Title: Parametric study of depth to maximum bending moment for prestressed concrete piles resisting lateral load
Date Published: March - April 2024
Volume: 69
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 55 - 65
Authors: John C. Ryan, Timothy W. Mays, and Eric Pinto

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Seismic design of prestressed concrete piles requires transverse spiral reinforcement to be proportioned to confine and thus retain an intact concrete core during inelastic rotation cycles. Prescriptive provisions of the International Building Code require a prescriptive minimum volumetric ratio of confinement reinforcement relative to the pile cross section and a minimum in-ground depth to which the confinement reinforcement must extend. This study seeks to determine a practical maximum depth to maximum in-ground bending moment for 12, 14, and 16 in. (300, 360, and 410 mm) prestressed concrete piles subjected to displacement consistent with lateral seismic loads. A commercially available lateral analysis software was used to conduct a parametric analytical study of square and octagonal piles embedded in substantially varied soil conditions. Piles were modeled to remain elastic. Depth to maximum in-ground moment was recorded. Maximum depth values for each pile type were reported. Analysis of results indicates that prescriptive depth requirements may be overly conservative for 12 and 14 in. square piles in nonliquefiable soils. It was concluded that a reduction could be made to the code-prescribed depth of ductile reinforcement for some pile types in nonliquefiable conditions.