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Investigation of Unbraced Pile Height in Fully-Encased Pile Bents of Bridge Structures

Project Details
STATUS

In-Progress

PROJECT NUMBER

22-827, SPR-RE23(008) – 8H-00

START DATE

11/01/22

END DATE

04/30/24

FOCUS AREAS

Infrastructure

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, BEC
SPONSORS

Iowa Department of Transportation

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Justin Dahlberg

Director, BEC

Co-Principal Investigator
Brent Phares

Bridge Research Engineer

About the research

A project recently completed for the Iowa Department of Transportation investigated the contributions of concrete encasements of steel H-piles used for bridges, which have historically not been considered in the design process. The initial reason for the project was to determine the remaining capacity of a pile when subjected to scour, leaving bare the uncased portion of a pile. A tool was developed to calculate capacity and a subsequent laboratory investigation was completed to validate the pile capacity assessment tool. The study concluded the pile capacity is greater than what has been otherwise calculated. As a secondary result, consideration has been given to revising the capacity calculations of new piles especially in fully-encased pile bents. This project aims to identify the unbraced height limits of steel H-piles when fully-encased.

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