Piles have been widely used as foundations to resist lateral loads. For the design of a laterally loaded pile, one of the most important inputs is the ultimate soil resistance (pult = KultDσv′,whereKult is the ultimate lateral soil resistance coefficient, D is the pile diameter, and σv′ is the vertical effective stress). However, great discrepancy can be found in the existing design equations for piles in sand. To provide new insights and clarify the discrepancy in previous studies, in this study, a series of numerical simulations were performed on piles of different configurations using the finite element model validated by centrifuge pile tests. The computed results suggest that Kult is a function of depth ratios z/D and z/L for the flexible and rigid piles, respectively (where z is the absolute depth and L is the embedded pile length), and all existing design equations failed to reproduce the magnitude and distribution of Kult . Additionally, the Kult of horizontally translated fixed-head rigid piles exhibits the same pattern as that of free-head flexible piles, suggesting that the difference between free-head flexible piles and rigid piles is caused by the change of failure modes.
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- finite element modelling
- hypoplastic soil model
- laterally loaded pile
- ultimate soil resistance