisms. While further tests are required to enlarge the available test database, the new approach is able to provide better predictions for tests available from suitably characterised sites. A new Joint Industry Project is outlined that extends the research to cover further axial, lateral, static and cyclic loading cases.

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