This paper presents a static equivalent approach to estimate the maximum kinematic interaction effects on piles subjected to lateral seismic excitation. Closed-form expressions are reported for the evaluation of the maximum free-field soil movements and for the computation of maximum pile shear force and bending moments. Firstly, modal analysis, combined with a suitable damped response spectrum, is used to evaluate the maximum free-field response. Secondly, the pile is schematised as a Winkler's beam subjected to equivalent static forces defined according to soil vibration modal shapes and amplitude. The method may be applied by using response spectra suggested by National Standards or those obtained with accelerograms. The procedure proposed may be conveniently implemented in simple spreadsheets or in commercial finite element programs and easily used by practicing engineers. Method accuracy is demonstrated by comparing the results with those obtained with a more rigorous model. Good results may be achieved by considering only the first soil vibration mode making the procedure straightforward for practical design purposes. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
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