The shaft capacity of pipe piles in sand

Kenneth G. Gavin*, Barry M. Lehane

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes results from an experimental programme that investigated factors affecting the shaft capacity of open-ended (pipe) piles in sand. A number of jacked pile installations in a test chamber filled with loose sand were performed using both open- and closed-ended, 114 mm diameter piles. The test series was designed to investigate the effects of in situ stress level, pile end condition, and degree of plugging on the development of pile shaft resistance. The results indicate that the maximum local shaft resistance that can develop at a given location on a pipe pile may be expressed as a function of the incremental filling ratio of the soil plug during installation, the cone penetration test (CPT) qc value, and the relative position of the pile toe. The experimental results allowed a simple expression to be developed for the plug resistance during pile installation, and this is used in conjunction with a popular design method for closed-ended piles to provide a means of estimating the shaft capacity of open-ended piles. The new approach is shown to provide good estimates of overall shaft capacity and skin friction distribution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-45
Number of pages10
JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Pipe piles
  • Sand
  • Shaft capacity


Dive into the research topics of 'The shaft capacity of pipe piles in sand'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this