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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 44
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping
Paper VI.1

A Simplified BEM Analysis of Pile Groups

J.Batista de Paiva and R.R. Trondi

Structures Department, Sao Carlos Civil Engineering School, Brazil

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
J.Batista de Paiva, R.R. Trondi, "A Simplified BEM Analysis of Pile Groups", in B.H.V. Topping, (Editor), "Advances in Boundary Element Methods", Civil-Comp Press, Edinburgh, UK, pp 145-152, 1996. doi:10.4203/ccp.44.6.1
A conventional application of the Boundary Element Method (BEM) to the elastic analysis of sizeable capped pile groups rapidly leads to large computational execution time. This paper develops a BEM method for solving such problems more efficiently, and with adequate precision, in which the traction along each pile in a group is represented by a second degree polynomial function. With this approach the tractions need only a few nodes along the shaft to be represented and all the integrals involved can be analytically evaluated. The pile is supposed to be rigid but the formulation can be easily extended to the inclusion of its flexibility. Only vertical displacement compatibility between the soil, the piles and the smooth, rigid cap is enforced. The cap-soil interface is divided into triangular elements, each with three nodes, across which contact pressures vary linearly. Numerical results are presented for single piles, 2, 3, 4 and 5-pile groups, with and without ground-contacting caps. In all cases the pile loads and group stiffnesses agree closely to those from much more elaborate analysis.

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