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What are the methods to tackle negative skin friction?

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(i) Use slender pile sections (e.g. H-pile or precast pile) because smaller pile area when subject to the same working load would produce higher deformation, thus increasing the relative downward movement of piles.

(ii) In a certain region of H-piles for ground water table fluctuation, painting is applied on the surface of H-piles because the rise and fall of water table contribute to the corrosion of H-piles. On the other hand, to reduce the effect of additional loads brought about by negative skin friction, bitumen is applied on the pile surface corresponding to the region of soils that has negative skin friction. However, bitumen should not be applied to the whole section of H-piles because it would be unable to derive the designed frictional reaction from soils.

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(iii) Design the piles as end-bearing so that they can take up more load.

This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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