Axial monotonic and cyclic testing of micropiles in loose sand

R. Matos*, P. Pinto, C. Rebelo, M. Veljkovic, L. Simões Da Silva

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
73 Downloads (Pure)


Micropiles, which are small-diameter deep foundation solutions with diameters that can measure up to 300 mm, are often used to reinforce new and existing foundations. Their use in the foundations of structures with high eccentricity, such as wind towers when subjected to wind loads, may lead to more efficient and economical solutions. As the new generation of wind towers will reach more than 150 m tall, very large and uneconomical gravity foundations are required. In regions of high seismicity this problem is aggravated. To evaluate the behavior of micropiles under variable loading and predict the improvement of the reinforced solution, load tests were performed on steel micropiles under controlled laboratory conditions. A total of 36 tests were conducted on 3-m-long pipe micropiles, both while isolated and in 2 by 2 groups, with three different spacings. The micropiles were installed in a cylindrical container filled with calibrated sand and tested under monotonic and cyclic loading, first without grout, then when low-pressure grouted and retested, with the aim to evaluate the improvement caused by the grout injection, the micropile spacing, and application of cyclic loading both in terms of resistance and stiffness. An improvement both in stiffness and resistance due to the grouting was obtained and, for the applied cyclic loading, there was no clear reduction in micropile cyclic stiffness. The presented results provide a tool for the calibration of numerical models to estimate the behavior of real-scale micropiles installed in higher density sand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)526-542
Number of pages17
JournalGeotechnical Testing Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • Cyclic loading
  • Experimental tests
  • Hybrid foundations
  • Micropiles
  • Pressure grout


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