Seismic Failure Mechanisms of Concrete Pile Groups in Layered Soft Soil Profiles

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Hökelekli E., Bayraktar A., Şermet F.

Buildings, vol.14, no.1, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/buildings14010177
  • Journal Name: Buildings
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Aerospace Database, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Communication Abstracts, INSPEC, Metadex, Directory of Open Access Journals, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: flexible concrete pile, layered soft soil profile, pile foundation, pile–soil interaction, seismic failure mechanisms
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


So far, little attention has been paid to the investigation on the seismic failure mechanisms of flexible concrete pile groups embedded in the layered soft soil profiles considering the material non-linearities of soil and concrete piles. The purpose of this study is to investigate seismic failure mechanism models of flexible concrete piles with varied groups in silt layered loose sand profiles under horizontal strong ground motions. Three-dimensional finite element models of the pile–soil interaction systems, which include nonlinearities of soil and concrete piles as well as coupling interactions between the piles and soil, were created for Models I, II, and III of the soil domains, encompassing 1x1, 2x2, and 3x3 flexible pile groups with diameters of 0.80 m and 1.0 m. Model I consists of a homogenous sand layer and a bedrock, Models II and III are composed of a five-layered domain with homogeneous sand and silt soil layers of different thicknesses. The linear elastic perfectly plastic constitutive model with a Mohr–Coulomb failure criterion is considered to represent the behavior of the soil layers, and the Concrete Damage Plasticity (CDP) model is used for the nonlinear behavior of the concrete piles. The interactions between the soil and the pile surfaces are modeled by defining tangential and normal contact behaviors. The models were analyzed for the scaled acceleration records of the 1999 Düzce and Kocaeli earthquakes, considering peak ground accelerations of 0.25 g, 0.50 g, and 0.75 g. The numerical results indicated that failure mechanisms of flexible concrete groups occur near the silt layers, and the silt layers have led to a significant increase in the spread area of the damaged zone and the number of damaged elements.