Both the driving response and static bearing capacity of open-ended piles are affected by the soil plug that forms inside the pile during pile driving. In order to investigate the effect of the soil plug on the static and dynamic response of an open-ended pile and the load capacity of pipe piles in general, field pile load tests were performed on instrumented open- and closed-ended piles driven into sand. For the open-ended pile, the soil plug length was continuously measured during pile driving, allowing calculation of the incremental filling ratio for the pile. The cumulative hammer blow count for the open-ended pile was 16% lower than for the closed-ended pile. The limit unit shaft resistance and the limit unit base resistance of the open-ended pile were 51 and 32% lower than the corresponding values for the closed-ended pile. It was also observed, for the open-ended pile, that the unit soil plug resistance was only about 28% of the unit annulus resistance, and that the average unit frictional resistance between the soil plug and the inner surface of the open-ended pile was 36% higher than its unit outside shaft resistance.
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