Offshore Technology Research Center


OTRC Project Summary

Project Title:

Effect of Oblique, Tensile Loading on the Capacity of a Vertical Pile in Clay

Prinicipal Investigators:

Lymon Reese


National Science Foundation

Completion Date:

May, 1990

Final Report ID#

B7(Click to view final report abstract)

The objective of this study is to gain insight regarding the interaction of the horizontal and vertical components of an oblique, tensile load applied to a vertical pile.  Previous studies suggest that axial or lateral failure can result from an oblique, tensile load, depending on the angle of inclination.  It is necessary to determine the angle at which mode is critical for a given platform.  Studies are needed to quantify this change, so that an appropriate foundation can be designed.

Study Plan
Tests on full-scale piles are expensive to perform.  Fortunately, useful information can be obtained from small-scale tests.  For this study, a test setup was needed to produce qualitative, relevant results. 
The study was undertaken to determine qualitatively the effect of an inclined load on the capacity of a pile, as well as to define areas in which further research is necessary. 
The testing program consisted of five primary tasks:

  1. A literature review was undertaken to determine current design procedures for pile foundations under tension and to locate previous studies pertinent to this research.
  2. Computer analyses were performed as the basis for the design of small-scale tests to be performed in the laboratory.
  3. Small-scale tests were performed to determine the angle that differentiates axial failure from lateral failure for a given soil and pile.
  4. Small-scale tests were performed to measure the capacity of a pile subjected to an inclined load.
  5. Analyses were used to generalize the results from the small-scale tests.
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