Acta Geotechnica

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 1821–1841 | Cite as

FE-based identification of pile–soil interactions from dynamic load tests to predict the axial bearing capacity

  • E. Heins
  • J. GrabeEmail author
Research Paper


The static axial pile bearing capacity depends mainly on the developed pile–soil interaction. Hence, to determine a realistic and reliable ultimate pile bearing capacity, the pile–soil interaction needs to be identified and described precisely. One relevant field for this application is dynamic load tests (DLTs). During a DLT, the pile bearing capacity is deduced from measurements at the pile head. Current procedures of deriving the bearing capacity of open-ended piles from these measurements are lagging behind regarding the description of the pile–soil interaction for open-ended piles and the influence of the pore fluid response. Hence, a new technique based on the finite element method is developed, which captures the key aspects for DLT results correctly and is capable of deriving the static pile bearing capacity. The method is validated against dynamic and static load test data obtained from centrifuge tests on large diameter monopiles. An application to field test data of tubular steel piles is shown. The developed approach seems suitable to assess the static pile bearing capacity based on DLT measurements.


Dynamic load test Finite element method Mathematical optimization Pile foundation Static bearing capacity 



The authors thank the Federal Institute for Material Research and Testing (BAM) for providing the field test data (investigated in connection with research grant FKZ 0325227 of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy) and enabling the application of the newly developed FE approach to real measured field test data.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Geotechnical Engineering and Construction ManagementHamburg University of TechnologyHamburgGermany

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