CIVIL ENGINEERING 365 ALL ABOUT CIVIL ENGINEERING



AbstractAnalytical solutions for axial displacement, strain, and stress in a single semifloating energy pile embedded in a layered soil profile subjected to thermal and mechanical loads were derived. An analytical solution for the location of zero displacement, also known as a null point, was derived for a pile subjected to thermal load. It was shown that the location of the thermal null point corresponds to the location of the maximum magnitude of thermal axial stress. It also was shown that the location of the null point moves toward the pile tip as the stiffness of the bedrock below the pile tip increases. The analytical solutions were validated against in situ full-scale energy pile tests. The solutions along with the validation process delineated the load transfer mechanism in energy piles subjected to thermal, mechanical and combined thermomechanical loads embedded in a four-layer soil profile. Flowcharts delineating the procedures for obtaining the analytical solutions for a single energy pile embedded in an arbitrary number of layers, and subjected to thermal and mechanical loads are provided. Although the continuity of stresses and displacements at the interface of different soil layers is maintained, displacement, strain, and stress diagrams exhibit a lack of smoothness, the amount of which depends on the difference in the stiffness of these layers. In summary, the presented solutions provide a rational, mechanics-based framework for advancing the understanding of thermomechanical response of energy piles that not only is essential for analysis and design, but ultimately contributes to a wider use of energy piles and increased sustainability of civil engineering infrastructure.



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