Explicit extension of the p-y method to pile groups in sandy soils
The method of "p-y" curves has been extensively used, in conjunction with simplified numerical methods, for the design and response evaluation of single piles. However, a straightforward application of the method to assess the response of pile groups is questionable when the group effect is disregarded. For this reason, the notion of p-multipliers has been therefore introduced to modify the "p-y" curves and account for pile group effect. The values proposed for p-multipliers result from pile group tests and are limited to the commonly applied spacing of 3.0 D and layout less than 3 x 3, restricting the applicability of the method to specific cases. With the aim of extending the applicability of the "p-y" method to pile groups, the authors have already proposed a methodology for estimating the "p(G)-y(G)" curves of soil resistance around a pile in a group for clayey soils. A complementary research allowing for the estimation of the "p(G)-y(G)" curves for sandy soils is presented in this paper. The well-known curves of soil resistance around the single pile in sandy soils are appropriately transformed to allow for the interaction effect between the piles in a group. Comparative examples validate the applicability and the effectiveness of the proposed method. In addition, the method can be straightforwardly extended to account for varying soil resistance, according to the particular location of a pile in a group. It can therefore be used in a most accurate manner in estimating the distribution of forces and bending moments along the characteristic piles of a group and therefore to design a pile foundation more accurately.