Centrifuge model study of laterally loaded pile groups in clay

Tommy Ilyas, C. F. Leung, Y. K. Chow, Budi Susilo Soepandji.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Citations (Scopus)


A series of centrifuge model tests has been conducted to examine the behavior of laterally loaded pile groups in normally consolidated and overconsolidated kaolin clay. The pile groups have a symmetrical plan layout consisting of 2, 2×2, 2×3, 3×3, and 4×4 piles with a center-to-center spacing of three or five times the pile width. The piles are connected by a solid aluminum pile cap placed just above the ground level. The pile load test results are expressed in terms of lateral load-pile head displacement response of the pile group, load experienced by individual piles in the group, and bending moment profile along individual pile shafts. It is established that the pile group efficiency reduces significantly with increasing number of piles in a group. The tests also reveal the shadowing effect phenomenon in which the front piles experience larger load and bending moment than that of the trailing piles. The shadowing effect is most significant for the lead row piles and considerably less significant for subsequent rows of trailing piles. The approach adopted by many researchers of taking the average performance of piles in the same row is found to be inappropriate for the middle rows, of piles for large pile groups as the outer piles in the row carry significantly more load and experience considerably higher bending moment than those of the inner piles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-283
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004


  • Bending moments
  • Centrifuge model
  • Clays
  • Deflection
  • Efficiency
  • Pile groups
  • Pile lateral loads
  • Soil-pile interaction


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