Acta Geotechnica

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 881–905 | Cite as

Development of analytical models to estimate the increase in pile capacity with time (pile setup) from soil properties

  • Md. Nafiul Haque
  • Murad Y. Abu-FarsakhEmail author
Research Paper


This paper presents the analyses of twelve prestressed concrete (PSC) instrumented test piles that were driven in different bridge construction projects of Louisiana in order to develop analytical models to estimate the increase in pile capacity with time or pile setup. The twelve test piles were driven mainly in cohesive soils. Detailed soil characterizations including laboratory and in situ tests were conducted to determine the different soil properties. The test piles were instrumented with vibrating wire strain gauges, piezometers, pressure cells that were monitored during the whole testing period. Several static load tests (SLTs) and dynamic load tests were conducted on each test pile at different times after end of driving (EOD) to quantify the magnitude and rate of setup. Measurements of load tests confirmed that pile capacity increases almost linearly with the logarithm of time elapsed after EOD. Case pile wave analysis program was performed on the restrikes data and was used along with the load distribution plots from the SLTs to evaluate the increase in skin friction capacity of individual soil layers along the length of the piles. The logarithmic linear setup parameter “A” for unit skin friction was calculated of the 70 individual clayey soil layers and was correlated with different soil properties such as undrained shear strength (Su), plasticity index, vertical coefficient of consolidation (cv), over consolidation ratio and sensitivity (St). Nonlinear multivariable regression analyses were performed, and three different empirical models are proposed to predict the pile setup parameter “A” as a function of soil properties. For verification, the subsurface soil conditions and setup information for additional 18 PSC piles collected from local database were used to compare the measured versus predicted “A” parameters from the proposed models, which showed good agreement.


Analytical model CAPWAP® Instrumentation Pile capacity Pile setup Regression analysis Static load test 

List of symbols


Setup parameter


Horizontal coefficient of consolidation


Vertical coefficient of consolidation


Unit skin friction


Unit skin friction at reference time


Setup ratio of the unit skin friction


Skin friction


Total pile capacity


End-bearing capacity


Total pile capacity at reference time


Undrained shear strength






Initial reference time



This research is funded by the Louisiana Transportation Research Center (LTRC Project No. 11-2GT) and Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (State Project No. 736-99-1732). The comments and suggestions of Zhongjie Zhang, Pavement and Geotechnical Administrator, are gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Louisiana Transportation Research CenterLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA
  2. 2.Louisiana Transportation Research CenterLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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