MATEC Web Conf.
Volume 337, 2021PanAm-Unsat 2021: 3rd Pan-American Conference on Unsaturated Soils
|Number of page(s)||8|
|Section||Slopes, Embankments, Roads, and Foundations|
|Published online||26 April 2021|
Effect of soil moisture content on the bearing capacity of small bored piles in the unsaturated soil of Maringá, Paraná, Brazil
1 Technical University Darmstadt, Institute and Laboratory for Geotechnics, Darmstadt, Germany
2 State University of Maringá, Civil Engineering Department, Maringá, Paraná, Brazil
3 State University of Londrina, Londrina, Paraná, Brazil
4 Presidente Castelo Branco’s City Hall, Castelo Branco, Paraná, Brazil
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
In this study, the influence of soil moisture on the bearing capacity of piles founded in an unsaturated clay soil was investigated. The soil studied, composing the upper soil layer in Maringá, Brazil, is lateritic, has degree of saturation between 37% and 70% and has collapsible behaviour when wet. The bearing capacity was determined by full-scale load tests following the Brazilian Standard for Static Load Test. Two pile lengths, 4 m and 8 m, were considered. To analyse the influence of soil moisture, two tests were performed for each pile length: one in soil in its natural moisture content and another in pre-moistened soil. Results show that for both pile lengths, an increase in water content caused a significant reduction in bearing capacity, which is attributed to the decrease in the matric suction of the soil. This is confirmed by the results of the initial evaluation made on the variation of matric suction and its contribution to the bearing capacity with changes in water content. In summary, this study confirms that the pile bearing capacity in unsaturated soil is dependent on soil water content, highlighting the fact that the approach of assuming full saturation condition in the evaluation of the pile bearing capacity in such soil may give erroneous results. Moreover, this study demonstrate that the empirical methods most commonly used in Brazil for pile bearing capacity determination, the Décourt & Quaresma and Aoki & Velloso methods, are overly conservative when applied to the Maringá soil.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2021
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